Smoking Pot Can Trigger Other Addictive Behaviors

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A recently conducted study in Holland, which appeared in the British Journal of Pharmacology, has shown that those who regularly use cannabis are more likely to exhibit impetuosity in conduct. This research is in contrast with an earlier study that asserted only casual users of cannabis displayed occasional recklessness. Essentially, this study suggests that with regular cannabis use, an individual opens the gates to addiction. It throws up similar trends in behavior for those who regularly indulge in cocaine abuse.

 

61 people participated in the Dutch study. Of these, some were regular users of cocaine while others only occasionally used cannabis. They were given both cannabis and cocaine for consumption, as well as a placebo, as a part of the controlled experiment. After consuming these, drugs or placebo, the participants were asked to execute actions that required prior thought. They were also asked to stop in the midst of certain jobs. The study assessed participants for critical thinking, divided attention, executive planning, and functioning.

 

Tests performed to gauge thinking skills before taking action revealed heightened impulsiveness leading to snap judgements and more errors when executing certain functions. Participants asked to stop in the middle of an act were slow in complying with the instruction; they required more time to convert thought into action.

 

Impulsive behavior as exhibited by regular cannabis users was different from that displayed by those that were habituated to cocaine. Cocaine users were quicker to make decisions and ceased actions faster when asked to; they showed an increase in mistakes committed in carrying out instructions. Cannabis users were slower to respond across all tasks and also registered an increase in errors. Diminishment of faculties being tested was often three times higher for regular cannabis users as compared to casual users.

 

This study sheds light on how regular use of pot and cocaine affects pathways in the brain, specifically the one that connects the frontal cortex and the limbic system that is responsible for the categorization of memory and emotional responses. One can conclude, on the basis of this study, that regular use of cannabis and cocaine impairs control in both these cerebral zones.

 

Sometimes the only way to understand your addiction to something like marijuana is to speak with an addiction counselor. Hired Power has staff on hand 24/7 to answer your calls so don’t hesitate to contact us.