Samples Health Alcohol and Marijuana

Alcohol and Marijuana

925 words 4 page(s)

For years many people all across the globe have taken part in either consuming alcoholic beverages or smoking marijuana. Numerous studies have been conducted concerning the two aforementioned products, most of which shed light on the many negative impacts of both substances. The National Institute on Drug Abuse and The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have released information concerning both substances commenting on their usage and effects.

The term “marijuana” is used in reference to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and sees of the plant Cannabis Sativa. This drug uses mind altering chemicals like THC and can be concentrated into an oil or bar. marijuana is the most commonly used and abused drug in the United States of America. This drug is illegal in most states and carries a hefty fine or prison sentence when a person is caught carrying or using the drug. The overall use of the drug has substantially increased in the last 10 years and shows no sign of slowing down. Two states in the nation have made the use of marijuana by those who are over 21 legal. 20 states have legalized the drug when used for medical purposes. The Federal Government considers the substance to have no medical purpose and is at higher risk for abuse by users.

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Marijuana is usually smoked from either a water bong, pipe, or hand rolled cigarette called a joint. Although there are many other ways to smoke marijuana; people will ingest the drug mixed in with food or drink marijuana as a tea.

When smoking marijuana, the THC in the drug immediately passes into the lungs of the smoker, where it then absorbs into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream THC is carried to different organs in the body, including the brain. When the drug is ingested orally, the THC responds much slower and is not spread throughout the body so quickly. When THC is ingested however, the drug runs throughout the brain and activates the part of the brain controlling the adrenal gland. This obviously, inhibits normal brain development and function. The effects of marijuana use can lead to effects on thinking and memory loss to people who are younger and are using; these effects can be permanent. The “high” marijuana users feel is an overload of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

Although most people will tell a person marijuana is not addictive in the least, this is not true. Marijuana is addictive and studies suggest 9 percent of users become addicted and is increased when the user starts young. People who use marijuana daily have an addiction rate of about 25-50 percent. Long time abusers and users experience withdraws when they finally kick the habit, if they ever do. Although no medicines exist to assist in the withdraw process, one is currently under development.

Research has shown, marijuana inhibits a person’s daily life. Typically, a person uses the drug to escape from a problem, when the dug will usually make the problem worse in the long run. Typically, the users have degenerative mental health, less academic and career success, and are more likely to drop out of school.

Alcohol is another commonly abused drug. This drug however can have some upsetting results. Over consumption of alcohol can lead to death, the body will try to fix itself before this point, usually, by expelling all or most of the person’s stomach or digestive contents. Basically, the human body is informing the abuser, the body has had enough.

According to a study performed in 2012, almost 88 percent of people over the age of 18, surveyed, reported consuming alcohol; many of whom had consumed the drug in the last month. Almost 2,000 college students die per year from alcohol related injuries including the crashes of motor vehicles. Almost 700,000 have reported being assaulted by another student who was drinking alcohol and almost 100,000 rape cases are reported yearly due to alcohol related sexual assault.

About 12 percent of pregnant women have reported drinking while pregnant, and 2 percent have reported binge drinking while pregnant. Drinking while pregnant can cause serious deformities and birth defects in children. Not only this, but drinking while pregnant can easily make the pregnancy much more difficult.

Drinking too much alcohol can be extremely upsetting to the human body. Alcohol interferes with the brains communication pathways and can seriously injure the brain and the way it works. Drinking too much alcohol can also deeply affect the heart. By drinking too much, a person can form cardiomyopathy, which is the stretching and sagging of the heart muscle when pumping blood. Alcohol can also lead to irregular heartbeats, stroke, and high blood pressure. Typically, the liver is the first thing to feel the effects of the alcohol. A drinker can develop a fatty liver, hepatitis, fibrosis, or cirrhosis. Alcohol also deeply weakens your immune system and can cause cancer.

Drinking and smoking marijuana may seem like a fun way to pass the time, and maybe in small amounts it is. But, research has shown both things are terrible for the individual consuming the drug. Consuming these drugs can alter a person’s mental and physical state and can lead to serious health issues. The cessation of consumption seems to be the only realistic answer in order to protect the health of the individual.

  • Alcohol’s Effects on the Body. (n.d.).National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Retrieved May 10, 2014, from
  • DrugFacts: Marijuana. (n.d.). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Retrieved May 10, 2014, from