A 38–year NIH–funded study, published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that people who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38—an average of eight points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence. Those who used marijuana heavily before age 18 (when the brain is still developing) showed impaired mental abilities even after they quit taking the drug. These findings are consistent with other studies showing a link between prolonged marijuana use and cognitive or neural impairment.
“We are increasingly concerned that regular or daily use of marijuana is robbing many young people of their potential to achieve and excel in school or other aspects of life,” said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. “THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, alters the ability of the hippocampus, a brain area related to learning and memory, to communicate effectively with other brain regions. In addition, we know from recent research that marijuana use that begins during adolescence can lower IQ and impair other measure of mental function into adulthood.”
Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person’s existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of well–being and life achievement, including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.
The above was published this morning from the “Monitoring the Future” survey from NIDA. We are consistently seeing shifts in young adult marijuana abuse, and knowing now more definitive consequences of heavy use of the drug the team at Sober College feels reinforced on the ideas of an overall treatment plan, including treating the brain, the body, and the life. The core competencies at Sober College provide an environment where heavy drug users can learn to stabilize their life in all areas without the use of drugs. This not only offers an environment of relapse prevention but a way of treating the brain with cognitive functioning.
If you or a loved on is struggling, contact us today and get the best in addiction treatment at Sober College.