Most High School Seniors In The U.S Think There Is Little Or No Impact To Their Health From Smoking Pot
While a national survey found that 60 percent of high school seniors don’t think regular marijuana use is harmful to their health, the percentage in the county is actually lower.
Michelle Plourde Chasse, Project Manager of Community Voices, says ”in Aroostook county – high school students, 50 percent of students report that there is little or no risk from the use of marijuana.”
That’s 10 percent less than the 60 percent of high school seniors nation wide. Although the number is less, doctors say smoking marijuana leads to mental impairments.
Chief Medical Information Officer from TAMC Roger Pelli says, ”the ability for short term memory, and executive function which is adding subtracting multiplying doing things like balancing your check book, or making decisions, the speed with which making those decisions are made are all impaired. ”
The national institute on drug use survey found that nearly 7 percent of teens nation wide say they smoke pot daily, which is triple what it was 20 years ago. And more than a third of them admitted to using it within the past year.
Michele tells us, ”in terms of high school use, 22 percent of Aroostook high school seniors report having used marijuana in the past 30 days.”
Medical marijuana use is legal in some states, as for those without a prescription or med card..the survey says some of the teens admitted to getting their pot from someone else’s prescription.
“Access is definitely a concern of ours and on the survey 48 percent of Aroostook county teens reported that they thought marijuana was easy to obtain,” adds Michelle.
The efforts in the county for awareness on drug abuse go beyond surveys. Community voices provides resources for parents on drug paraphernalia. Presentations about the harmful effects of marijuana are available for any parent, school or organization.
Michelle also says, “we have lesson plans for educators, middle school and high school that can be used in the class room.”
And those lesson plans are available through Community Voices, an advocacy organization.
Researchers from the national institute on drug use say they plan to explore the link between teen’s marijuana use and the states that allow it’s use.