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SD Man Warns Of Marijuana Use

February 26, 2014, 7:18 AM by Stephanie Gregory

SD Man Warns Of Marijuana Use

A man who smoked weed for nearly three decades before getting clean says he doesn't want to see people get more access to the drug.

"I got 28 years of smoking marijuana behind me and it's affected my ability to process my thinking," Terry Barton, who works at Keystone Treatment Center, said.

Barton now shares his story of drug abuse with others struggling. 

"It affected my ability to have a lot of ambition. When I smoked marijuana, I enjoyed sitting on the couch and watching TV and eating," Barton said.

Barton decided to kick the habit in 2000, but not after a long, hard road.

"Good things happen to people who have energy and marijuana never gave me any energy. It consumed me," Barton said.

As for being addicted to weed, some may believe it's not possible but Keystone's Adolescent Unit Program Director Christy Alten-Osmera and Barton himself believe differently.

"When addiction develops, it can be daily, everyday, all day and it can take a long time for the fog to clear in their brain," Alten-Osmera said.

"It affected my ability to work. When I was at work, I would think about it and obsess over it all day long, that's part of the addiction of smoking marijuana," Barton said.

After getting clean, Barton now has enough energy to hold two jobs and share his struggles with pot.

"Once I stopped smoking it and started getting clean, my life started to change to the point where I had more energy and more ambition and my thinking did clear," Barton said.

But, he says he still feels the consequences of his drug use every single day.

"I've been in recovery for 13 years now and I still feel the effects of smoking marijuana," Barton said.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, back in 2012, 4.5 million people in the United States met the clinical criteria for marijuana abuse or dependence.

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