Call us today

(662) 638 0015
Menu close
Get Help Now

Our Centers

  • Take the First Step in Las Vegas

    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

    Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center
  • A New Life Awaits

    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

    Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center
  • The Best Place to Recover in Orange County

    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

    Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital
  • Start Recovery at Our Southern Resort

    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

    Visit Oxford Treatment Center Visit Oxford Treatment Center
  • Recovery Forecast includes Tropical Weather

    Your recovery can start at either of two premier drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the Greater Miami area - Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, FL. Our specialties include treatment for veterans and first responders.

    Visit Recovery First Treatment Center Visit Recovery First Treatment Center
  • Sunny Florida Welcomes You

    Retreat to the sunny climate of Tampa, Florida for a stay at the gold standard of treatment facilities. We offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey.

    Visit River Oaks Treatment Center Visit River Oaks Treatment Center
  • Helping New Englanders Find Recovery for Over 30 years

    Escape to the countryside to recovery in New Jersey’s premier drug rehab & treatment center. Located only an hour from New York City.

    Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center

Myth #5: A Little Weed is Nothing to Worry About

What category does cannabis belong in?

Is smoking weed any different than winding down with a beer or two? Does it have more in common with hard drugs like cocaine? Or is it a “gateway drug” somewhere in between?

For Americans living in a time when cannabis is legal in some states — but not in others — answering those questions means wading through a mess of mixed messages.

Human resource managers, law enforcement officers and drug court personnel increasingly find their rules out of step with cultural attitudes. Friends and family members of those who use, too, struggle to know: Is smoking pot is a big deal, or nothing to worry about?

Anytime you have mixed cultural perceptions, the situation is set up for abuse or addiction,” said Billy Young, CEO of Oxford Treatment Center.

Young said the current cultural movement toward seeing cannabis as harmless doesn’t take into account the risks it can pose — especially for young people and for those who are already prone to addiction.

Billy Young Oxford CEO

CEO Billy Young


“People say, ‘It’s a recreational drug,’” Young said. “But the real issue is those individuals who already have a predisposition for addiction.


“When the genetics and environmental factors are already there, and someone smokes marijuana or drinks alcohol, it is going to progress into addiction. We know that about 8 percent of the population is prone to addiction. But unlike with cancer, we don’t yet have good tools to screen, prevent and intervene early.”

Among young people, marijuana use is very common and increasingly viewed as harmless. The most recent national survey data shows only 31 percent of high school seniors believe regular marijuana use is harmful. Back in 2000, 58 percent said that.

At Oxford Treatment Center, admissions are on the rise among young adults getting treatment for marijuana dependency. Meanwhile, the perception of marijuana as safe can be a stumbling block to recovery for those who’ve been addicted to other drugs or alcohol.

“From what I’ve seen clinically, when people in early recovery try to recreationally use marijuana, they usually return to their previous drug of choice and experience full-blown relapse,” said psychiatrist Stephen Pannel, DO, medical director.

“From a treatment perspective, it is very hard to get young patients to understand the importance of abstinence from marijuana, given the context of state legalization, medicinal use and growing acceptance.”

Even for those not prone to addiction, the newer, more-potent forms of pot can cause short-term effects like hallucinations and psychosis. Marijuana use also affects brain development. For teens who use it regularly, it can dull thinking, memory and learning functions. The damage may be permanent.

Some of the cannabis forms people use today are as much as 10 times more potent than the marijuana of the 1960s and ‘70s. They include extracts from the marijuana plant that are rich in THC, the chemical in marijuana that causes a high. These extracts can be a gooey liquid (honey oil), a soft solid (wax) or an amber-colored hard solid (shatter).

To learn more about marijuana use today, see resources from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at


This article originally appeared in the Sept. 3, 2017, edition of The Oxford Eagle newspaper.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Oxford Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More