Dangers of smoking pot

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Dangers of smoking pot

Parents often struggle with the question of is pot addictive and is it harmful. The answer is yes it is addictive. The diagnostic and statistical manual actually list it specifically as an addictive substance. And, in fact, if you look in the United States, it is third after alcohol and tobacco. It is the third most commonly addictive substance. Is it harmful? Yes it is. The evidence on its harm is as strong as the evidence is for cigarettes. It's not particularly related to cancer like cigarettes are, but it is related to a variety of other issues. If you're at risk for schizophrenia, it dramatically increases the likelihood that you have schizophrenia onset. If you have a history of depression or other kinds of anxiety or other types of disorders, it tends to make them worse. If you're, even if you don't have those things, kids who use pot weekly versus don't use pot are anywhere from 2 to 29 times more likely to get in fights in school, to be expelled, to be arrested, to go to an emergency room, to spend time in jail. They're more likely to be in car accidents. There's a whole variety of things associated with particularly frequent marijuana use that are negative. That doesn't mean that's also true of alcohol and tobacco. This isn't really a question of should it be legal or not. Those are legal substances that are also addictive, but pot is unequivocally addictive, and the abuse of it is unequivocally related to harm.

See Michael Dennis, PhD's video on Dangers of smoking pot...


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Michael Dennis, PhD


Michael Dennis, PhD, is a senior research psychologist and Director of the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center at Chestnut Health Systems in Normal, Illinois. Over the past 25 years his primary area of research has been to better understand and manage addiction and recovery over the life course. This includes multiple clinical trials to compare the effectiveness of adolescent treatment approaches and recovery support services, longitudinal studies with adolescents, adults and older adults to understand the predictors of entering and sustaining recovery, and creating the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center for teaching evidenced based assessment to support clinical decision making at the individual level and program evaluation. He has multiple awards for moving the field from science to practice, promoting diversity through practice based evidence and bringing more people into the field.

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