America’s opinion on whether or not marijuana is dangerous, should be legalized, and their need for treatment for dependence upon the drug is now being tracked in a new and unique way: through an online tool called Google Trends. Others hope to use the tool as well, to track the interest in other drugs.
Why? A study that was presented at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence found that there was a link between the number of marijuana-related searches in a state and the use of the drug among residents.
Twenty marijuana-related search terms were included in the study, like “bong,” “THC,” “blunts,” cannabis,” and of course, “marijuana” and phrases like “smoke weed” or “smoke pot.”
Melissa Krauss was the study co-author. She said: “We looked at regional trends — differences across states in marijuana search terms, and then we compared those with marijuana abuse and dependence rates, people’s perception of availability of marijuana, and their perceptions of marijuana risks.”
Trends in Drug Use
As marijuana becomes legalized for medical use in more and more states, a number of problems are becoming an obvious issue. In the states where it is legal to use the drug:
- Teens are having an easier time accessing marijuana and more are abusing the drug as a result.
- More drugged driving accidents are occurring because drivers are under the influence of the drug.
- More and more people are citing marijuana as their drug of choice when they enter rehab.
- More people are being admitted to the ER for marijuana-related medical emergencies.
Legislators are trying to manage the problems by adjusting laws. For example, New York just legalized marijuana use for medicinal purposes in the state but put a number of restrictions into place in order to protect residents, including the fact that it can’t be smoked – only vaporized or eaten in the form of marijuana edibles. Other states are working to better define “drugged” driving when it comes to marijuana and put into place other limits that will keep residents safe as well.
Managing Marijuana Use
If your loved one is using marijuana legally or illegally and unable to manage the negative fallout, it may be time to seek help. Here at Alta Mira, we offer an intensive substance abuse and addiction treatment program that can assist your loved one in getting back on track by stopping the use of all drugs and alcohol and learning how to better cope with medical issues, mental health symptoms, and day-to-day stress. Call now to learn more.