Waldo County teens and marijuana use

January 5th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

Every two years most Waldo County students complete a survey that asks them about a number of issues in their lives including the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

The results of the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey completed in February 2009 revealed about 28 percent had used marijuana in the past month, about 36 percent tried marijuana for the first time before age 13, and 42 percent reported that they had tried for the first time at age 15 or younger. We can agree that trying for the first time does not mean, necessarily, continued use. About 57 percent of high school students reported it would be “fairly easy” or “very easy” for them to get marijuana if they wanted some.

With this in mind, it is of concern to read the results of recent research by Dr. Staci Gruber from Harvard Medical School as reported in the Harvard Gazette.

Gruber reported subjects who started using marijuana before age 16 made twice as many mistakes on tests of executive function, which includes planning, flexibility, abstract thinking, and inhibiting inappropriate responses, as those who began smoking after age 16. She presented her findings in November at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego.

Gruber found that early-onset smokers of marijuana, once she evaluated them as young adults, also smoked more — and more often.

“Early-onset smokers smoked twice as often and nearly three times as much,” she said. “Given the prevalence of marijuana use in the United States,

Article source: http://waldo.villagesoup.com/column/columnpost/waldo-county-teens-and-marijuana-use/372849