What Are the Long Term Effects of Marijuana Addiction?

Marijuana is a hard drug that is commonly cultivated in most part of Nigeria notably in Edo, Delta and Ondo State because of their soil texture. It is a banned substance as far as the health authorities are concerned in Nigeria. The body responsible for ensuring that this narcotic drug is completely eliminated in the country is the National Drug law enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

One of the major health implications of prolonged use of this hard substance is insomnia. This is a condition whereby an individual finds it extremely difficult to fall asleep. The course of this anomaly has to do with the negative reaction of the substance with the blood. When it is absorbed in the blood, it increases the rate of the heart beat and eventually creates distortion in the thinking pattern of the user. In that state, the user finds it difficult to focus or sleep comfortably.

Secondly, it can lead to insanity of the end-user if not properly controlled. There have been steady increases in the cases of users who have had to be referred to psychiatric hospitals and medical health centers due to their violent disposition as a result of marijuana consumption. My younger brother once indulged in the smoking of marijuana and before we knew what was happening, he started exhibiting some strange behavior which was quickly arrested by prompt personal intervention of the family.

The drug is known by some local slang in Nigeria. Some popular names of the weed include- igbo, wewe, ganja, kuma and Indian hemp. It can be consumed via several means including:

smoking
cooking
chewing

Another major implication of consuming the drug for a very long time is the possibility of contracting lung cancer. Though the statistics are not yet tabulated, there have been reported cases of individuals who have fallen victim as a result of constant usage. The Nigeria Medical Association has always been at the fore front in terms of enlightenment campaign on the inherent danger of consuming these hard drugs.

The average users are always youths and teenagers with some loyal adults who have become addicted to the substance over the years. The rise in crime rate in most urban/rural areas can also be traced to heavy consumption of Marijuana and other related drugs. In most cases, gang members use this substance to stimulate their emotions before going for an operation.

The late Afro beat King- Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a well-known figure who indulged in the illicit use of Marijuana while performing on stage. He always had a retinue of followers/disciples coming around his popular African Shrine daily to patronize his Marijuana market. There were reported cases of frequent police raid in the shrine and the subsequent arrest of offenders. The influence of the substance in Fela Anikulapo Kuti was very visible, as he usually come on stage almost stack naked.