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Advocating for Evidence Based Marijuana Policy

Tag Archives: Adolescents

Biology of Addiction: Drugs and Alcohol Can Hijack Your Brain

Biology of Addiction:
Drugs and Alcohol Can Hijack Your Brain

Source:  National Institute of Health Newsletter October 2015


“People with addiction lose control over their actions. They crave and seek out drugs, alcohol, or other substances no matter what the cost—even at the risk of damaging friendships, hurting family, or losing jobs. What is it about addiction that makes people behave in such destructive ways? And why is it so hard to quit?”

WTR-RI Research and Analysis Team Note:
This brief, readable and non-technical one page article is an excellent primer on the current state of knowledge on the any addictive substance gains control of the brain.  It is especially helpful in understanding the special vulnerability of adolescent brains (through age 25 to 28) to these substances. 

Teen marijuana use increasing again since 2009 but down overall since 1999.

Teen marijuana use down despite greater availability

Concerns abound over whether laws legalizing pot for medical, recreational use will get drug into hands of more young people

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2015, September 15). Teen marijuana use down despite greater availability: Concerns abound over whether laws legalizing pot for medical, recreational use will get drug into hands of more young people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150915141045.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:
Marijuana use among American high school students is significantly lower today than it was 15 years ago, despite the legalization in many states of marijuana for medical purposes, a move toward decriminalization of the drug and the approval of its recreational use in a handful of places, new research suggests.
Journal Reference:

  1. Renee M. Johnson, Brian Fairman, Tamika Gilreath, Ziming Xuan, Emily F. Rothman, Taylor Parnham, C. Debra M. Furr-Holden. Past 15-year trends in adolescent marijuana use: Differences by race/ethnicity and sexDrug and Alcohol Dependence, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.08.025

Marijuana may double the risk of testicular cancer in young males.

WTR-RI Research and Analysis Team note:  The three articles referenced below relate results of studies published in the journal Cancer.  They indicate that marijuana use in puberty and adolescence may double the risk of testicular cancer, a condition that is reported to have a usual prevalence rate of .5% in the general population. 

Population-based case-control study of recreational drug use and testis cancer risk confirms an association between marijuana use and nonseminoma risk

John Charles A. Lacson MS, Joshua D. Carroll BA, Ellenie Tuazon MPH, Esteban J. Castelao MD, PhD, Leslie Bernstein PhD and Victoria K. Cortessis MSPH, PhD

Cancer Volume 118,  Issue 21pages 5374–53831 November 2012

Marijuana use and testicular germ cell tumors

Britton Trabert PhD  et. al.

Cancer Volume 117,  Issue 4pages 848–85315 February 2011

Association of marijuana use and the incidence of testicular germ cell tumors

Janet R. Daling PhD et al.

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