Tag Archives: marijuana use

Early Marijuana Use Related to Later Illicit Drug Abuse

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)According to recent data from the Center for Substance Abuse Research, adults who first started using marijuana at or before the age of 14 are most likely to have abused or been dependent on illicit drugs in the past year. Adults who first used marijuana at age 14 or younger were six times more likely to meet the criteria for past year illicit drug abuse or dependence.

According to Gary Pearce, Director of Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, “this research confirms that marijuana is a gateway drug for most teens that use it. Some will tell you marijuana is a harmless drug, but the Journal of the American Medical Association isn’t one of them. Young people who smoke marijuana are two to five times more likely to move on to harder drugs. That is the formal opinion of researchers, who published their conclusions from a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.”

Parents further need to be aware of the other dangers of marijuana. Despite youth and adult perceptions of marijuana, studies shows that the main chemical present in marijuana, THC, adversely affects human brain and mental health. In addition, regular use of marijuana shows the same respiratory problems as cigarette smoking, increases the risk of heart attack, increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck, and affects the immune system’s ability to fight disease.

Mr. Pearce also advised that studies show parents significantly underestimate their teenagers’ use of drugs. Nearly 35 % of high school seniors use marijuana, while only five percent of parents believed their teens had used marijuana over the past year.

For further information on the dangers of marijuana and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or info@talbotpartnership.org. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

 

Marijuana Use Continues to Increase as Perceived Risk of Use Decreases Among U.S. High School Seniors

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)According to a recent report from the Center for Substance Abuse Research, the percentage of U.S. high school seniors reporting past month marijuana use continues to gradually increase. According to the most recent data from the national Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, in 2012, 22.9% of 12th graders reported using marijuana in the past month, a 25% increase since the most recent low of 18.3% in 2006.

While the current prevalence of marijuana use is far below the peak of 37.1% in 1978, it has returned to a level not seen since the late 1990s. According to the study’s principal investigator, “one important variable that has been a lead indicator of use—namely the amount of risk teenagers perceived to be associated with marijuana use—continued its sharp decline in 2012 among teens, which would suggest further increases in use in the future” (University of Michigan, 2012). The percentage of high school seniors who thought there was a great risk of harm from regular marijuana use decreased from 57.9% in 2006 to 44.1% in 2012—the lowest level since 1979. Dr. Robert DuPont, the first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), suggests that “the recent legalization of marijuana use . . . in Colorado and Washington State, and the legalization of ‘medical’ marijuana in 18 states and the District of Columbia will lead to further decreases in youth perception of risk from harm”.

According to Gary Pearce, Director of Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, parents need to be aware of these trends. Despite youth and adult perceptions of marijuana, studies shows that the main chemical present in marijuana, THC, adversely affects human brain and mental health. In addition, regular use of marijuana shows the same respiratory problems as cigarette smoking, increases the risk of heart attack, increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck, and affects the immune system’s ability to fight disease.

Mr. Pearce also advised that studies show parents significantly underestimate their teenagers’ use of drugs. Nearly 35 % of high school seniors use marijuana, while only five percent of parents believed their teens had used marijuana over the past year.

For further information on the dangers of prescription marijuana and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or info@talbotpartnership.org. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.