Bienville Community Coalition

Teens + Marijuana

Besides alcohol, marijuana is the most popular drug of choice in the United States.  Most drug use begins with marijuana, and  leads to more serious drugs.  Users smoke it, roll it in cigarette papers, hollowed-out cigars (blunts), pipes or water pipes (bongs).  it can be mixed with food (brownies) or brewed as a tea.

Bienville Parish Teens and Marijuana Use

According to the 2014 Louisiana Caring Communities Youth Survey in Bienville Parish:

  • Approximately 8% of  Bienville Parish high school students used marijuana in the past 30 days.
  • 10.4% of students in Grade 8 as compared to 29.8% in Grade 12 have used marijuana during their lifetime, indicating that use typically increases with age.

There are now studies that show how marijuana can have long-term negative effects on the brain.  For example, researchers at Northwestern University explored the relationship between the casual use of marijuana and the brain changes for young adults.  The used magnetic resonance imaging to analyze different parts of the brain.  Those who used cannabis just once or twice a week showed significant abnormalities in two significant brain structures.  The areas that were affected are the ones responsible for prrocessing emotions, making decisions and motivation.  Just occasional use can cause damage to these pretty important parts of the brain.

Researchers believe that casual marijuana use among teens can also result in a motivational syndrome, a psychological condition that can cause people to become less oriented toward their goals and purposes in life.