Brain on Pot

If you were wondering about the effects of smoking marijuana on the developing brain of a teenager, perhaps this brain scan will help you understand.  The deterioration is obvious by the “hole” produced by a three year history of 4 times a week of smoking marijuana. The result is decreased prefrontal cortex activity. The prefrontal cortex is the brain region implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making and moderating social behavior. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals (from Wikipedia). If a growing and developing brain, synapses, new connections and “brain circuitry” is being established and formalized for life. Marijuana and alcohol use impair these connections and development. These scans show what is happening to a normal brain and one of a marijuana user. 

A report by the Director of NIDA, the National Institute of Drug Abuse study from the National Institute of Drug Abuse reported the following from January 2013 study. “The message inherent in these and multiple studies is clear. Regular marijuana use in adolescence is part of a cluster of behaviors that can produce enduring detrimental effects and alter the trajectory of a your person’s life–thwarting his or her potential. Beyond potentially lowering IQ, teen marijuana use is linked to school dropout, other drug use and mental health problems.” Given the current number of regular marijuana users (about 1-15 high school seniors) and the possibility of this number increasing with marijuana legalization, we cannot afford to divert our focus from the central point. 

egular marijuana use stands to jeopardize a young person’s changes of success–in school and life.” Other studies are clear that there is in fact a decrease in IQ noted of 8 points for early and ongoing use of marijuana.

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Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.