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Marijuana Addiction
 
The ADAMHS for Montgomery County opposes the legalization and commercialization of marijuana for recreational purposes. In addition, legalizing marijuana for medical use should not be decided by legislative or voter initiative. Marijuana should be subject to the same research, consideration and study as any other potential medicine, under the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The supports controlled research into the benefits of cannabis-based medicines which follow the basic tenets of good medicine, and which would provide scientifically-valid support for the conditions it is proven to help; controlled strength and purity; appropriate dosage levels; and safe means of administration.

Marijuana is one of those drugs that people continue to perceive as harmless, similar to alcohol and prescription drugs. There is a level of social acceptance that you don’t necessarily see with other drugs of abuse. But regardless of that, there is a substantial body of research showing health and safety risks from marijuana use.

How to Talk to Kids About Marijuana...

Health Risks:
Impacts on heart rate and the immune system

Considerable harm occurs to the respiratory system when marijuana is used in a smokeable form, including lung diseases like lung cancer, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
Impairment Issues:
Reflexes
Depth perception and Vision
Non-Medicaid Reviews for FY2013 Information
Reaction time
 
These issues are particularly troubling for young people who are driving a car or operating heavy machinery. And marijuana impairment often lasts longer than the impairment from other substances, because the chemicals in marijuana are fat soluble so they take longer to leave the body.

Behavioral Health Issues:
Higher rates of depression and schizophrenia

Despite popular belief, people can become addicted to marijuana. Almost 400 people in Montgomery County receive addiction treatment service for marijuana addiction
 
Currently, about 44% of 12th graders have used marijuana in their lifetime (which is higher than the national average of 35%), with about 7% of them indicating that they smoke daily. However, data over the last 20+ years indicates that marijuana use by high school youth has stayed about the same.


 
 

While that may appear to be good news, marijuana is now the second most widely used drug by high school-aged students, surpassing tobacco for the very first time. That means that more high school youth smoke marijuana than smoke cigarettes.

We also know that the percentage of teens who will use marijuana for the first time doubles between the ninth and 12th grades and that about one in six high school seniors are at high-risk for a substance use disorder.

Research shows that parents are the #1 influence on a youth’s decision to use drugs. That means parents need to talk to their kids and be very clear that marijuana use – and ALL drug use – is unacceptable. I know this is makes some parents nervous. Parents should begin these discussions early in a child’s life, because that makes children more likely to listen. Parents should stay calm and non-judgmental during these discussions.

Talk about the health risks of marijuana use, talk about the dangers of driving under the influence, talk about legal issues – such as jail time – and what all of this might mean for their futures. In addition to talking TO your kids about marijuana, parents should ASK their children about their thoughts and concerns. Do they know of anyone who uses marijuana? Do any of their friends use marijuana? Do any of these friends drive while they are under the influence?

If you think your child is using marijuana, the earlier you can get them help, the better chances of saving them from the health and impairment consequences, and the potential that they may become addicted. You can get help for your child by contacting CrisisCare at 224-4646.

 
     
 
A new effort is underway across Ohio to prevent drug abuse among Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens – our children. Governor John R. Kasich and First Lady Karen W. Kasich have launched Start Talking! to give parents, guardians, educators and community leaders the tools to start the conversation with Ohio’s youth about the importance of living healthy, drug-free lives. Learn more today...

 

The ADAMHS for Montgomery County opposes the legalization and commercialization of marijuana for recreational purposes. In addition, legalizing marijuana for medical use should not be decided by legislative or voter initiative. Marijuana should be subject to the same research, consideration and study as any other potential medicine, under the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The supports controlled research into the benefits of cannabis-based medicines which follow the basic tenets of good medicine, and which would provide scientifically-valid support for the conditions it is proven to help; controlled strength and purity; appropriate dosage levels; and safe means of administration.