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Can excessive pot smoking cause mental problems?

Feb 17, 2011

What problems will excessive pot smoking cause? If someone smokes from sun-up to sundown daily for years, besides physical problems, what type of mental issues, if any, occur?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

If someone is smoking from sun-up to sundown daily for years, I'd be more than a little concerned. Besides the problem with chronic smoke inhalation and the toxins it contains, there are some mental issues. Today's marijuana is significantly stronger than what was common even ten years ago, and consequently can more readily cause paranoia and even hallucinations. Besides a psychological dependence on the drug, it can also significantly affect short-term memory and motivation. There are also studies that document a negative impact among chronic users on evaluating outcomes and decision-making. Finally, research shows that the earlier someone starts smoking marijuana, there greater their risk of having serious addiction and/or mental health problems later in life.

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