Breeze Recovery on the Risks of Marijuana use to Adolescents, Teens and Pregnant Women

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Marijuana today has a much higher potency than in years past. The average strength of marijuana was three times stronger in 2014 than it was in 1995. These concentrated products are becoming more available not only for medicinal use, but also for recreational. The risks of dependency and addiction increase with more powerful products.

Gulf Breeze Recovery Pool

“Our hope is to raise awareness of the potential risks of marijuana products for adolescents, teens, and pregnant women so that addiction and other future negative consequences can be avoided.” Barnett Gilmer, CEO of Gulf Breeze Recovery

With the ease of access to marijuana products and the constant promises of cures for a multitude of ills, many believe that marijuana is a natural cure-all with no harmful consequences. Unfortunately, however, there are consequences, especially to adolescents and expectant mothers.

Since 1871, the United States Surgeon General has been the leading spokesperson on the nation’s health. The most recent warning from the Surgeon General was issued on August 29, 2019, to underscore those risks.
The warning states:
I, Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams, am emphasizing the importance of protecting our Nation from the health risks of marijuana use in adolescence and during pregnancy. Recent increases in access to marijuana and in its potency, along with misperceptions of safety of marijuana endanger our most precious resource, our nation’s youth.

Marijuana today has a much higher potency than in years past. The average strength of marijuana was three times stronger in 2014 than it was in 1995. These concentrated products are becoming more available not only for medicinal use, but also for recreational. The risks of dependency and addiction increase with more powerful products.

Parents sometimes downplay the risks involved when their adolescents and teens begin experimenting with marijuana. Parents may remember back when they smoked marijuana as teenagers, and feel reassured that marijuana is safe because it is legalized in many states. Marijuana, however, is not legal in the United States for anyone under the age of 21 and the potency is much higher than when the parents were teenagers.

The complete report from the Surgeon General points out that brain development continues from before birth until the mid-20s. and that it is vulnerable to the effects of addictive substances. Changes associated with frequent marijuana use during adolescence include memory issues, motivation, decision-making, and attention. Increased suicide attempts have been reported with adolescent and teen marijuana use. It is linked to risk for early-onset psychotic disorders and those risks increase with the potency of the marijuana product and the younger the age of first use. Early use of marijuana is associated with other substance use, with those using frequently showing a 130% greater likelihood of using opioids.

Pregnant women use marijuana more than any other illicit drug. No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is known to be safe.

Marijuana use during pregnancy can affect the fetus and fetal brain development. It is recommended that women who are breastfeeding avoid using marijuana. THC, the primary psychoactive compound found in marijuana, has been found in breast milk for up to six days after the last use of marijuana. THC may affect the brain development of the newborn and result in hyperactivity and poor cognitive function as well as other long-term consequences.

Just as second-hand tobacco smoke is harmful to babies and adults, so is marijuana smoke. Marijuana contains many of the same harmful components as tobacco smoke. Neither should be smoked around babies.

Due to the potential adverse effects on the fetus, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women not use cannabis products.

Barnett Gilmer, CEO of Gulf Breeze Recovery, states, “Our hope is to raise awareness of the potential risks of marijuana products for adolescents, teens, and pregnant women so that addiction and other future negative consequences can be avoided.”

About Gulf Breeze Recovery: Gulf Breeze Recovery is a holistic, non-12-step, drug and alcohol treatment program that focuses not only on helping their guests achieve sobriety, but also helping them begin a healthy, happy lifestyle.

If you or someone you care about, has an ongoing history of substance use and relapse, we offer hope and we can help. Contact us at Gulf Breeze Recovery or call (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about our program that has helped so many people overcome their addiction, rediscover their dreams and embrace life.

We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE®.

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