2012 Monitoring the Future Results on Marijuana Use

According to the Monitoring the Future 2012 survey daily and regular use of marijuana remains consistently strong across all grades surveyed (8th, 10th, 12th).  Even more alarming is that fewer students believe there is a risk in using marijuana; among 12th graders only 20.6% view occasional marijuana use as risky, and only 44.1% view daily use as risky. These are the lowest percentages seen since 1979.

This greatly concerns researchers who worry that “regular or daily use of marijuana is robbing to many young people of their potential to achieve,” says Dr. Volkow Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “THC, a key ingredient in marijuana alters the connectivity of the hippocampus, a brain related to learning and memory. In addition, we know from recent research that marijuana use during adolescence can lower the IQ and contribute to reduced cognitive abilities in adulthood.”

Synthetic marijuana

Synthetic marijuana use has been an increasing concern to the researchers of the study, because of its adverse effects (see Synthetic Marijuana Causes Serious Health Problems) and its high rates of use, documented by the survey last year.  Use of synthetics held level with 12 graders in 2012 at 11.3% prevalence of use. Synthetic marijuana was measured for the first time with 8th and 10th graders and only showed 4.4% and 8.8% use. Aside from alcohol and tobacco this is the second most widely used drug amongst 10th and 12th graders, and third most used drug after marijuana and inhalants for 8th graders.
(Source: recoveryhappens.com)

Advice on Synthetics
from ACS’ Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Program

by: Connie Mayer, LMFT
Outpatient Counseling Services

The teens we see at ACS are exposed to this drug because many hear the word marijuana and assume this drug can’t be that dangerous. They are wrong. Synthetic marijuana is formulated with chemical compounds labeled “not for human consumption.” These chemicals can produce effects ranging from rapid heart rate, paranoia, delusions and in some cases heart attacks. Spice and K2 are the street names for this drug and can be obtained quite easily.

The Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Program helps educate our teens and parents about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Education is the key. A helpful strategy is to begin by asking your teen if they have ever heard of Synthetic Marijuana (Spice, K2) and  if they have, what do they know about it. If they are unaware of the drug, let them know that you have been made aware of it and explain the difference between regular marijuana and the harmful risks of using synthetic marijuana. Inquire if they others that may have tried it and what stories that have heard about the drug and it’s effects.

This is a good way to begin to talk about certain drugs without being direct with your teen and shutting them down immediately. This can often open a dialogue. And remember ACS is hear to help with questions or concerns and at the very least how to continue the dialogue between you and your teen.

ACS holds monthly workshops on substance abuse prevention go to our website ww.acs-teens.org to learn more or Go Here. We also have a Substance Abuse Info Line open Monday through Friday from 5pm to 7pm
as a substance abuse information, resource, and referral line.
Call (650) 384-3094 to access

Monitoring the Future is an annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th-graders conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. Since 1975, the survey has measured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes in 12th-graders nationwide. Eighth and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991. Overall, 45,449 students from 395 public and private schools participated in the 2012 survey.

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