As more states legalize marijuana for recreational use, the perceived danger of adolescent marijuana use has started to plummet as a result. Few schools try to counter this by educating students on the possible negative effects of frequent use. Adolescent marijuana use can lead to more permanent brain damage in areas related to reasoning, learning, and paying attention than in a fully-developed adult brain.

adolescent marijuana use
Photo credit: flickr user – stonedspirit

Harmful effects of adolescent marijuana use

Specifically, frequent adolescent marijuana use can lead to real, permanent issues in development. Many studies have confirmed this. Aside from permanent issues, when in use, marijuana has significant short-term effects on coordination and judgement. Though it’s thought that marijuana isn’t addictive, 1 in 6 people who have frequently used since their teenage years develop a dependence or addiction to marijuana. Some ways adolescent marijuana use can negatively affect your child include:
Memory and Learning Functions. Marijuana messes with the section of our brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is used for learning, retaining, and recalling information. Many studies have confirmed that long-term adolescent marijuana use can cause distortion of certain areas of the brain, causing permanent damages in memory, attention span, and IQ.
Coordination. Many teens believe marijuana is safe to use and operate a vehicle. This is far from the truth. Marijuana directly affects the cerebellum, which controls coordination and balance, and the basal ganglia, which controls movement. Messing with these areas can most definitely negatively impact driving.
Judgement. Though different from alcohol, marijuana still affects the judgement of a person. Marijuana messes with the frontal cortex of the brain; this is associated with decision making. This can cause someone to incorrectly perceive the level of risk in situations, sometimes leading to having unprotected sex or getting into a car with someone who is not fit to drive.
Dependence or Addiction. Marijuana, like other substances or actions, can create a dependence or addiction. This happens usually when someone has been using for a long amount of time. The brain forms a dependence when it gets adjusted to having large quantities of the drug. When that person stops supplying large quantities, the brain reacts negatively, creating withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, extreme weight loss, and more.

blueFire can help

blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for teens, ages 11 to 17, struggling with depression, anxiety, and other behavioral or emotional issues. We help families mend and teens move towards a healthier future!
For more information about how blueFire treats adolescent marijuana use, contact us today at 1 (844) 413-1999 today!

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