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Brain Under Construction

  • Posted on May 22, 2018

Around here we’ve notice a pretty lax attitude about marijuana amongst our families and we’re pretty worried about it. Seth Ammerman MD (American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse) says that marijuana could have a “devastating impact on the lifelong health and development” of our teens. Those are STRONG words.

Why is he saying that?
The frontal cortex of the brain controls our planning, judgement, decision making and personality. It does not finish developing until age 25. That means we should be paying attention to anything our teenagers are exposed to prior to that age.

But several states have legalized marijuana…so what’s the big deal? Maybe it’s not a big deal with adults. But it can be with teens.

Marijuana usage in teens has been shown to:
1. Impair memory and concentration
2. Decrease the odds of high school completion and/or college degree Alter motor control and coordination leading to increased risks of injuries and death Increased risk of addiction (adults have a 9% risk while teens have a 17% risk) Two times greater risk of psychotic symptoms Decreased IQ points (6-14 points downward) There are conflicting reports about whether this is permanent or not…do you really want to test this on your own kid?

One in Five teenagers use marijuana. Less than 40% believe that it is risky. At Kids First—We are REALLY worried about marijuana and its long term risks…and we hope that you are too! If you want help for your teenager…

Hope Strategies has a Marijuana Intervention Class. Call them to get more details at: 972-317-4673

Susan Badaracco, Pediatrician and author of “The Oath” series.