Smoking marijuana affects development of teens’ brains

International Social Skills Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist Dr. Neals Chitan.

ST. KITTS–International Social Skills Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist Dr. Neals Chitan made a clarion call for teenagers to refrain from smoking marijuana as it is a mind altering drug which affects the development of the brain by reducing thinking, memory and learning functions, and how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.

  Speaking at the National Crime Reduction Symposium on Thursday, February 9, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, Dr. Chitan said that he has witnessed the ruin of young minds due to smoking marijuana and encouraged adults to not give it to the teenagers, in particular teenage boys, as they are in their formative stage.

  The crime reduction specialist referred to an article from that spoke about teenagers who smoke weed, noting that it damages their brains for life and that they may be more likely to develop schizophrenia. He further added that a United States (US) Study found that mice exposed to even smaller dosages of marijuana for 20 days suffered lasting brain damage into adulthood, adding that if it damages rodents, one can only imagine what it will do to humans.

  “Results highlight how teenagers who regularly smoke weed may have a greater risk of developing schizophrenia. Teenagers who regularly smoke cannabis suffer long lasting brain damage and are in much greater danger of developing schizophrenia,” said Dr. Chitan. “American researchers said that the drug is particularly dangerous for a group of people who have a genetic susceptibility to the mental health disorder and it could be the trigger for it.”

  Dr. Chitan warned that using psychoactive drugs do not solve problems.  He reminded parents and teachers to act as positive role models in the lives of teenagers and to do all in their power to ensure that they walk the straight and narrow path.

  “When you use a mind altering substance to get rid of your problems, to get rid of your stress, the problem is not going away. Like the hare and the tortoise that engage his friend in a race, when you wake up one day, the tortoise will be catching up to you,” he said. “Educators, you are responsible for inspiring our children. Remember teachers and principals you are the second level of enforcement. Parents, if you are here, the first line of enforcement is the home and if things are hard at home, mom and dad are fighting at home, then there is pressure in the home and it could lead to a complex prognosis.”

  He said every time such information is presented persons often disagree, but noted that there is evidence to prove that the use of marijuana is dangerous, especially to teenagers.

Source: The Daily Herald