Posts Tagged dangers of marijuana smoking
People become less motivated in life due to a number of reasons, one of them may have something to do with the use of marijuana.
Researchers at Imperial College London, UCL and King’s College London examined 19 marijuana users and 19 non-marijuana users with the help of PET brain imaging. All marijuana users in the study had experienced psychotic-like symptoms while smoking the drug.
Lead researcher Dr. Michael Bloomfield said they expected that dopamine level is higher in the group who used marijuana. Instead, their study revealed the opposite effect. Low production of dopamine was also observed among people who started using marijuana at a young age.
Dopamine is a chemical in the brain linked to motivation. Previous research showed that people who are experiencing psychosis have increased production of dopamine.
“It has been assumed that cannabis increases the risk of schizophrenia by inducing the same effects on the dopamine system that we see in schizophrenia, but this hasn’t been studied in active cannabis users until now,” Dr. Bloomfield, from the Institute of Clinical Sciences at Imperial, said in a news release. “The results weren’t what we expected, but they tie in with previous research on addiction, which has found that substance abusers – people who are dependent on cocaine or amphetamine, for example – have altered dopamine systems.”
The researchers suggest their findings could explain why some cannabis users appear to lack motivation to work or pursue their normal interests.
Drug Free Charlotte County launched a new campaign that will help fight drug abuse in its community. It’s called VerifyTruth.
The movement encourages parents to drug test their kids at least five times a year to help them stay away from using marijuana. Parents can request for marijuana drug test kit, free of charge, which enables them to confirm whether or not their kids are telling the truth.
In a feature on Winknews.com, Drug Free Charlotte County Executive Director Amity Chandler says: “We’re not even saying to parents, do it, we’re saying pick up the test, talk to your teen about, and let them know the option of the test might come up if they’re breaking rules, when they start driving, when they get a job.”
Since June, VerifyTruth has already given 1,000 marijuana drug tests and most parents seem happy with the idea.
In its website, VerifyTruth laid out several reasons to use drug testing, one of them is, for parents to have the opportunity to intervene early if their teens begin experimenting on marijuana and other drugs.
According to a Teen Norms Survey done last year in Charlotte County, 39 percent of high school students said they experimented on marijuana at least once — a 4 percent increase since 2006. An increase in marijuana use was also observed for middle schoolers.
Chandler added that while Charlotte County kids are becoming more aware of the dangers of tobacco, the same cannot be said about marijuana. But through the new campaign, they are hoping to help parents guide their kids in avoiding peer pressure that could lead them to marijuana, as well as reduce the prevalence of drug use in the county.
While the use of cocaine and methamphetamine among teens may have stabilized in the last few years, pot use is on the rise. In a new study released by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, one in every ten kids is smoking marijuana at least 20 times within a month. Students between the 9th and 12th grades are also experimenting with prescription drugs.
The situation elevated due to the fact that most parents think that weed is just weed, no cause for alarm. Yet Partnership President Steve Pasierb said that parents should not take the issue of marijuana for granted. “Parents are talking about cocaine and heroin, things that scare them. Parents are not talking about prescription drugs and marijuana. They can’t wink and nod. They need to be stressing the message that this behavior is unhealthy.”
The report showed that marijuana use has increased from only 19% in 2008 to about 27% in 2011. Teens who smoked pot at least 20 times in a month also climbed from 5% in 2008 to last year’s 9%. That’s about 1.5 million teens who regularly light up marijuana.
Previous researches made also had parallel results, like that of a recent survey made by a team from the University of Michigan. The initiative was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that claimed marijuana use is again on the rise after a decline in the last decade.
Results of the study have linked the use of pot and other drugs. It was suggested that teens who regularly use marijuana were also twice more likely to take cocaine or ecstasy.
The study also tackled the issue of pain medications abuse, putting Vicodin and Oxycontin as the drug of choice among teens. It was also noted that ecstasy or cocaine use is highest among Hispanic teens (almost 50%). African American teens followed suit with almost 42% hooked on prescription medications while that of Caucasian teens reached 39%.