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Pot Use Among Teens at a 30-Year High: Is It More Dangerous Than Alcohol?

Living 2011/12/16 14:00:00
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Marijuana use among American teenagers is at a 30-year high, according to a report released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. One of every 15 high school seniors admitted to smoking pot on a daily or nearly daily basis -- the fourth consecutive year showing an increase in use, The New York Daily News reports.



"One thing we've learned over the years is that when young people come to see a drug as dangerous, they're less likely to use it," Lloyd Johnston, the study's principal investigator, told The Associated Press. "That helps to explain why marijuana right now is rising, because the proportion of kids who see it as dangerous has been declining."

One out of nine high school seniors said they had used synthetic marijuana, known as Spice or K2, in the past 12 months. (Now we feel old -- we've never even heard of this stuff.) Synthetic marijuana was sold legally until March, according to the News.

But here's the good news: Forty percent of 12th grade students reported using booze in the past 30 days, compared to 54 percent in 1991. The study also reported that cigarette use fell this year from 21.6 percent in 2006 to 18.7 percent. And fewer teens used cocaine, tranquilizers, over-the-counter cold medicine, prescription drugs like Adderall and narcotic pain killers like Vicodin. Seems like everything is down except for pot ... is this a dangerous trend?
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  • Heat Her 2011/12/16 18:43:36 (edited)
    No
    Heat Her
    +45
    "fewer teens used cocaine, tranquilizers, over-the-counter cold medicine, prescription drugs like Adderall and narcotic pain killers like Vicodin. Seems like everything is down except for pot"



    There goes the "gateway drug" argument .

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  • Stormy 2012/05/16 08:30:43
    No
    Stormy
    +1
    Legalize it, tax it, regulate it.
  • twocrows 2012/05/13 22:00:53
    No
    twocrows
    +3
    the prohibition of it is what is dangerous - the drug itself is far safer than alcohol and even many prescription medications. the benefits it brings are far superior to many prescription meds, as well.
  • Stormy twocrows 2012/05/16 08:33:41
    Stormy
    +1
    It's a great pain killer ! Nothing like it for muscular pain.
  • twocrows Stormy 2012/05/17 00:59:38
    twocrows
    +1
    I know. my cousin has had 7 back-surgeries. his body has developed either immunity or allergy to all the pain meds on the market. the only thing that gives him any relief is pot. and he has to travel long distances and put himself at risk of prison in order to buy it.
  • Stormy twocrows 2012/05/17 03:17:22
    Stormy
    +1
    Isn't that a sad thing twocrows ! Nature provides this amazing medicine which has been demonized by corporate interests for over a century so that they can peddle their product which are often dangerous and addictive or don't work. He should grow his own poor guy. ! Back pain is such hell.
  • twocrows Stormy 2012/05/17 04:45:26
    twocrows
    +1
    he would love to grow his own but he can't do the work necessary to do that. he is virtually totally disabled.
    he can't sit for more than 20 minutes at a time, he can't stand for 10. even lying down is painful. there is no relief in any position at all.
    and standard pain meds do nothing for him. thank God for pot. but even that just dulls the pain. at least it doesn't make him comatose like morphine used to - till he developed intolerance for it and can't even use it any more.
  • Stormy twocrows 2012/05/17 07:42:22
    Stormy
    +1
    Poor guy ! That's just terrible. Thanks goodness he gets some relief with the pot though. It would be good if he could get it with a prescription though. The last thing you need in that awful situation is stress over getting arrested ! Jeez.!
  • travele... twocrows 2012/10/12 20:24:23
    traveler818
    Pot is an herb, not a drug, and I have had bad reactions to herbs, but not that one. It is one fantastic muscle relaxer, and a damn good suicide prevention as well. It offers so much that to forbid it is unforgiveable, not to mention how many have died for lack of the relief they could have had. Including a really kind gentle man--he was headed for jail--he was far too gentle for that, and his only crime was using an herb that worked on intolerable headaches. The judge felt that morphine or methadone were better options, except that they didn't work, and my friend had no experience with such drugs--I wonder what the judge turned doctor's experience was--what despicable arrogance.

    Without his herbs, my friend couldn't tolerate the headaches--one extra pill got him a jail sentence, and if I recall correctly, he took that by accident--his pain was bad enough that he did not remember the previous dose. This game is so insane. Leave the gentle people alone--aren't we in a financial crisis? Do we need to pay to jail those who only need an end to their suffering?

    And do not force drugs on people, especially if they have a harmless alternative--I have permanent neurological damage that has plagued me for 50 years thanks to prescription drugs-and they were forced on me. I could...

