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How Does Marijuana Alter Decision-Making?

How Does Marijuana Alter Decision-Making?

Making decisions is something people do each and every day. Marijuana can alter decision-making because it changes the way people reach, think, and move forward in their lives following a decision. Disruptions in the normal use of the brain’s ability to process contribute to increased risk for developing a problem with decision-making.

Marijuana Use

Cannabis (also named marijuana, hashish and hashish oil) is a popular recreational drug noted for potential usefulness in limited medical circumstances. Use of marijuana is fairly common among a range of age groups. The potential harms of consuming marijuana in a recreational or medicinal context can include things like:

  • Long-term reduction in ability to think clearly
  • Long-term reduction in ability to understand multi-layered information
  • Increased risks of bronchitis or respiratory ailments
  • Short-term disruption of muscle coordination and awareness of possible contribution to accidental injury
  • Increased risks for onset of psychosis-like symptoms
  • Worsening existing symptoms of psychosis

Decision-making Fundamentals

Decision-making involves a multi-part process. Specific steps in the process include things like:

  • Recognizing the need for action
  • Acquiring information to fuel the problem-solving
  • Identifying potential choices
  • Calculating pros and cons
  • Getting a plan of attack
  • Acting and reflecting on the outcome later

Impact on Decision-Making

There are many ways a person’s brain can be impacted by the use of marijuana. This includes many functions of the brain, including:

  • Heavy users of marijuana use more of the brain’s overall work capacity
  • Some people have brain-based problems with normal decision-making that increases chances of consuming more of the drug and triggering cannabis-related health issues
  • The brain overall is slower and takes longer to process information

The brain can be trained to think differently in spite of drug use, depending how heavily a person used cannabis. If a person’s brain has permanent damage or lasting changes, it may take some extra tools and resources to support proper decision-making as the individual continues growing in recovery.

When a person needs help, they should call the experts. We are here to support your recovery with our team of professional staff who know and understand addiction and recovery, inside and out. If you are struggling, let us help you find tools and resources to live a better life. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401