In a myriad of Rocky Mountain valleys are towns and cities where it is now legal for men and women to use cannabis, provided they are over the age of 21. Along with Washington, Colorado was among the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use or end prohibition to put in other words.
In the proceeding years, several states have followed the lead of Colorado by passing similar legislation. More states are sure to follow in the coming years, and we will be likely to see the end of federal prohibition in our lifetime.
There is ample evidence to support the above conclusion. In October 2010, only 46 percent of Americans believed that cannabis use should be legal, according to the Pew Research Center. By the end of the decade, that number surged to 67 percent.
Cannabis, once the cause of nightmares for parents with teenage children, is now being used medically and recreationally by those same people. More individuals see the damage done by prohibition clearly; the war on drugs was a failure that cost billions and led to the incarceration of millions.
Perhaps it’s better to view the war on drugs differently? One could argue that it was actually a war on drug use. Whatever the justifications for such a battle may be, the result was creating the largest prison population in the free world.
More than half of those serving time in American penal institutions are nonviolent drug offenders. Many of them have diagnosable substance use disorders and would be better served by treatment than a jail cell.
Addiction of any kind, from cannabis to heroin, should never be the cause for incarceration. Countless studies show that mental and behavioral health disorders cannot be arrested away. However, such conditions are treatable.
The Frontlines of Cannabis Use Disorder
More research is necessary, but a growing body of evidence suggests that millions of Americans are battling cannabis use disorder. That was the case before the passing of medical and recreational marijuana legislation across the nation, and it’s still true today. What’s more, scientists have found that cannabis legalization in Colorado has led to an increase in substance abuse, psychosis, and suicide.
While the above findings do not suggest the need for prohibiting cannabis use, they do indicate a need for robust prevention and treatment efforts. Young people must be able to make informed decisions before they decide to experiment with cannabis.
Addiction specialists understand that developing brains are highly susceptible to adverse effects relating to marijuana use. There is also a correlation between early initiation and the development of substance use disorders down the road among youths.
At NorthStar Transitions, we have an extensive amount of experience treating clients living with cannabis use disorders. We have seen the deleterious effects of marijuana use first-hand and have helped many men and women find recovery.
One of the most unfortunate byproducts of legalization is the pervasive misconception that cannabis use is safe. However, it’s a fact that legal does not mean safe; more than 80,000 Americans lose their lives to alcohol-related illnesses each year despite legality.
Like any form of addiction, people living with cannabis use disorder require professional assistance regularly. It’s a little-known fact that people dependent on marijuana can experience withdrawal symptoms that can make it challenging to break the cycle of addiction. Detox is often necessary to prevent relapse for those who would like to recover.
Colorado Cannabis Use Disorder Detox and Treatment
At NST, we offer clinically supervised detox for those in the grips of a cannabis use disorder. Once the withdrawal phase is complete, our residential treatment program equips men and women with the tools to sustain lasting recovery. Please contact us today if you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana addiction.