WOODBURY – A new study warns that current strains of marijuana are stronger than those of decades past. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that today’s drugs are both more potent and potentially more risky.
“It’s not whether it’s legal or illegal, or right or wrong,” says Steve Chassman, LCSW, CASAC (Email), Director of the Long Island Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence. “It’s whether it is healthy or unhealthy.” Chassman says marijuana is now so potent that it can have detrimental effects on teens and younger children. The study found that frequent use by teens may lower IQ scores and lead to addiction. “This has been genetically spliced so the THC levels are quite higher than Mother Nature ever intended,” he says. THC is the active chemical in marijuana.
The study also warns parents that brains do not fully develop until around the age of 25 years old, teens who use marijuana at least 10 times a month develop changes in their brains that can affect memory and planning and that some changes may be permanent.
The Long Island Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence says that out of the 1,000 people who visit its office a month for addiction help, all of them got their start using alcohol and marijuana.
For more than 60 years, LICADD has successfully delivered evidence-based programs designed to prevent and treat substance abuse and addiction. LICADD offers crisis intervention, screenings, brief interventions, referrals to treatment and several family and parent education workshops to help Long Islanders struggling with the effects of addiction. Through our Open Arms, EAP Program, LICADD has provided targeted solution-focused support to companies all along the East Coast, serving over 60,000 employees and their families.
LICADD is Long Island’s premier non-profit agency providing life-saving alcohol and drug prevention and intervention services to at-risk children, individuals, and families across the region. With offices in Mineola, Holbrook and Riverhead, LICADD conducts evidence-based prevention programs, community outreach initiatives, and a mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents and public policy advocacy.
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CONTACT: Angela Brooks
LICADD Director of Philanthropy