A leading health expert told BBC’s Newsbeat that Cannabis addiction is in Class A’s shadow and should be considered to be as serious as drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
Doctor Adam Winstock, founder of the Global Drug Survey, the world’s biggest drug poll said that Cannabis can be as tough to give up as heroin and that more money needs to be invested in helping people who are addicted to cannabisstop; or at least use it more safely.
What is cannabis?
Cannabis is the most commonly used drug in the UK, which comes from parts of a cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as its main active ingredient. The higher the amount of THC, the stronger the effects will be.
What effect does it have?
Research shows that 50% to 60% of dependent users have serious withdrawal symptoms when they come off the substance. Smoking cannabis long term can cause lung disease and possibly cancer, especially if you mix it with tobacco.
It has also been linked with mental health problems and has been known to increase the risk of paranoia and developing psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia. Cannabis is also known to make some people feel faint or sick, sleepy and lethargic.
Many users also find it affects their memory, making it harder to remember things.
Possession or supply of Cannabis can give you a criminal record
Cannabis is a class B drug and carries a maximum prison sentence of five years for possession and up to 14 years for supply and production.
You can also receive an unlimited fine for possession, supply or production even for use for pain relief. Giving it to friends, even if they aren’t paying for it is also considered illegal.
How to get help for cannabis addiction?
The class B drug is one of the most difficult drugs to give up which means that its extremely important that the right help is available to all regular users and that Cannabis addiction is taken seriously and not lurking in class A’s shadow.
If you have decided to give up cannabis or are worried about a friend, colleague or family member, this is your opportunity to change their lives.
Help them recover from addiction so they can lead a happier and healthier lifestyle you can learn more about recovery skills and relapse prevention strategies or look for counsellors and clinics which can offer a number of therapies.
Find the orginal BBC article here.