Many people, both teens and adults, fail to realize the harm that using marijuana can cause. Because it is seen as less dangerous than other drugs, marijuana is often viewed as being risk-free. The truth is that any drug use can cause harm in both the short and long term. Unfortunately, teen drug use statistics demonstrate that too many are using this drug.
Smoking pot typically causes students’ grades to drop. This needs to be an important consideration when teens think about using this so-called safe drug.
How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain?
Marijuana is a mind-altering drug, which means that when it enters the bloodstream, it goes to the brain and induces certain effects. The immediate effect is a sense of euphoria, or a high, in other words. This happens with all drugs because they cause the brain to release a chemical that imparts a sense of pleasure.
The positive effects of marijuana on the brain end there. Using this drug disrupts the ability to form new memories. It also negatively impacts coordination, balance and reaction time. Other possible effects include hallucinations, psychosis and delusions that can be psychologically damaging.
How Does Marijuana Impact Academics?
The effects of marijuana on the brain are directly related to academic performance. While high on marijuana, the brain is impaired and a young person cannot engage successfully in any intellectual activity. Furthermore, regular use of marijuana means a student will spend less time studying, which clearly impacts grades. It also impairs the ability to focus on academics, to learn and to retain new information.
Marijuana’s effects on college students have been studied. Researchers found that students using marijuana are more likely to skip classes, get lower grades, spend less time studying and drop out of college altogether. The researchers have also discovered that using marijuana regularly can lead to a drop in IQ of up to eight points.
How Many Teens Are Using Marijuana?
Teen drug statistics are clear: young people are using this drug and it starts early. By the eighth grade, 15 percent of students have at least tried marijuana. By their senior year in high school, nearly half of all students have used the drug. One in nine high school students has used a synthetic form of marijuana, which can pose other risks since the ingredients in these products are not always fully known.
Marijuana may not be the most harmful of drugs, but it carries its own serious risks. For any student who hopes to succeed, marijuana use is a mistake. With the impacts the drug has on the developing teenage brain, as well as the ways in which the habit keeps kids from attending classes and studying, marijuana poses a risk for all teens.
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