Marijuana Use in Africa

Marijuana Use in Africa

Marijuana is the most widely used illegal substance in the world. Also called pot or cannabis, the drug causes a person to feel “high” by producing sensations and emotions that include the following:

  • Happiness
  • Hunger
  • Silliness
  • Peace

People who are vulnerable to mental illness may also experience more negative emotions, such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia. These reactions are related to marijuana’s interactions with certain brain chemicals, including the neurotransmitter dopamine.

The belief that marijuana is not addictive is incorrect. Although many users never become addicted, a significant percentage of individuals do become physically dependent and experience withdrawal unless they continue to use the drug. Several common symptoms of addiction include the following:

  • Cravings
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disruption
  • Fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Worsening depression

Contrary to popular belief, individuals do not need to “hit bottom” before they get sober. In fact, people who seek assistance quickly—before physical and psychological dependence become too severe—benefit from improved chances of recovering and preventing relapses.

Marijuana Use in Africa

According to the United Nations, 158.8 million people around the world—nearly 3.8 percent of the total population—use marijuana. Africa is a production area, a transit territory, and a consumer market for marijuana consumption, and use is on the rise. Several key facts about marijuana use in Africa include the following:

  • South Africa is one of the leading producers of marijuana in the world.
  • Marijuana is the main cash crop in Lesotho, a small country surrounded by South Africa.
  • In war-torn countries, such as Congo, illicit crops have become the prize of rural conflicts.
  • In some parts of Africa, smoking pot is considered necessary in order to withstand physically demanding labor.
  • Nigeria ranked number four in the world after Mexico, the United States, and Bolivia for rate of marijuana seizures.
  • Ugandan police destroyed over 2,257 kilograms of marijuana in 2007, compared to 20 kilograms of heroin.

Cannabis is in great supply because it is a weed that is easy to grow. Another reason for popular demand of the drug is that many people erroneously believe marijuana is a “light” drug. In reality, marijuana is becoming more potent in developed countries because of new cultivation methods that produce stronger plants.

Help for Marijuana Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from addiction to marijuana, we can help. Admissions coordinators are available at our toll-free, 24 hour support line to guide you to wellness. Please call today.