It has never been more important for youth to understand the harmful effects associated with marijuana. Ocean State Prevention Alliance provides information from knowledgeable and reputable sources that discourages drug abuse while encouraging stricter laws and safer, healthier communites.
Use in Rhode Island
According to SAMHSA's 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Summary of National Findings, Rhode Island ranked second in the nation in the past year for marijuana use by 18 to 25 year olds. It was third in use by 12 year olds, and fifth among 12 to 17 year olds.
Adolescent marijuana use may cause permanent damage to brain structure and functioning. Long-term, regular users who started before the age of 18 often experience changes in their brain's functioning that result in permanent cognitive deficits. When marijuana users are intoxicated, their working memory is impaired and they are more impulsive, less attentive, less motivated, and slower to make decisions.
The most persistent adolescent-onset cannabis users evidenced an average IQ decline of eight points from childhood to adulthood. Prevention and policy efforts should focus on delivering to the public the message that cannabis use during adolescence can have harmful effects on neuropsychological functioning.
Regular marijuana use in adolescence is known to be part of a cluster of behaviors that can produce enduring detrimental effects and alter the trajectory of a young person's life, thwarting their potential. Teen marijuana use is linked to school dropouts, other drug use, and even mental health problems.