teen addiction
Photo Credit: flickr user – Torben

The most common drug used in the United States is one that has seen increasing news coverage and legislation over the past few years. According to The Washington Post, “nationally about 7 percent of Americans over age 12 have used marijuana in the past month.” Though there is growing support for marijuana legalization across the country, new findings might make you question having the drug openly available.

A recent study has proven long-term effects of teen addiction to marijuana

Researchers at Northwestern University studied adults in their twenties who had used marijuana daily for around three years as an adolescent. They compared their results of multiple narrated memory tests and an MRI brain mapping to those of young adults who had never used marijuana.
They found that even though the subjects had stopped marijuana use for at least two years prior to the study, they had incurred changes to the structure of their brain. Their was a direct correlation between length of time using marijuana and the amount of abnormality present.
The biggest abnormalities occurred in the hippocampus, the portion of the brain responsible for long-term memory. Previous studies by the same team of researchers showed heavy marijuana use in teen years also results in poor short-term memory, decreases in working memory performance and abnormalities in other regions of the brain.

An impact on daily living

The abnormality negatively impacted the individual’s performance on long-term memory tests by 18 percent compared to young adults who had not experienced teen addiction to marijuana. Dr. John Csernansky, senior author of the study and professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University, said that abnormalities in the hippocampus can impact how a person’s problem solving skills and ability to sustain relationships with others.

Teen addiction to marijuana

Addiction usually occurs only when other emotional or mental problems are present. For most users, it is not enough to try and prohibit the drug use. The underlying issues need to be addressed and corrected in order to provide long-term recovery.
Wilderness therapy can provide the treatment necessary to overcome teen addiction, while using natural challenges to develop increased self-esteem and happiness in the individual.
To find out more about wilderness therapy, call a blueFire staff member at 844-413-1999.


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