February 26, 2020

Marijuana More Dangerous to Teenage Brains Than Alcohol

A brand-new study just released October 2018 has determined that marijuana is even more dangerous to still-maturing teenage brains than alcohol. These results come as a major surprise, even to the researchers, who admitted, “We initially suspected alcohol would have a bigger effect.”

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, involved nearly 4000 students and took four years to complete. The average starting age of the participants was 13 years old.

Considerable Impairment

Each year of the study, the students self-reported their drug and alcohol use and took tests to check their memory.  Researchers looked at four areas of cognitive function:

  • Short-term memory
  • Long-term memory
  • The ability to solve problems
  • The ability to stop harmful habitual behaviors

University of Montreal Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Patricia Conrod, who lead the study, said that cannabis use has a “significant” negative effect on all four areas. Alcohol, conversely, was not linked to any negative impact.

The usage rates were also revealing.

By the study’s fourth year, 3 out of 4 students admitted to using alcohol at least occasionally, while less than 1 in 3 had tried marijuana. But there were more youths who reported daily marijuana use than there were who said they drank every day.

Even more troubling was the specific finding that teenage marijuana use evidently causes long-term damage to the parts of the brain associated with a person’s ability to consciously alter their behavior in order to meet a goal. Furthermore, this impairment is closely linked to poor impulse control and substance abuse. This explains why using marijuana while underage leads to an increased risk of Substance Use Disorders during adulthood.

Why is this Study So Important?

This revealing study further highlights the inescapable fact that despite all of the anecdotal reports to the contrary,  actual scientific studies clearly show that marijuana is not as completely safe as supporters claim. Because while this particular research only focused on younger teenagers, we already knew that human brains continue to mature until the mid-twenties. Consequently, marijuana’s negative effects—including an increased risk for SUD—are greatly magnified all the way through young adulthood.

Of special relevance, heavy chronic marijuana use produces lasting consequences to physical and mental health. For example, adolescent pot smokers PERMANENTLY lose up to 8 IQ points.

Here’s the bottom line—teenage marijuana use is much more than “experimentation”. It is a dangerous habit that have seriously and negatively affect the rest of their life.

If you are concerned about your child’s use of marijuana, Teensavers can help. As the leading teen-focused drug rehab in Orange County, California,  Teensavers uses proven evidence-based treatment strategies that address the unique needs faced by youths and families in crisis because of the disease of addiction.

Since 1978, Teensavers has provided premier residential drug rehab for teenagers in Southern California. If you want to know how our unique approach can help your family, contact Teensavers TODAY.

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