While there is not a lot of information out there regarding marijuana use and its effects on teenagers, there are some studies that indicate that there are definite health risks associated with consuming the drug that some claim is harmless. A study performed in Sweden indicated that teenage males who smoked marijuana for an extensive amount of time were more likely to end up receiving disability benefits from the government.
“There is reason to believe that the associations found in our study develop over a long period of time and are intertwined with problems in the labor market, in the social security system, and with the individual,” explained Anna-Karin Danielsson, lead author on the study. The study further indicates that there are additional health risks to ingesting marijuana, other than a person’s inability to perform in the professional world. The research also shows that there is a definite link between marijuana abuse and mental difficulties problems.
Researchers are finding that teenagers that are consuming marijuana are more likely to develop psychiatric problems such as schizophrenia and depression in their later years. In addition to these findings, many treatment professionals have noted that marijuana use during the teenage years can be the trigger for more frequent use of other illicit drugs.
Marijuana use has been on the increase for several years in Europe and the United States. New research has also indicated that regular marijuana users show impairments in the brain’s ability to respond to dopamine – a brain chemical that is involved in reward, among other functions.
Studies like the one performed in Sweden and other studies that are in the works in the United States will hopefully dispel a lot of misleading information that is being distributed by marijuana supporters.