Marijuana use causes more long-term damage to teen brains than alcohol use, according to a new study entitled “A Population-Based Analysis of the Relationship Between Substance Use and Adolescent Cognitive Development.”
The study – completed by researchers at the University of Montreal – followed 3,800 Montreal teens over the course of four years. As part of the study, teen participants were questioned about their marijuana and alcohol use, and took computer-based cognitive tests.
They found that marijuana had more of an effect on the teens’ skills, memory and behavior than alcohol… Even after students reported stopping marijuana, their cognition did not improve.
“Cannabis causes cognitive impairment and delayed cognitive development in adolescents," Patricia Conrad, the lead author and professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, told NBC News. “This study focuses on the neuropsychological effects of cannabis. We think it’s important because it is linked to how someone functions in life.”
The findings were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, were invented in 2003 by Chinese inventor and pharmacist Hon Lik. Although many companies and advocates continue to bill them as a safer, smokeless alternative to traditional cigarettes, a U.S. Surgeon General report alarmingly found that 16% of high school students regularly use e-cigarettes. What’s worse, many young people who begin using nicotine through e-cigarettes will start to use traditional cigarettes later, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Smokers need help to quit, and those who can’t quit deserve a safer alternative. However, there’s a growing body of research indicating that e-cigarettes do more harm than good, and the companies selling them shamelessly advertise these products to youth in order to attract lifelong, valuable customers in ways that tobacco companies are prohibited from doing:
We support the Food and Drug Administration’s crackdown on e-cigarettes because with millions of teens using e-cigarettes every year, this is the beginning of an epidemic of nicotine addiction, and we invite you to learn more about these new nicotine delivery systems from the resources below.
Launched by the U.S. Surgeon General's office, Know the Risks: E-Cigarettes & Young People has quick and ready access to information about what e-cigarettes are, the trends in use, why they're bad for youth, and much more.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides this fact sheet about e-cigarettes, which includes their effects on teens, how teens are using them, the link between e-cigarette use and traditional cigarette use, and information about nicotine addiction.
13 Sep, 2018
New research from health promotion foundation VicHealth shows most parents back tougher restrictions on the supply of alcohol to underage Victorians, as new laws come into effect today.
Today’s changes to the Liquor Control Reform Act include tougher requirements on parents hosting underage parties. The old Act required party hosts to gain consent from parents of underage kids, usually in the form of handwritten notes.
Now in addition to gaining consent, parents are required by law to actively police underage teens’ drinking, including monitoring how much and what kind of alcohol they’ve consumed, if they’ve eaten and if teens are intoxicated.
VicHealth research shows parents want greater control over how and when their teen drinks, with 60 per cent of parents believing there are no circumstances where other parents or adults should supply booze to underage teens at parties.
The survey also showed that parents are unsure about the harm from alcoholic drinks on their teens and how best to introduce them to drinking, with only 37 per cent understanding it’s best not to supply teenagers with alcohol to protect them from harm.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter welcomed the changes to the Act and said parents needed support in how best to keep teens safe from harm from alcoholic drinks.
“The new Liquor Control Reform Act is great news for parents as it takes steps to prevent teenagers from drinking at risky levels at parties,” Ms Rechter said.
“Our research clearly shows that parents want to be in charge of when, where and how much their kids drink. We all want our kids to come home safe from parties.
“We want parents to understand that under the new law they are responsible for the wellbeing of teenagers if they host a party with alcoholic drinks.”
VicHealth Principal Program Officer for Alcohol Maya Rivis and parent of teenagers Annabelle and Thomas said it was really important for parents to know what they can and can’t do under the new law.
“As a parent it can be really tricky hosting parties where alcohol is served. You need to think about getting consent from other parents as well as making sure kids aren’t drinking too much,” Ms Rivis said.
“We recommend that parents don’t supply alcoholic drinks to underage teens – it’s risky for their health, it can cause parties to get out of control and you need to be careful you comply with the law.
“If you are going to serve alcohol, for example at an 18th birthday, there are some things you really need to keep in mind.
“Make sure you get written consent from parents of underage kids, make sure you’re clear that intoxication won’t be tolerated and that anyone arriving drunk will be refused entry.
“It’s also a good idea to register the party with police and of course make sure you serve lots of food and non-alcoholic drinks.”
Ms Rivis said it was great to see the Act also covers licensed venues and alcohol delivery services.
This extremely ambitious book by Dr. Robert DuPont is the first book that I know of by a leader in the drug abuse prevention and treatment field that has highlighted the message of Pope Francis: that engaging in drug taking for experiential purposes is tantamount to allowing oneself to become enslaved. No one would ever willingly accept such a fate. When one gives up one’s will power, the theosophists say that one gives up one’s soul power. The Dalai Lama has said that a person who uses drugs give up his or her authentic self. This book provides a range of significant roadmaps that have been used by a country, Sweden; and by institutions, treatment programs, families, and individual drug users and addicts, to safeguard or sustain and retain that authentic drug-free selfhood. By bringing to light in one place, many of these roadmaps, Dr. DuPont shares insights into how that authentic self can be safeguarded from the pitfalls of drug taking behavior. He shares insights into the steps that many have taken to retain or reclaim their authentic selves, initiative, will power, brain power, judgment, creativity, and essential humanity.