Drug Detox Is More Likely Than Ever As Marijuana Potency Increases

Drug Detox Is More Likely Than Ever As Marijuana Potency Increases

The latest analysis from the University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project reveals most marijuana on the market today has twice as much THC - the psychoactive ingredient - as when testing began 30 years ago. Tens of thousands of drug addicts who moved on to more addictive drugs from the weaker varieties point to "grass" as the drug that started their descent into addictions, drug detox and rehab.

The annual potency survey sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has analyzed and compiled data on 62,797 cannabis samples, 1,302 hashish samples, and 468 hash oil samples confiscated by law enforcement agencies since 1975.

Too many people consider marijuana "harmless" and not as a stepping stone to hard drugs and addiction, which can lead to drug-related crime, ruined lives, illness and early death - or if one is lucky, to drug detox, rehab and recovery. Now, with this new super-grass on the market, comes the possibility of drug detox being required just for the marijuana itself.

Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA, says that the increase in potency increases the likelihood of acute toxicity, including mental impairment. "Particularly worrisome is the possibility that the more potent THC might be more effective at triggering the changes in the brain that can lead to addiction," she said, adding that more research should be undertaken to establish the link between potency and the risk of addiction to marijuana itself.

Higher potency marijuana is causing more physical problems with smoker's respiratory tracts, and an increase in "mental problems" - particularly in younger people who are twice as likely as others to be depressed and turn to marijuana to feel better. But marijuana can lead to even more depression, which leads to more addictive drugs and hopefully, drug detox and recovery.

These days, prescription drugs are the usual next step, and addiction has reached epidemic levels. Getting off prescription drugs can be more difficult than some illegal drugs, requiring medical drug detox to withdraw from them.

With double the effect being created by modern marijuana, getting users into treatment is more important than ever to avoid potential addiction to harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin or addictive prescription drugs for which a drug detox program will be the only door leading to recovery.

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