Tip 15: Marijuana
What are the dangers of drinking and smoking a little weed together? It’s the only thing that really seems to help me relax.
Eddie G., Connecticut College, Freshman
When combining alcohol with marijuana, your impairment level increases significantly Eddie. That may not be something that you would necessarily label as “wrong” but it does put you at a greater risk for impairment problems (falls, miscommunication, impaired driving, poor judgment, etc.). It is estimated that the degree of impairment for someone who combines alcohol with marijuana is double what would be expected for that person’s BAL. In other words, if someone smokes marijuana and drinks alcohol to a BAL of .08%, that person’s actual impairment level is more like someone who has a BAL of .16%. And of course, the nature of impairment is such that the person will not be able to identify him/herself as that impaired.
Eddie, what concerns me in your question is the line “the only thing that really helps me to relax.” I suggest you pursue other activities to help you relax that are potentially less harmful. For instance try working out in the gym, yoga or running. Other activities such as rock climbing and the martial arts provide great outlets for pent up tensions. Obviously all of these activities don’t give easy access to the immediate relaxation provided by alcohol or other drugs but ultimately they can provide a tension release and a much more relaxed lifestyle. Visit your Student Activities Office to see what clubs or organizations may conduct these or other types of activities that may interest you. Or, if your need for relaxation is connected with some emotional challenges, check with the Health Services and/or Counseling Office on your campus.
When someone is impaired due to a psychoactive drug such as marijuana or alcohol, the nature of the impairment is such that it blinds the user to the true degree of impairment.