Most of us have heard of “Stoners” or “Pot Heads”, the slang terms for frequent marijuana users. Along with these names comes the image of a person that seems burnt out on life and not achieving much or reaching their goals. Though this may be the picture drawn in the minds of those of us that don’t use this drug, what about the claims from America’s youth that smoke marijuana and say that it doesn’t negatively affect them? What is true?
Does long-term marijuana use lower IQ and cause harm to a person’s intelligence?
The Study Done On Long Term Marijuana Use
The results of a new study show that frequent and long-term use of marijuana beginning in the teenage years can potentially lead to lower IQ. Specifically, the study has found an eight-point decrease in IQ in those who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 and continue to use it frequently. This eight-point decline was not observed in marijuana users who started smoking pot in their early adulthood or later on in life. The study shows that long-term use of marijuana can cause harm to some thinking abilities, like memory, attention span, intelligence, etc.
Experts believe that many young people are under the impression that using marijuana is not as bad as using other illegal drugs because it is risk free. This problem is compounded by the fact that experts also believe that teens are particularly vulnerable to the long-term damage caused by the use of this drug. Is the false idea among youth that this drug does not cause negative effects caused by the fact that they have not yet directly experienced the long-term damage for themselves?
More Specifics From The Study
The study was conducted in New Zealand as part of a health study on 1,000 adult participants that were followed from birth. IQ tests were performed at ages 38, 13, 11, 9 and 7 years. The IQ scores taken of the participants at age 13 (before most of the participants had ever used marijuana) was compared to those at 38 (when many of the participants had used the drug). Also used as data in the study was questionnaires taken by family members or close friends when the participants were 38 years old. The purpose of the questionnaires was to see if the participants had any difficulty with memory, attention, etc.
Though the average of an eight-point decline in IQ could not be explained by the use of alcohol, other drugs or having any less education. However, what was observed was this average drop of IQ in those that began smoking marijuana in their teenage years and then continued to use the drug for many years thereafter.
Unfortunately, the questionnaires in the study also showed that frequent and early use of marijuana in participants also proved to cause those participants to have more problems with attention and memory.
Narconon Discusses The Necessity Of Youth Education
Nobody dreams of one day being less intelligent, less able to remember things or think through the problems they are handed in life. Who wants more difficulties and smaller chances of success? The organization and the site narcononeastus.org states that teenagers need to be informed of the results of this study and the dangers of smoking marijuana if they wish to lead happy and productive lives.
The idea behind this is if our youth are more informed, they will be less likely to try this drug and suffer the damaging effects.
For more information on marijuana or other illegal drugs, visit www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/marijuana/