Yet Another Study Finds That Cannabis Use Is Not Independently Linked With IQ Decline

Marijuana researchCannabis use by teens is not independently linked with adverse changes in intelligence quotient or executive functioning, according to longitudinal data published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction.

A team of investigators from the United States and the United Kingdom evaluated whether marijuana use is directly associated with changes over time in neuropsychological performance in a nationally representative cohort of adolescent twins. Authors reported that “family background factors,” but not the use of cannabis negatively impacted adolescents’ cognitive performance.

They wrote: “[W]e found that youth who used cannabis … had lower IQ at age 18, but there was little evidence that cannabis use was associated with IQ decline from age 12 to 18. Moreover, although cannabis use was associated with lower IQ and poorer executive functions at age 18, these associations were generally not apparent within pairs of twins from the same family, suggesting that family background factors explain why adolescents who use cannabis perform worse on IQ and executive function tests.”

Investigators concluded, “Short-term cannabis use in adolescence does not appear to cause IQ decline or impair executive functions, even when cannabis use reaches the level of dependence.”

Their findings are consistent with those of several other studies – including those here, here, here, and here – finding that cannabis use alone during adolescence does not appear to have a significant, direct adverse effect on intelligence quotient.

widely publicized and still often cited New Zealand study published in 2012 in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that the persistent use of cannabis from adolescence to adulthood was associated with slightly lower IQ by age 38. However, a follow up review of the data published later in the same journal suggested that the observed changes were likely due to socioeconomic differences, not the subjects’ use of cannabis. A later study by the initial paper’s lead investigator further reported that the effects of persistent adolescent cannabis use on academic performance are “non-significant after controlling for persistent alcohol and tobacco use.”

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

Young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence, found a study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth.

ER visits related to marijuana use at a Colorado hospital quadruple after legalization

Visits by teens to a Colorado children’s hospital emergency department and its satellite urgent care centers increased rapidly after legalization of marijuana for commercialized medical and recreational use, according to new research.

Depression, alcohol, and marijuana linked to later use of synthetic marijuana among teens

In the first prospective study of synthetic cannabinoids or SCs — the group of chemicals that mimic the effects of marijuana — researchers have found that symptoms of depression, drinking alcohol, or using marijuana was linked to an increased risk of SC use one year later.

Marijuana Use Continues Rapid Decline Among Younger Teens

no_marijuanaSelf-reported marijuana use continues to fall among younger teens, according to federally commissioned, nationwide survey data compiled by the University of Michigan.

Results from the 2016 edition of the Monitoring the Future survey find that marijuana use by 8th-graders and 10th-graders is declining year by year. Further, a greater percentage of younger teens now say that their ability to obtain marijuana is more difficult than ever before.

Marijuana use patterns among 12th-graders have held steady since 2011, the survey reported.

Approximately 50,000 students are surveyed annually as part of the University of Michigan study.

Since the mid-1990s, self-reported lifetime use of cannabis has fallen 44 percent among 8th-graders, 30 percent among 10th-graders, and ten percent among 12th-graders. Twenty-nine states have legalized the medical use of cannabis, and eight of those states have also regulated the adult use of marijuana, since that time.

Overall, teens’ self-reported use of alcohol and/or any illicit substance aside from marijuana is at a historic low.

Previous federally funded surveys by the US Centers for Disease Control and others have similarly reported that changes in statewide marijuana laws are not associated with rising levels of youth use.

N-acetylcysteine shows early promise in reducing alcohol use in marijuana-dependent teens

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reduced alcohol use in a small cohort of marijuana-dependent adolescents who exhibited reductions in marijuana use, report researchers. In this secondary analysis of data from an earlier trial of NAC in marijuana-dependent adolescents, researchers show that reduced marijuana use was associated with reductions in alcohol consumption in the NAC-treated, but not placebo-treated teens.

As more states legalize marijuana, adolescents’ problems with pot decline

A survey of more than 216,000 adolescents from all 50 states indicates the number of teens with marijuana-related problems is declining. Similarly, the rates of marijuana use by young people are falling despite the fact more US states are legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana use and the number of adults using the drug has increased.

