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Smoking marijuana could affect the way people walk, finds study

Posted on 09-06-2017 Posted in Addiction Treatment, Marijuana, Treatment - 0 Comments

The perception surrounding marijuana use by Americans has changed in the past few years. From viewing it solely as a recreational drug to advocating its use for medicinal purposes, federal agencies have witnessed a massive transformation in people’s attitudes about cannabis. Researchers have carried out studies focusing on possible effects of regular marijuana use. While some scientists have warned against potential adverse effects of regular marijuana use, there are others who have negated the validity of such observations labeling them unfounded and biased.

Now, a group of researchers at the University of South Australia has suggested that marijuana use can change the way people walk. The researchers in their study titled “History of cannabis use is associated with altered gait” found that weed smokers walked differently than those who did not smoke. Elucidating the findings published recently in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Verity Pearson-Dennett, one of the co-authors, said it is difficult for a neurologist specializing in movement disorders to detect subtle changes in walking in pot users.

Analyzing walking speed of marijuana users

The researchers compared drug-taking habits of 22 marijuana users with 22 others who did not take any kind of drugs. The cannabis users had taken the drug on more than five occasions but had shown no inclination of abusing prescription drugs. The researchers paid attention to prolonged alterations in cognitive behavior and mental health. Examination of the participants showed slight distinctions in the way they walked. The study found that the cannabis users moved their knees at greater speed while swinging their leg forward to walk, tending to move their shoulders lesser. However, the researchers could not discern any kind of difference in walking speed or balance.

Stressing the significance of the observations, Pearson-Dennett said, “The main take away message is that use of cannabis can result in subtle changes in the way that you move. However, many of the participants in the cannabis group were moderate-to-light cannabis users; therefore heavier cannabis users may have greater impairments.” Though the small sample size of the study calls for further research, it does show the adverse effect of marijuana on the physical health of its users.

High prevalence of marijuana use in US

According to the latest survey by the Marist Poll, more than half of the people aged 18 years and above — 52 percent of the adult population — have smoked cannabis in the U.S. Though several states have decriminalized medical and recreational marijuana, people should be made aware of the fact that it is a mind-altering substance that can adversely affect one’s health. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main ingredient in cannabis that induces psychoactive changes in the body and triggers cravings in chronic users.

Marijuana is known to stay in the system for a longer period of time, exposing the individual to several health hazards. Research shows that prolonged use of weed can cause short-term memory loss and chronic smoking can damage the respiratory tract.

Recovery is just a call away

Addiction to marijuana can be treated with timely medical intervention. If a person is grappling with pot abuse, he/she should immediately seek professional help from a reputed mental health care provider. Sovereign Health is a leading marijuana drug addiction treatment center that offers programs focusing on both physical and psychological effects of marijuana withdrawal.

A comprehensive treatment for marijuana addiction at Sovereign Health of Florida’s state-of-the-art facilities includes detoxification under medical supervision followed by behavioral therapies. Help is extended during the rehabilitation process too. In addition to traditional therapies, both our Fort Myers and Pompano Beach facilities in Florida offer experiential therapies like yoga, meditation and music therapy. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with one of our representatives for further assistance.

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The dual diagnosis program was what attracted me to Sovereign Health. My therapist was always open for discussion and the group sessions were very informative and educational.

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