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Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

More Research on the Dangerous Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

Research from Harvard Medical School indicates that even casual use of pot can cause permanent brain damage.

People who had only used cannabis once or twice a week for a matter of months were found to have changes in the brain that govern emotion, motivation and addiction. The damage increased with the amount of cannabis used.

Dr Hans Breiter, professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, (author of the study reported in the post immediately below)
“People think a little recreational use shouldn’t cause a problem, if someone is doing OK with work or school. Our data directly says this is not the case.
“I’ve developed a severe worry about whether we should be allowing anybody under age 30 to use pot unless they have a terminal illness and need it for pain.”

“Drug abuse can cause more dopamine release than natural rewards like food, sex and social interaction. That is why drugs take on so much salience, and everything else loses its importance.” The study is published in the Journal of Neurosciences.

Mark Winstanley, chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “For too long cannabis has been seen as a safe drug, but as this study suggests, it can have a really serious impact on your mental health.

“Research also shows that when people smoke cannabis before the age of 15, it quadruples their chance of developing psychosis. But very few people are aware of the risks involved.”

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The younger drug abuse starts, the more abnormal the brain

CHICAGO --- Teens who were heavy marijuana users -- smoking it daily for about three years -- had abnormal changes in their brain structures related to working memory and performed poorly on memory tasks, reports a new Northwestern Medicine® study. 

A poor working memory predicts poor academic performance and everyday functioning.

The Northwestern research shows, of the 15 marijuana smokers who had schizophrenia in the study, 90 percent started heavily using the drug before they developed the mental disorder. Marijuana abuse has been linked to developing schizophrenia in prior research.

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A New Zealand study found the cannabis users were more than twice as likely to have a stroke at an early age (18-55). Interestingly, there is no evidence of any correlation with heart attacks.

See post immediately below for more info and also Does Pot make You Crazy?