Legalization of marijuana in Washington had no effect on teens’ access to drug

Despite concerns that legalizing marijuana use for adults would make it easier for adolescents to get ahold of it, a new study in Washington State shows that teens find it no easier now than before the law was passed in 2012.

What’s the impact of new marijuana laws? The data so far

How has new legislation affected marijuana use in the United States? The best available data suggest that marijuana use is increasing in adults but not teens, with a decrease in marijuana-related arrests but an increase in treatment admissions, according to researchers.

Sensation-seeking, reward sensitivity and early cannabis use

Sensation seeking, or the tendency to seek out exciting experiences, has been linked to addiction. Researchers have reported that sensation seeking is related to reward sensitivity in teens, and that a school-based intervention that targeted sensation seeking delays the onset of cannabis use, and slows the progression from light to heavy cannabis use in teens.

Journey Healing Centers Votes No on Medical Marijuana Abuse and Addiction

Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) October 6, 2010

Journey Healing Centers (AZ and UT drug and alcohol treatment centers) urges voters to Vote No on Prop 203 (Arizona) and Prop 19 (California) to reduce marijuana abuse, health risks and family heartache when dealing with a loved one fighting addictions. According to a SAMHSA report, Initiation of Marijuana Use: Trends, Patterns and Implications, “the younger children are when they first use marijuana, the more likely they are to use cocaine and heroin and become dependent on drugs as adults.” According to Zack, a 21-yr-old and former Journey Healing Centers client, “If I could go back and tell my 12-yr-old self anything, it would be to not start smoking marijuana. It led me to other harder drugs and treatment by age 20. I know first-hand that marijuana is a gateway drug. I have lost 13 friends to addiction related deaths, and most of them started by smoking marijuana.”

Many don’t realize that smoking marijuana can be much more dangerous than smoking tobacco and cause cancer. If Prop 203 passes, Arizona citizens (including teens under 18) with a medical marijuana card can get two and a half ounces of pot every 14 days, which is about 10 joints a day. The National Institutes of Health estimate that smoking 5 marijuana cigarettes per week has the same health affects as smoking a full pack of tobacco cigarettes every day. “Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs, and immune system. It impairs learning and interferes with memory, perception, and judgment. Smoked marijuana contains cancer-causing compounds and has been implicated in a high percentage of automobile crashes and workplace accidents,” explains John Walters, Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy.

One of the main drivers behind the marijuana movement is revenue, and eventually making it legal for recreational use. In San Diego, California, only 2 percent of the people getting “medicalmarijuana have HIV, cancer or glaucoma, while 98 percent have no serious illness (Billings Gazette). The profit takers who will truly benefit from marijuana legalization are the pot farms, dispensaries, and the doctors. There is no requirement that a 420 (medical marijuana) “doctor” be an M.D. to give out a recommendation, and there are no FDA approvals for marijuana. Almost anyone can get a recommendation with a headache and $ 150. Not only will it be easy to obtain a medical marijuana card, but teens will start taking marijuana out of their parent’s medicine cabinets, adding to the current prescription drug abuse epidemic in the U.S.

Safety on the roads is another concern. An attorney recently called Journey Healing Centers free addiction helpline (1-866-774-5119) to ask for advice because their client was just arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and marijuana possession. This attorney admitted that he told his client to hurry up and get a medical marijuana card. The San Diego Union Tribune reported that a 24-year-old Temecula, CA, man with a medical marijuana prescription caused thirteen car accidents last March, and presented his medical marijuana card as an explanation for his erratic behavior.

What the Medical Marijuana Project fails to mention is that addiction will be around whether Prop 203 and Prop 19 pass or not. Many also don’t realize that THC (Tetrahydracanabinol) potency is almost ten times higher today than it was in the 1960s, which makes it even more addictive. With an FDA drug already approved called Marinol as a synthetic form of THC, there is no need to invite more drug abuse, health risks, and family heartache from increased addictions by legalizing medical marijuana. Vote No on Prop 203, Vote No on Prop 19, and Vote No on Medical Marijuana Abuse and Addiction.

