Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug today throughout the world. Teens are more likely to abuse and get addicted to the Marijuana. According to Monitoring the Future survey 2009, about 7 percent of 8th graders, 16 percent of 10th graders, and 21 percent of 12th graders were abusing Marijuana in 2009.
The drug abuse in teens has many negative effects, both long-term as well as short-term. Proper awareness among teens about these effects can keep them alarmed and away from Marijuana abuse. Here are a few short-term and long-term effects of Marijuana drug abuse among teens.
Short term effects:
Impacts brain function
The THC compound in Marijuana is carried to the brain through the blood stream whenever a person abuses it. THC binds with the Cannabinoid receptors of the nerve cells and changes the activities of neurons. As these receptors control the memory, thought, sensation of pleasure, perception and concentration power, Marijuana abuse affects all these functions of brain.
Problem with thinking
Studies show that cognitive abilities of user are altered due to Marijuana abuse. The abused will have less ability to learn and remember things and they perform worse in recalling the information. It impacts their studies.
Marijuana abuse results in increased sensory perceptions, distorted image of self and time perception. Marijuana affects the readiness to respond, motivation, ability to identify and distinguish the things.
Increases the heart rate, anxiety and panic
Heart beat will be increased more rapidly by smoking Marijuana. If a normal heart rate is 70 to 80 beats per minute, it is increased by 20 to 50 beats per minute or some times doubles after smoking Marijuana. Marijuana abuse also causes anxiety, fear, and panic.
It makes driving risky
THC affects the function of the cerebellum, which is a part of the brain that controls balance and coordination. It also affects the reaction time and judgment ability. So users can not react or take decisions quickly. The abuser cannot respond to sounds and signals while driving which increases the risk of accident.
Long term affects:
Affect on brain
The main chemical compound in Marijuana – THC, influences the vital nerve cells in the brain responsible for pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception. The users' ability to do the complex tasks can be reduced by using Marijuana. Users might face many other mental problems such as poor thinking, memory loss etc.
Affect on lungs and airways
Marijuana smokers are more likely to have breathing problems compared to tobacco smokers. The abused may frequently suffer from cough, chest cold, phlegm production and chest illness. It also increases the risk of obstructed airways and lung infections.
The smoke of Marijuana has some cancer causing compounds. Thus, smoking marijuana increases the chances of lung cancer. It also increases the risk of developing cancer to the head or neck of the user in the long run.
The immune system in human body protects it from many diseases. Marijuana usage affects the immune system of the users. Marijuana damages the ability of T lymphocytes in the lungs' immune defense system that are vital to fight off infections.
These are some of the negative affects of the Marijuana. The abuse of marijuana affects teens in many other harmful ways. It is very important to spread awareness among teens about the health, safety and legal risks of Marijuana abuse.
By Nate Rodney MBA
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