Day 51 Movember and Addiction
I’ll preface this blog by stating that I don’t really care what people in their thirties and above do to their bodies. They have heard and seen enough evidence to know what drugs (legal, prescription and otherwise) can do to their body. So if it’s “important” for a 40 year old to seek a joint, I don’t really care. But when the law is changing (in Canada) it is giving tacit “permission” that it’s okay for youth aged 18 years to start experimenting with a new “distraction”…..despite what it may do to their mental and physical health and their learning.
It’s great that some feel that marijuana has ‘relaxing properties’ and have inspired artists like Jimmy Hendrix…..who died at 29…..and is actually very good an enhancing paranoia – which mixes perfectly with anyone working with anxiety…
And yes I’m biased because my father smoked cigarettes and died way too young….and I have seen how alcohol and prescription drugs can be misused – and when I think about people mixing prescription drugs with Illegal (or soon to be legal) narcotics without the knowledge or support of a medically trained doctor or pharmacist, it makes me more than a little nervous.
People like to say that marijuana isn’t addictive – much in the same way opioids aren’t supposed to be – and to me when people start talking about alcohol as a comparison for “problems” it usually makes me think that there may have been a point to prohibition…..I freely admit that alcohol leads to many social problems – and just as anything, just because it’s a problem for some does not necessarily mean it should be banned for all. Again I feel age has a role to play – I know some people have bad reactions to certain types of alcohol – though society seems to (currently) joke about the excess of wine consumed at the end of a tough day – it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?
Or it’s 420 somewhere right? It’s interesting that while the pro-marijuana legalization group talks a lot about the funds raised through taxation all the groups (provinces health law education) are saying that the dollars projected are not nearly enough….and they aren’t and won’t ever be enough – especially with the prevalence of fentanyl making using drugs a deadly gamble every time. But nobody likes to talk about the costs of that…..
As the Globe and Mail pointed out when legislation of cannabis was starting up: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/your-kids-brain-on-pot-the-real-effects-of-marijuana-on-teens/article21127612/
Like it or not, the younger the user, the greater the hijacking of the brain functions marijuana can do on teens – and these are permanent….and affect executive functioning (decision making, goal setting, organization, etc)….so “relaxing” isn’t part of marijuana – it increases brain activity which changes the structure of the brain (especially altering regions connected to emotions and reward processing….even with “casual” use.
So what’s the big deal? the brain. It’s a big deal. Many like to believe that self medicating with cannabis helps them be “less anxious” or help them deal with other mental health issues – but marijuana can provoke psychosis ….. so a short term lull can lead to adding paranoia onto an already anxious brain….
So again, in mens health, it can sometimes feel “good” to ‘get lit’ or ‘have a glass’ or…or…or… but in the longer run, those short term attempts to “fix the pain” are making it harder and harder for the brain to authentically deal with what is causing the pain. Making healthier choices (walking/running/music) can often have positive impacts on the brain …just takes more of an effort to get there….
And other than Reefer Madness, marijuana has always been helped by movies (and tv as more states and Canada look at legalizing marijuana) which have moved from the “fringe” Cheech & Chong movies to more mainstream efforts by Seth Rogin et al (and are very funny) but there has been a shift to make it seem like it’s no worse than smoking….but if we think about it we have become aware of the notable health risks when inhaling pretty much any type of smoke. And when toying with edibles….we’ll do far there hasn’t been much/any regulations and while a poorly mixed clump of baking soda may be unpleasant….a poorly mixed narcotic can have very negative results….and if a child thinks it’s a regular two-bite brownie….even worse.
Again in my opinion age is a big factor – but even that worries me. If men are choosing to use marijuana, even/especially if it becomes legal or is essential to be forthright and honest with your medical professionals in order to ensure that the mixing of prescription and alternative chemicals don’t have negative implications. It’s something to talk about and keep in mind when making decisions. Just because something is legal does not mean it should be….and it’s definitely not for all. Mental health is an easy target to addiction. So please….be mindful of what goes into your body.
And for the first time I am willing to raise money for men’s health month – but really just want to raise awareness and spark some conversations
That’s why I’m not shaving this Movember!