Background:

Journey Healing Centers operates drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Arizona and Utah, and specializes in holistic healing programs, family treatment and has a Sobriety for Life Program. Their work and success stories have been featured on MTV’s Gone Too Far, PBS, ABC News 15 Phoenix, Fox 10 Phoenix, ABC 4 Salt Lake City, USAToday.com, Psychology Today and in People Magazine. Journey Healing Centers has supported thousands dealing with addictions through Residential Treatment Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Sober Living Homes, Aftercare and a Free 24-Hour Hotline with Addiction Specialists: 1-866-774-5119.

http://journeyrecoverycenters.com

Media contact:

Liz Brown

310-795-1485

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Find More Medical Marijuana Doctors Press Releases

Teen Pot Use Stalls as States Continue to Regulate Use

Despite several attempts by the media and policy makers to associate the rising number of state regulated medical marijuana programs (and popular legalization efforts) with a rise in use and a drop in associated risk, the 2012 Monitoring the Future Survey reports that there was no rise in daily or annual marijuana use among teens.  According to the report, “annual marijuana use [among 8th, 10th and 12th graders] showed no further increase in any of the three grades surveyed in 2012… [And the] daily use of marijuana…remained essentially flat.”  Also of note, despite the sharp decline in perceived risk of marijuana use across all three grades, there was a statistically significant decline of use among 8th graders.   These numbers are consistent with other recent studies showing that states with regulated marijuana programs have not seen an increase in teen use. Some have even seen a decrease in pot use among their youth population.

“This study suggests that exposure among teens to the concept of marijuana regulation policies (one third of whom live in such states) does not cause an increase in use. It is also important to consider that a drop in perceived risk is likely associated with their rejection of the overzealous scare tactics used in most schools’ drug education programs” said Sabrina Fendrick of the NORML Women’s Alliance.

It is important to note, however, that marijuana use rates and availability nationwide remain at relatively high levels, while alcohol use rates remain historically low.  This is most likely due to the fact that the former is illegal and thereby not subject to government controls, while the latter substance is legally restricted to adults only. The same goes for tobacco. We did not have to outlaw cigarettes to reduce the use among minors. A policy of education and regulation (not prohibition) has created an environment in which cigarette usage has fallen to an all time low.  According to the principal investigator of the study, Lloyd Johnston, “[A] lowering teen smoking rates…likely…depend[s] on…changes such as raising cigarette taxes, further limiting where smoking is permitted, bringing back broad-based anti-smoking ad campaigns, and making quit-smoking programs more available.”  It has been proven that age restrictions, coupled with the imposition of government regulation and education are the most effective at reducing youth access to adult-only recreational substances.  According to the 2011 MFS report, the drop in alcohol use can be attributed to a strict regulation scheme that include educational campaigns focusing on responsible use and age restrictions which, in turn, lowers availability.

The report concluded; “In the 1980’s a number of states raised their minimum drinking age to twenty-one, which these researches were able to demonstrate reduced drinking.”  It goes on to say “the proportion of 8th and 10th graders who say they could get alcohol ‘fairly easily’ or ‘very easily’ had been declining since 1996 and continued to drop in all three grades in 2011.  Various other factors of likely importance include…higher beer taxes and restrictions on alcohol promotion to youth.”  The 2012 survey reported that again, “there was no increase in perceived availability of alcohol.”

One can therefore conclude that the only sensible answer to restricting marijuana access to [as well as use among] minors is through state and local government regulation and a message of moderation.

 

 

 

Regular marijuana use by teens continues to be a concern

Continued high use of marijuana by the United States‘ eighth, 10th and 12th graders combined with a drop in perceptions of its potential harms was revealed in this year’s Monitoring the Future survey, an annual survey of eighth, 10th, and 12th-graders conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan. The survey was carried out in classrooms around the country earlier this year, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Holiday spices often abused for cheap highs, says toxicologist

Cinnamon, nutmeg and even marshmallows are being intentionally abused in risky behavior, says a toxicologist. Once folly for teenagers, pre-teens are now copying what they see from Internet videos with dangerous results.

Students trading sex for drugs or alcohol happens also in rural Canada

Just over two percent of teens in rural schools who have ever tried alcohol, marijuana or other drugs report they have also traded sex for these substances, according to new research.

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