Marijuana use is risky for teens and pregnant women and can be habit-forming, says the U.S. surgeon general.
Jane Khomi/Getty Images
At a time when more than 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational use, the U.S. surgeon general says no amount of the drug is safe for teens, young adults and pregnant women.
“While the perceived harm of marijuana is decreasing, the scary truth is that the actual potential for harm is increasing,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Thursday during a press conference to announce the new advisory.
Surveys show that an increasing number of adolescents and pregnant women use the drug, which can be eaten, smoked or vaped.
But the surgeon general told NPR in an interview that many people are not aware of just how potent the drug can be.
“This ain’t your mother’s marijuana,” he said. The THC concentration in marijuana plants has increased threefold between 1995 and 2014, according to the report, and concentrated products can contain up to 75% THC.
“The higher the THC delivery, the higher the risk,” Adams said.
Young people who regularly use marijuana are “more likely to show a decline in IQ and school performance [and] are more apt to miss classes,” Adams said. And frequent use of the drug can also impair a child’s attention, memory and decision-making.
In addition, it can be habit-forming.
“Nearly 1 in 5 people who begin marijuana use during adolescence become addicted,” Adams said. “That’s scary to me as the dad of a 15-, a 13- and a 9-year-old.”
Symptoms of marijuana dependency include “irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to 2 weeks,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And marijuana becomes addictive “when the person cannot stop using the drug even though it interferes with many aspects of his or her life,” according to NIDA.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that President Trump is donating part of his salary this quarter — about $100,000 — to fund a digital media campaign to bring attention to the risks of marijuana use.
There’s still a lot that’s unknown about the risks of marijuana, and federal officials say they support more local and federal research. Just this week, the Drug Enforcement Administration said it would start to process pending applications for permission to cultivate the plant for research, as NPR reported.
The Trump administration is not the first to sound the alarm about the rising use of marijuana. At a time when surveys point to a significant increase in the number of pregnant women using the drug, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is educating women about the risks. “Marijuana and pregnancy don’t mix,” the group urges.
The organization published an infographic that points to the range of risks for women and their fetuses, including disruption of brain development, smaller birth weight, higher risk of premature birth, and behavioral problems in childhood.
Bottom line, the surgeon general wants to remind people that despite what’s happening in states, federal law hasn’t changed. And there is good reason for caution.
(CNN) - Cannabis use in Colorado has been on the rise since medical cannabis was liberalized in 2009 and recreational cannabis went on sale in 2014, and it has led to an increase in emergency department visits, according to a new study. Although inhaled cannabis leads...
Read an article about D.A.R.E. by Richard Clayton, Ph.D., former Chair of Health Education and Health Promotion in the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky. For more than 20 years, he was the director of the federally funded Center for Prevention Research
National Sheriffs’ Association Article: D.A.R.E. Responds to America’s Opioid Crisis with New K-12 Prevention Lessons
Substance abuse prevention education organization D.A.R.E. America has launched new nationwide curricula for law enforcement officer-led D.A.R.E. programs targeting K-12 classrooms, parents, and communities that will challenge the national opioid and prescription…
WATFORD CITY, N.D. - The Watford City Police Department says they've seen increase in underage alcohol, tobacco, and narcotic use in the area. Officers are now working to combat that problem using a program that has been proven to work in some of the biggest cities in...
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has given the go signal for the Department of Health (DOH) to educate school children from Kindergarten to Grade 12 about the ill effects of taking illegal drugs…
D.A.R.E. is making a difference in Chickasaw County. Houston, Houlka and Okolona have all hosted D.A.R.E. graduation ceremonies over the last two months and that means every fifth grader in Chickasaw County has heard the critical message of this national program. The...
Parents stand to the applause of students Friday during the D.A.R.E. graduation at the Elks Lodge in Santa Maria. More than 900 Santa Maria-area elementary students vowed to make smart choices and consider the consequences of their actions during a Friday morning graduation…
Orchard Park, N.Y. (WIVB) - A program that's reached thousands of children across the country is now celebrating a milestone in Orchard Park. D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) has been taught in OP schools for 25 years now. When you walk into Officer Kristen...
Shelter Island’s school district has become the first in the state to roll out a new D.A.R.E. program. Other districts are expected to follow…
Copyright © 2020 D.A.R.E. America. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2020 D.A.R.E. America.
All Rights Reserved.