    Pot is an herb, not a drug, and I have had bad reactions to herbs, but not that one. It is one fantastic muscle relaxer, and a damn good suicide prevention as well. It offers so much that to forbid it is unforgiveable, not to mention how many have died for lack of the relief they could have had. Including a really kind gentle man--he was headed for jail--he was far too gentle for that, and his only crime was using an herb that worked on intolerable headaches. The judge felt that morphine or methadone were better options, except that they didn't work, and my friend had no experience with such drugs--I wonder what the judge turned doctor's experience was--what despicable arrogance.

    Without his herbs, my friend couldn't tolerate the headaches--one extra pill got him a jail sentence, and if I recall correctly, he took that by accident--his pain was bad enough that he did not remember the previous dose. This game is so insane. Leave the gentle people alone--aren't we in a financial crisis? Do we need to pay to jail those who only need an end to their suffering?

    And do not force drugs on people, especially if they have a harmless alternative--I have permanent neurological damage that has plagued me for 50 years thanks to prescription drugs-and they were forced on me. I could make a long list of benefits from pot. We shouldn't have to travel miles, pay a small fortune or fear the law to end our suffering. It's more than a little counterproductive. Pot feels to me like a sacred gift with so much good to offer as long as it is grown without chemicals. I do not recall the author, but he described it as a beautiful lady who has been following humanity around for 7,000 years solely to help.

    Teens and alcohol DO NOT mix. I prefer that unless there is a medical issue, that they wait until grown to use pot, but if I had to choose, no contest.
    (more)
  • traveler818 2012/05/13 21:10:54
    No
    traveler818
    +3
    Among those who sincerely dispense medical marijuana, many only use natural ingredients. The question is what is in all those long words on prescription bottles.
  • Link 2012/04/20 00:03:29 (edited)
    No
    Link
    +3
    No, it's not.. the Gov't would have you believe that it is... but far more accidents have occurred under the influence of alcohol than weed... far more violent acts are committed under the influence of alcohol than maryjane... However.... it also depends on the reefer... in the old days, it was clean, un spiked... now, you never know what's in it...
  • twocrows Link 2012/05/13 22:05:22
    twocrows
    +3
    and that, right there, is why the prohibition of pot is far more dangerous than the drug itself.

    lie to the kids about pot and they'll inevitably ask the question, "OK, what else are they lying about?" Then they're more likely to try something that actually IS dangerous simply because you lied and THEY KNOW YOU LIED about one thing. once that trust is broken, everything is up for grabs.

    and, of course, there's a whole 'nother reason why prohibition is dangerous:
    mexican drug cartel
  • travele... twocrows 2012/09/01 21:23:36 (edited)
    traveler818
    +2
    Prohibition is indeed dangerous. As a teen, I smoked pot. I kept hearing that it was as dangerous as heroin. Since I knew it was only dangerous if you smoked it in the police station, I was ready to try heroin. It is my good fortune that 1) No one ever offered me any, and 2) I saw someone going through heroin withdrawals.

    This should be a complete non-issue. It's lots of money for law enforcement, nothing for the needy, and too harmless when grown properly to be a legal issue at all.
  • xifidieyoung 2012/04/19 23:50:16
    No
    xifidieyoung
    +4
    It doesn't have addictive properties and no one in history has died from weed.
  • Lydecho Rain (Лидия) 2012/04/02 03:09:30
    No
    Lydecho Rain (Лидия)
    +2
    Defianatly not.
  • TJ 2012/02/20 09:31:40
    No
    TJ
    +3
    If we legalized it less kids would do it. It wouldn't be "cool" then.
  • Dan TJ 2012/02/22 09:08:48
    Dan
    +3
    A friend from Holland told me that he had never even seen cocaine untill he was about 20 and went to pick up some weed in a country where it wasnt legal, and got his pot from a drug dealer that tried to sell him hard drugs(cocaine). So that would suggest that it would be a lot safer if it were legal. Kids wouldnt be at as much risk of even seeing the more dangrous drugs that can kill in one use.
  • twocrows Dan 2012/05/13 22:09:48
    twocrows
    +2
    yep. the argument that pot is a "gateway drug" falls apart at first glance.
    if marijuana were legal, people who bought it wouldn't come in contact with the people who will be more than happy to introduce them to the stuff that really is dangerous.

    there are some serious lobbyists in DC who want it kept illegal. and we're paying the price. that's par.
  • travele... twocrows 2012/10/12 20:53:51
    traveler818
    Pot actually is a gateway drug--they just have it totally backwards. I have met so many people, including myself, who used it as a gateway out. Without it, I doubt I could have quit using tobacco. And so many people use it to get off heroin, cocaine, etc.

