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Teen cannabis use linked with adverse developmental and mental health outcomes
Sep 24 2019

Teen cannabis use linked with adverse developmental and mental health outcomes

Drug Addiction Substance Abuse Teen Drug Abuse

The more prevalent cannabis becomes in our society, the more we must seek to understand it. This means more studies on what cannabis actually does and how it affects the users, which comprise of all the age groups. Considering the lack of understanding of the effects of cannabis on its users, especially adolescents, a recent study attempted to discuss the effects of marijuana by linking data of cannabis use in teens under 17 years and different developmental outcomes. The study gathered and examined 3 large longitudinal studies from Australia and New Zealand which included around 3765 participants.

The analysis examined the frequency of the participants use of cannabis and divided the users in the following groups:

  • Never
  • Less than monthly
  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily

This data was then associated with developmental outcomes up to the age of 30, including high school completion, attainment of a university degree, cannabis dependence, and later use of illicit drugs. Further, mental health outcomes, like depression, welfare dependence, and suicide attempts, were also studied.

Cannabis use associated with adverse outcomes

The findings did not make marijuana use look all that good. To start with, those adolescents and teens who did use cannabis before the age of 17 were more than 60 percent less likely to complete high school or earn a degree compared to those teens who never used cannabis. On top of that, researchers found that cannabis users were 18 times more likely to become dependent on cannabis, 8 times as likely to use illicit drugs, and 7 times more likely to attempt suicide. The more the teen used cannabis, the higher their chances of an adverse outcome later on in life.

Considering all the positive things that have been said about cannabis leading to its legalization in multiple states, it is important that information like this is brought up. This can help to not only affect legislation at large but also encourage the states to put in effect different measures to prevent teen access and/or use of cannabis. The lesser teens use cannabis, the lower are their chances of succumbing to the adverse outcomes. Conversely, avoiding it altogether can have wide ranging health benefits and positive social outcomes for teens.

Seeking treatment for cannabis addiction

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) about 512,000 adolescents aged between 12 to 17 suffered from a marijuana use disorder (MUD). Addiction to marijuana or its derivatives can be difficult to overcome because of its addictive nature and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. A comprehensive treatment program for marijuana addiction comprises medically assisted detoxification treatment followed by behavioral therapies under professional care.

Adeona Healthcare, the leading renowned teenage rehab facility for teens aged between 12 to 17, offers evidence-based treatment approaches for the management of substance use disorders (SUD) in teens. To know more about our treatment programs, call our 24/7 helpline (888)-997-3966 and speak to a representative. You can also chat online to get more information about treatments offered for other behavioral and mental health problems.