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Marijuana: Taking a Toll

Posted on :  March 19th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we work mostly with clients who are struggling with addictions to narcotics like heroin or prescription medications. We understand that heroin is not the only street drug that people are using in Canada. Marijuana is a commonly used drug and it comes with a plethora of problems that affects the users and the community as well.

Legalized, but Still Not Safe

Many people believe that marijuana is a safe drug to use and with legalization efforts in the United States; that belief is growing. While it is legal to grow cannabis in Canada, it is only with licenses from Health Canada. What people do not realize is that people who use marijuana have health problems related to car accidents and dependence of the drug. These two issues have been a financial burden on the people of Canada. The health problems related to psychosis and lung cancer due to marijuana use have also created a financial burden on Canadians, too.

Categories of Problems

Researchers have found that there are particular problems that are connected closely to the use of marijuana. In Canada, cannabis is used more than any other drug. Researchers used data relating to health problems, drug use, and death to come up with honest numbers about the real problems that stem from cannabis usage in Canada.

Car Accidents

When it comes to car accidents, close to 10 per cent of fatal or injurious car accidents were caused by drivers who were high on marijuana. It is a scary thought that one out of every ten car accidents happened to people who were under the influence of this drug. Imagine if one of your loved ones was hurt or killed by a driver who was high on marijuana.


The Canadian health care system estimates that about 80,000 people each year receive health care services based on their dependence to using marijuana. The number of people who actually abuse or are dependent on cannabis is nearly 400,000. This means that nearly 1 out of every 100 people in Canada has a dependency on marijuana. The odds are good that you know someone with a dependency to the popular street drug.

Lung Cancer and Smoking

Lung cancer is a problem that is being tied to marijuana use. While proving that lung cancer and marijuana use is connected is difficult for researchers, there are signs that point to a strong connection. Many people who smoke marijuana also smoke cigarettes, which can lead to lung cancer, too. Since lung cancer takes a while to develop in smokers, researchers do look closely at health histories before blaming cannabis use. But, despite the struggles finding cause, researchers were able to say that about 2 per cent of cannabis smokers suffered from lung cancer. This relates to about 250 deaths per year in Canada alone.

Psychosis and Schizophrenia

Psychosis is another problem that develops in the mind of cannabis users. Psychosis is a medically treatable mental illness where patients have difficulty with thoughts and emotions. They lose touch with reality. Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis. Researchers have found a connection between marijuana use and schizophrenia, especially with men and women who have a genetic predisposition towards psychosis. The researchers found that in Canada about 175 schizophrenia diagnoses were related to marijuana use.

Learn from the Numbers

With these findings, the Canadian health care service can be better prepared to help people with their addictions. Families in Canada can do a better job educating their children about the dangers of marijuana use, especially with secondary effects like car accidents and health problems. With the right steps, families can help their loved ones avoid using marijuana.

Contact us at 905-527-2042 with any questions about drug addiction and recovery.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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