Although there is some Hash use in the U.S., it is a popular drug for Canada and Europe with the largest suppliers being Asia (where the drug most likely originated and where it is commonly used), North Africa and the Middle East. In 2011 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police captured 94,798 pounds (43 metric tonnes) of Hashish that was in route to Halifax and Montreal.
But, what is hash and is it addictive? Hash or Hashish is resin derived from the cannabis plant that is formed into balls, sticks blocks or in a liquid form in which a few drops are applied to a cigarette and smoked. Hash can be ingested; its most popular method is baked into brownies and eaten.
In Hash, the THC (tetrahydroccanbinol), the active ingredient in the drug is in its purest and most concentrated form. The results are that less is needed to achieve euphoria than from marijuana. Some say this potent form makes Hash more habit forming than Marijuana with tolerance developing with “chronic use,” which will require more of the drug with each use in order to achieve the same feeling as with previous use.
Hashish reacts in the body similar to how sedatives work and results in a relaxed and mellow sensation. Typical signs of Hash use are: short term memory loss, lack of coordination, relaxed inhibitions, concentration problems, perception problems, impaired speech, judgment, lack of motivation, learning dysfunction, as well as increased heart rate, panic attacks, anxiety and irritability.
Habitual users of Hashish, especially in younger groups may lose interests in extracurricular activities, career or academic goals and friends who do not use the drug. They may stop participating in prior organized sports and their grades may suffer or they may begin to have problems at work.
Long term use of Hashish has the same side effects as Marijuana. Hash users may develop respiratory and pulmonary problems such as chronic bronchitis, phlegm and cough and are prone to pneumonia. Chronic and excessive Hash users may also develop certain types of cancers. Habitual users may develop hallucinations or paranoia along with insomnia, weight loss from a reduced appetite, anxiety and irritability, abdominal pain, sweats and tremors, and hyperactivity.
There are several methods for overcoming Hash use, such as 12 steps programs; however these programs teach that drug use is addictive by an unstoppable disease which promotes the idea of failure and hopelessness. In fact most rehabs use the 12 steps, which have been proven to be less than 5% successful. Which means that people have the same chance of getting better if they tried to stop on their own.
The St. Jude Retreat Program is a non-treatment, non-12 steps program that offers a six week, cognitive behavioral education program. The program is extremely different than drug rehabs offered today and uses no treatment or disease theory concepts. The St. Jude program teaches guests to use self change and self assessment to make choices and to develop behaviors that are enhancing and enriching. Our guests discover that they can have a life that is permanently free from any drug such as Hash use.