Substance Use

Marijuana and Alcohol Substance Abuse

woman smoking marijuana joint and drinking beer

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Mixing Alcohol with Marijuana: What Are the Dangers?

Marijuana and alcohol share many of the same effects, including relaxation, impaired motor skills, and decreased inhibitions. However, they also have some very different effects. When these substances are taken together, these contrasting effects can cancel or intensify one another, leading to an unpredictable and potentially dangerous experience. In addition, both drugs impair judgment and decision making, leading to risky behaviors like driving while intoxicated. For these reasons, it’s essential to exercise extreme caution or avoid mixing alcohol and marijuana altogether.

Chronic marijuana and alcohol use can lead to mental health problems like anxiety and depression. These substances can also interfere with a person’s ability to function at work or school.

Thus, it is crucial for people who struggle with alcohol or drug use to get help.

Zinnia Health works with most insurance treatment providers, so there’s no need to worry about financing your substance abuse treatment. Call us today at (855) 430-9439 to learn how we can help you get your life back on track.

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What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana, also called cannabis, is a mind-altering drug with a wide range of effects. It is generally smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes, called joints, or in pipes or water pipes, called bongs. It can also be mixed with food or brewed as a tea. It contains a range of chemical substances called cannabinoids. The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC.

Marijuana has been used for centuries for its psychoactive effects. Today it is used both recreationally and medicinally. Some people use marijuana to relax or feel euphoric, while others use it to treat conditions like pain, anxiety, and nausea.

Marijuana can have adverse side effects, such as dizziness, paranoia, and impaired coordination. It can also be addictive for some people. 

When Mixing Marijuana and Alcohol

Mixing alcohol and marijuana is common among young adults like college students, but it can have dangerous consequences. When the two are combined, the effects of each are heightened, which can lead to impaired judgment and poor decision making. 

In addition, mixing alcohol and marijuana can increase the risk of dehydration and vomiting. The combination can also intensify anxiety and paranoia, making it difficult to control motor skills.

As a result, mixing alcohol and marijuana can be a recipe for disaster.

Long-Term Effects of Mixing Marijuana and Alcohol

Marijuana use can result in long-term changes in brain structure and function. These changes can persist even after you stop using the drug. The effects of alcohol can also lead to long-term impairment in brain structure and function. 

So when someone mixes the two substances, they are essentially doubling down on the potential for long-term damage. Some specific risks associated with combining alcohol and marijuana include impaired memory and learning, reduced IQ, anxiety, depression, and addiction.

Why Do People Mix Marijuana and Alcohol?

There are many reasons why people might choose to mix marijuana and alcohol. For some, the combination of the two substances provides a more intense high than either one on its own. Others may find that the effects of marijuana are more pleasant when combined with alcohol. Additionally, some people may believe that mixing the two substances will help to counteract the negative effects of each one. However, it is important to note that combining marijuana and alcohol can also have harmful consequences. The two substances can interact in unpredictable ways, and the combination can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. For these reasons, it is essential to be cautious when mixing marijuana and alcohol.

What Are Some of the Short-Term Effects of Marijuana?

Researchers do not yet fully understand the short-term or long-term effects of cannabis on human health. However, smoking marijuana can have many harmful effects on the user’s physical and mental health.

Short-term effects of marijuana include:

  • Problems with memory and learning
  • Distorted perception
  • Difficulty in thinking and problem solving
  • Impaired coordination
  • Anxiety

Marijuana also affects the user’s heart rate, causing an increase of 20 to 50 beats per minute. In addition, marijuana use can result in psychotic symptoms such as paranoia and delusions.

What Are Some of the Long-Term Effects of Marijuana?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), long-term effects of marijuana include:

  • Addiction
  • Increased risk of chronic cough, bronchitis, and lung infections
  • Increased risk of cancers
  • Decreased fertility

People who use large amounts of marijuana may develop psychotic symptoms that persist even after they stop using it.

Finally, researchers have found a higher risk for testicular cancer in men who use marijuana regularly compared with men who have not used the drug. This risk appears to be highest among men who started using marijuana at a young age or those who smoke it frequently. Despite these risks, many people continue to smoke marijuana because they believe it positively affects their health or because they enjoy its psychoactive effects. Some people use it to relieve pain or anxiety, while others use it recreationally to experience its pleasant psychoactive effects. However, it is important to remember that cannabis use can have harmful short-term and long-term effects on your health.

If marijuana or alcohol use is having a negative impact on your life, Zinnia Health can help. There are a variety of treatment options available for those struggling with marijuana and alcohol use, including detox. Still, the most important first step is recognizing that there is a problem. Call us today at (855) 430-9439.

What Are the Effects of Marijuana on the Brain?

Short-term memory problems and difficulty concentrating are common side effects of smoking marijuana. These effects can last for days or weeks after someone stops smoking. Because THC impairs a person’s ability to remember recent events, regular users may find it difficult to recall things that happened shortly before they smoked the drug. In addition, THC affects areas of the brain that control balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time. As a result, people under the influence of marijuana cannot drive or operate machinery safely.

Marijuana use among adolescents is a growing concern. While the effects of marijuana on the developing brain are not fully understood, it is clear that using marijuana before the age of 18 can have lasting consequences. Studies have shown that marijuana use can impair attention, memory, and learning, and these effects may be even more pronounced in young people whose brains are still developing. As a result, youth who use marijuana may struggle in school and have difficulty remembering things.

This can profoundly impact their futures, making it difficult to obtain a good job or get into college. While more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of marijuana use, it is clear that adolescents should avoid using the drug. 

Zinnia Health Can Help

The bottom line is that drinking alcohol and consuming marijuana is a dangerous business. Combining the drugs imposes many potential risks, including impaired memory and learning, reduced IQ, anxiety, depression, and addiction.

Although alcohol and marijuana use is widespread, adverse effects, including addiction, are a reality for many people. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol dependence or drug abuse, reach out for help. Zinnia Health offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient programs to help people overcome substance abuse. We provide a safe and supportive environment where people can get the help they need to heal and recover.

Contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction programs.

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