Marijuana Abuse Rates in Australia

Marijuana Abuse Rates in Australia

Marijuana, which is also known as cannabis, is a drug that comes from the Indian hemp plant. The active chemical in marijuana is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is a central nervous system depressant that slows the messages going between the body and the brain. Large doses of marijuana can also cause hallucinations. Most people use marijuana by smoking marijuana cigarettes. Marijuana can also be heated and smoked through a vaporizer or baked into foods like cookies or brownies. Marijuana is a widely-used recreational drug in Australia and is considered a gateway drug to other drug use that can lead to addiction.

Marijuana and Addiction

Marijuana has long been considered a gateway drug to substance abuse. Although marijuana users do not develop a physical dependence on the drug, they can develop an addiction to how the drug makes them feel. Because marijuana tolerance does not require using more of the drug to get the same effect, many users often turn to other more powerful drugs to increase their drug experience. Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse recently found that use of THC actually increases the risk of nicotine dependence. These results show that marijuana may now also be a gateway drug to cigarettes, which are much more addictive and kill far more people than marijuana.

Marijuana in Australia

According to the Australia Drug Foundation, over 35.4 percent of Australians 12 years of age and older have used marijuana in their lifetime. There are federal and state laws in Australia that provide penalties for possessing, selling, using, cultivating or driving under the influence of marijuana. In some states and territories, these laws also prohibit the sale of any marijuana smoking equipment. Marijuana-related offences carry stiff penalties, including fines, loss of driving privileges and imprisonment. Some states and territories offer alternative sentencing programs where those with drug problems can receive treatment rather than spending time in jail. Australia works to decrease the use of marijuana and other illicit drugs through the national drug policy, which emphasizes the harm drugs do to individuals and communities.

Finding Help for Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana abuse can lead to the use of other more powerful drugs and increase your risk of drug addiction. If you or a loved one abuses marijuana, we are here to help. Call our toll-free number to speak to a helpline counselor. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about addiction and help you find a treatment program.