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Heavy marijuana users more likely to end up with low-paying jobs: Study

Too much of anything is bad and the same holds true for the commonly abused drug marijuana. The prevalence of marijuana use has been steadily increasing in the country with many researches confirming that heavy marijuana use can fog up the brain, leading to a state of perplexity and confusion. This condition can result in inadequacies in skills, yielding diminishing chances of job prospects as adults, say experts.

A recent study, titled “Persistent Cannabis Dependence and Alcohol Dependence Represent Risks for Midlife Economic and Social Problems: A Longitudinal Cohort Study,” found an association between regular marijuana use and negative job possibilities as adults. The study, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science in March 2016, was conducted on 950 people whose details from birth till midlife were recorded.

The study aimed at examining and evaluating a link between the use of cannabis and the dependence of respondents aged between 18 and 38, and the consequent prospective social and economic problems of the participants aged 38. The study based on four decades of data collected in New Zealand took into account the social and economic details of the participants along with their detailed assessments when they were aged 3, 5, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38.

Study findings

The findings pointed out that the respondents fared worse than their parents with many of them managing to gain employment that paid less, required fewer skills and were less reputable. The study also pointed to the fact that heavy marijuana users who had participated in the study were in a heightened likelihood to face financial difficulties inclusive of food insecurity and debt.

Lead investigator and associate professor at the University of California, Davis, the Oregonian of Portland, Magdalena Cerda said, “The rest of the people in the study who were not regular and persistent cannabis users ended up in a higher social class than their parents.”

It was found that cannabis addicts were at an increased risk of facing more social problems. Cerda said, “They experienced more antisocial behavior at work such as lying to get a job or stealing money and more relationship problems such as intimate partner violence or controlling behavior towards their partner.”

While studying the nature of problems that persistent marijuana users face during adulthood, the researchers took into account various factors, such as intelligence, family structure, gender, ethnicity, parental substance abuse, criminal convictions, antisocial behavior and depression in childhood.

Significance and limitations

These observations are important as they shed light on how marijuana dependence can impair a person’s senses, thus diminishing his chances of a better life ahead. Stressing on the importance of the findings, Dr. Colin Roberts, a pediatric neurologist at Oregon Health & Science University and a member of Oregon’s Cannabis Research Task Force created to study medical marijuana, said, “It’s a good study. They established an association that’s pretty compelling.”

The findings are worth considering as more and more states in America are gradually legalizing its use as an alternative option for pain. While 23 states and the District of Columbia have already legalized marijuana in some form, there are others who are making the necessary amendments in decriminalizing certain marijuana possession offences.

The limitations of the study lie in the fact that the findings only point to the existing association but could not foresee the correlation. Those arguing in favor of the legalization of pot highlight that though the effects of alcohol on a regular basis are lethal, drinking is not yet illegal under the American law. The study, which also focused on the impact of alcohol, disclosed that the effects of marijuana have a greater impact on midlife prospects.

Road to recovery

Complete recovery from any kind of addiction is difficult, though not impossible. The road to complete convalescence from drug dependence takes a lot of time and patience along with an urgent need to seek the advice of a certified medical practitioner who makes use of a combination of various behavioral and pharmacological therapeutic interventions for treatment purposes.

The Texas Drug Addiction Treatment offers high quality and comprehensive evidence-based treatment programs for adults and adolescents, including support services for family members. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-5757 or chat online for further information.

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