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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Teenage Chronic Marijuana Use Leads to Dropouts

English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס
The use of marijuana at some point during the high school years is quite common; in fact it is difficult to attend a high school party without being exposed to the drug in one form or another. A number of kids are able to stay away from marijuana altogether, some try it a few times at certain social gatherings, and then there are those teenagers who engage in chronic marijuana use.

Chronic use of marijuana affects everyone differently; many teenagers find ways to function under the influence of the drug, still managing to get through high school and even go on to college. Sadly, not everyone has that experience and end up dropping out of high school.

New research indicates that teens under the age of 17, who use marijuana chronically every day, are 60 percent less likely to graduate from high school, according to CNN.

Researchers at the University of New South Wales analyzed data from three previous studies that included almost 4,000 participants. Their findings showed that teen cannabis users are 18 times more likely to become dependent, seven times more likely to attempt suicide, and eight times more likely to use other illicit drugs later in life.

“The results provide very strong evidence for a more direct relationship between adolescence cannabis use and later harm,” said lead author Edmund Silins with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia. “The findings are particularly timely given the growing movement to decriminalize or legalize cannabis because this has raised the possibility the drug might become more accessible to young people.”

“Our results provide strong evidence that the prevention or delay of cannabis use is likely to have broad health and social benefits,” Silins noted in a news release. “Efforts to reform cannabis legislation should be carefully assessed to ensure they reduce adolescent cannabis use and prevent potentially adverse effects on adolescent development.”

The findings were published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

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