Many people believe that the use of marijuana comes without risks because it isn’t a “hard” drug, but that is just not the case. Along with the many health risks associated with long-term marijuana use is also the potential for permanent damage to some thinking abilities. A recent study has shown that frequent, continued use of marijuana beginning before the age of 18 was affiliated with an eight-point decline in IQ. The study also suggests that users are more likely to be affected by this during the developmental teenage years, as the decline was not shown in those who began smoking marijuana in early adulthood or even later on in life. This may give an explanation as to why many “stoners” often lose their abilities and wind up accomplishing less than they would have expected.
This particular study involved approximately 1,000 adults who were followed from birth. IQ tests were taken at ages 7, 9, 11, 13 and 38. Along with the IQ tests, family or close friends filled out questionnaires inquiring about trouble with attention, memory or social functioning when the participants turned 38 years old. It revealed that frequent users of marijuana had more problems with memory and attention, which impacted their daily lives. Unfortunately, it also showed that this effect would not completely reverse in those who discontinued the use of marijuana.
Other Risks To Teen Development
Though this study showed harm to some thinking abilities such as memory, attention span and intelligence, there are many other risks associated with long-term marijuana use that can impact a user’s overall health. Lung cancer and respiratory illnesses can result along with the impairment of cognitive abilities, social life and career opportunities. Another danger is the risk of addiction. Research shows that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana. Withdrawal symptoms usually include anxiety, irritability, sleepiness, decreased appetite and drug cravings. There are several indicators to look for if you suspect someone you know may be using marijuana. These may include: dilated pupils, bloodshot eyes, depression, withdrawal from friends and family and loss of interest in favorite activities, just to name a few.
Marijuana seems to be so popular among teens as well as adults maybe because of its availability. Most people know of someone who knows someone that can obtain this drug. Many people also have the misconception that marijuana is safer than other drugs because it comes from a plant and gives the same desired euphoric effects as harder drugs, but it isn’t what it used to be. The potency of marijuana continues to get more and more powerful.
A recent test of thousands of samples of marijuana plants done by the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project found that the levels of THC in today’s marijuana has been found to exceed 30 percent as compared to 4 percent back in 1983. Obviously, long-term marijuana use has been found to pose a much greater risk to society and our future generations.
The drug Narconon program has seen high and higher numbers of drug addicts who have had marijuana play a major role in their addiction issues. Some have become addicted to the drug and ended up in treatment. For others marijuana was a gateway drug that lead them into many harder drugs like heroin, prescriptions methamphetamine and cocaine. In both instances marijuana was a major contributor to the problem.
For more information on this growing problem or to get help from the drug Narconon program contact us today.