    Maybe if we didn't keep hearing how dangerous it is--many people don't even feel it the first time--people like me as a teen wouldn't feel the betrayal described by twocrows. I am beginning to wonder if the lies we hear from the government are not a deliberate way to get more money for themselves by creating more addicts. No doubt, if no one believed pot was a hard drug, there would be fewer people addicted to hard drugs. It was seeing the truth about hard drugs that saved me from sinking into a horrible addiction. Based on the government lies, I was eager to try heroin. (I am so glad I saw the truth). You don't get loyal citizens by lying to them either.
  • chad ha... TJ 2012/02/27 20:28:38
    chad harris
    Are you running for office? you should! I'd vote for you.
  • Daniel mackinnon 2012/02/02 15:17:13
    No
    Daniel mackinnon
    Hell no! are you retarded?!
  • chad ha... Daniel ... 2012/02/27 20:30:36
    chad harris
    just breath, take another pill, that the doc gave ya!
  • Beccy 2012/01/19 02:06:12
    No
    Beccy
    +2
    Don't hear of many people getting killed from smoking and driving
  • Dan Beccy 2012/02/22 09:15:31
    Dan
    +2
    I love pot but somking and driving is retarded, it is still impared driving, and it is still very dangrous. Do some research on car crashes and the dammage they cause, even the dumbest person would realize that you dont f around when you are using a car amongst the public. The better argument is that you wont black out on pot and end up doing somthing stupid like driving impared, but if you chose to any way then thats not pots fault, you're just stupid.
  • shiniga... Dan 2012/08/14 19:52:15
    shinigami.rei.1
    +2
    Umm no actually weed make a person more cautious making it less likely of the possibility of crash read this site http://www.drugpolicy.org/fac...
  • Beccy Dan 2012/10/14 23:27:48
    Beccy
    Your right
  • travele... Beccy 2013/12/15 05:52:04
    traveler818
    Studies have shown that people who drive after smoking pot tend to be more cautious than others. I am not advocating getting high and jumping behind the wheel. I have found that if you have a real medical need, you don't get high anyway. For people with siezure disorders, a small amount daily can prevent siezures, which are much more dangerous. Still, if it was available, I waited 2 hours before driving, and actually mainly used it before sleep.
  • Jennypenny 2012/01/16 21:04:54
    No
    Jennypenny
    it doesn't do as much damage to your insides.
  • Matt 2012/01/14 17:15:07
    No
    Matt
    +2
    How often do you hear about someone smoking pot and then beating someone up? Or doing something regretful? Saying something regretful? Blacking out? Not much, if ever. Most are more concerned with discussing whether or not superman could defeat darth vader. Or wheather to use queso dip or sour cream to dip their doritos in. All stupid things, but not NEAR as dangerous as alcohol.
  • ScoutLdr 2012/01/13 20:44:22
    Yes
    ScoutLdr
    +1
    Yes,it is if their using K-2,Spice or other synthetic marijuana.The side effects of Spice include (even at low doses):
    delusions,elevated blood pressure,elevated heart rate,hallucinations,heart palpitations,increased agitation,nausea,seizures and vomiting.
    Of course, it is only a minority who seems to suffer from these negative effects but it is a sizable minority.
  • Rebel R... ScoutLdr 2012/01/25 17:02:59
    Rebel Rhoads
    +1
    Remember that we are talking about the smoking of the ACTUAL marijuana plant here and whether it is more dangerous than alcohol and not whether some mixture of diverse harmful chemicals so-called by those who manufacture it "synthetic marijuana". This mixture has nothing whatsoever to do with the ACTUAL marijuana plant. The decriminalization of marijuana would put a stop to this so-called "synthetic marijuana" which is a mixture of harmful chemicals that are most certainly dangerous to the human body. It would also stop all the murdering that goes on in the process of supplying the user with real marijuana.
  • ScoutLdr Rebel R... 2012/03/05 11:21:57
    ScoutLdr
    I do remember, as should you. Marijuana is different from most other drugs in that it is fat soluble rather than water soluble. This allows the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to be more readily stored in the body. On the contrary, water soluble chemicals are eliminated from the body much more easily. In other words THC is stored in the body’s fat cells.
    The human organs that contain the most fat (and therefore store the most THC), are the brain and reproductive organs (ovaries or testicles). The storage of THC in these organs has significant consequences for both men and women.

