According to a brand-new study just released in early October 2018, marijuana is more dangerous to still-developing teenage brains to teenagers than alcohol. These results were surprising, even to researchers, who said, “We initially suspected alcohol would have a bigger effect.”
The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, took four years and involved almost 4000 students. The average starting age was 13 years old.
Every year, the students self-reported their alcohol and drug use and took memory tests. Four areas of cognitive function were looked at:
- Short-term memory manipulation
- Long-term memory
- The ability to stop habitual behaviors
Dr. Patricia Conrod, the University of Montreal Professor of Psychiatry who was the study’s lead author, said that marijuana use has “significant” negative impact on all four areas. Alcohol, on the other hand, was not tied to any negative effects.
The rates of use were also revealing.
By the fourth year of the study, three-fourths of the students admitted to using alcohol at least occasionally, while less than a third had tried marijuana. But there were more students who used marijuana daily than used alcohol daily.
Most troubling was the finding that teen marijuana use causes long-term damage to the areas of the brain associated with the ability to change one’s actions to meet a goal. This impairment is directly related to poor impulse control and substance abuse and helps explain why underage marijuana use leads to a greater risk of drug addiction during adulthood.
Why is this Study Important?
This new study highlights the fact that marijuana use is not as safe as people claim.
Because although this study focused on young teenagers, the fact is the human brain continues to mature until the mid-twenties. This means that these negative effects—including an increased risk of Substance Use Disorder—are still possible during young adulthood.
If marijuana use is causing a problem in your life, Lasting Recovery can help you restore sober balance to your life. As one of the leading outpatient drug rehabs in San Diego, Lasting Recovery aids you in regaining not just your sobriety, but also your mental health.
For more information, contact Lasting Recovery TODAY.
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