Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Pot and the Teen Brain, February 12, 2016

"A more relaxed attitude toward legal marijuana may mean more use among teens. The long-term effects may not be good.

THE YOUNG MAN WAS A GOOD SCHOLAR and a gifted athlete. But his grades plummeted when he was a junior at Westford Academy, a public high school about 35 miles northwest of Boston. When a drug test ordered by his worried parents confirmed that the student had been using marijuana, the news came as no surprise to James Antonelli, the school’s principal. And although Antonelli met with the family many times, the young man eventually flunked out.

Antonelli has seen at least two dozen students go down the same path. And so he was receptive when researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Addiction Medicine (CAM) approached him about recruiting Westford Academy students to participate in a study of teen marijuana use. The research will examine whether smoking the drug affects teens’ ability to think, learn and remember information—a hypothesis with a growing body of support—and whether users of cannabis products who quit may be able to sharpen their cognitive skills, a question that has not been well studied.' Read more

For resources to speak with youth about the dangers of substance abuse, click here.

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