    Consequences
    Reduces levels of testosterone, which equates to reduced ability to gain lean muscle mass. Based on this, one can say “If you smoke weed don’t bother going to the weight room.”
    Reduces libido and sperm count
    Produces sperm with abnormal chromosomes
    Disrupts menstrual cycles
    Produces less healthy eggs in women
    Development of the mammary glands (gynecomastia) in men
    Studies show that THC damages the hippocampus, a critical part of the brain in terms of learning and memory
    Amotivational syndrome
    Slows the transmission of neurochemicals due to the thickening of the walls of brain cells
    Causes anxiety and panic reaction
    Increases heart rate and blood pressure
    Reduces the supply of oxygen in the blood (at a time it needs more oxygen due to increase HR and BP
    Decreases effectiveness of the immune system
  • Amber Long ScoutLdr 2012/04/04 18:16:04
    Amber Long
    +1
    You're talking about K-2... The question was relating to WEED... not Spice...
  • ScoutLdr Amber Long 2012/04/06 12:16:07
    ScoutLdr
    NO, Amber above is just plain old weed , not spice. As it says ' Marijuana is different from most other drugs in that it is fat soluble rather than water soluble. This allows the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to be more readily stored in the body.."
  • shiniga... ScoutLdr 2012/08/14 19:55:21
    shinigami.rei.1
    +2
    wrong all symptoms of marijuana are gone after the high read the educate yourself
    http://healthpsych.psy.vander...
    http://www.drugpolicy.org/fac...
  • ScoutLdr shiniga... 2012/08/14 21:43:16
    ScoutLdr
    No you should educate yourself. "Method Data on patients treated for cannabis-induced psychotic symptoms between 1994 and 1999 were extracted from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register. Those previously treated for any psychotic symptoms were excluded. The remaining 535 patients were followed for at least 3 years. In a separate analysis, the sample was compared with people referred for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders for the firsttime, but who had no history of cannabis-induced psychosis.

    Results Schizophrenia-spectrum disorders were diagnosed in 44.5% of the sample. New psychotic episodes of any type were diagnosed in 77.2%. Male gender and young age were associated with increased risk. Development of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders was often delayed, and 47.1% of patients received a diagnosis more than a year after seeking treatment for a cannabis-induced psychosis. The patients developed schizophrenia at an earlier agethanpeople in the comparison group (males, 24.6 v. 30.7 years, females, 28.9 v. 33.1 years).

    Conclusions Cannabis-induced psychotic disorders are of greatclinical and prognostic importance." http://bjp.rcpsych.org/conten...
  • shindogg 2012/01/13 00:45:07
    No
    shindogg
    i would say its about the same, although there hasnt been much testin done on weed to be sure of its long-term effects on the human body.
  • Craigh0... shindogg 2012/02/18 20:52:35
    Craigh00000
    Sorry Doggg. But there have been long term studiesdone. One particularly in Jamaica. Thy studied people who had smoked for their entire lives. During autopsy they found "Plaque" buildup in the brain. HOWEVER. these were people who smoked every day for 50-60 years. If marijuana is used ecreationally, I dont smoke every day, and when I do its usually 1 or 2 hits and thats it. After all the medications, (Which by the way caused suicidal thoughts) I realized that POT was the only thing that made life bareable. But. DO NOT DRIVE while stoned. Do not operate heavy equipment. And keep in mind that you are impaired in everything you do.
  • shindogg Craigh0... 2012/02/18 21:34:27
    shindogg
    well i havent heard about this until you just mentioned it. ive never used weed in my life and i dont plan on startin any time soon. now i dont know if this "plaque" you speak of is harmful to the brain and if so, how harmful, but if its anything like the plaque that i know about which forms on teeth, it will eat away at whatever its on.
  • Thomas 2012/01/11 14:59:51
    No
    Thomas
    Teens that drink, usually land up in fights, accidents, or worse. Pot keeps them mellow, and generally non violent. Pot heads get in a lot less trouble then drinkers. As it becomes more socially excepted, kids will continue to experiment. Better stoned then drunk. Bottom line, talk to your kids and get involved in their lives, and what they are doing to be excepted by their peers.
  • Glenda Lough 2012/01/04 18:43:48
    Yes
    Glenda Lough
    Yes is the plain and simple answer.

    It is yes because alcohol and other drugs are often used with marijuana. Uppers are used by many who consume large amounts of marijuana just to help them get moving again. There is more dangerous chemicals in marijuana than regular cigarettes.

    No, if marijuana is used without any other drugs.
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