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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    While use of synthetic pot is down among high schoolers, more teens are smoking real marijuana, a government survey revealed.

    Health officials are concerned, as the survey also found fewer teens are worried about the potential dangerous effects from marijuana use.

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health released the 2013 Monitoring the Future survey on Wednesday. The annual survey asks eighth, 10th and 12th graders across the country about their drug use history and how they feel about illicit drugs. This year’s survey involved results from 41,675 students from 389 schools.

    Synthetic marijuana -- often sold under the brands K2 or Spice -- was not as popular as it used to be among 12th graders. The survey showed 7.9 percent of high school seniors surveyed admitted to using it this year, while 11.9 said they smoked it last year.

    “Fake” pot -- which is made from different herbs and "designer" synthetic Cannabinoid compounds -- can still be dangerous. About 11,400 people went to the to the emergency room in 2010 due to abusing the substances.

    Spice and several other synthetic drugs were banned last year by the Drug Enforcement Administration. But many manufacturers, mostly from China, are still getting the products legally into the United States, CBS News correspondent Holly Williams reported recently.

    Daily pot use among high school seniors was recorded at 6.5 percent, up 4 percent over the last 20 years. Overall, 23 percent of seniors, 18 percent of 10th graders and 12 percent of eight graders lit up in the month before being surveyed.

    The survey's authors are concerned, because less than 40 percent of high school seniors believe that marijuana use will have negative effects. Those numbers are the lowest since 1978.

    The consequences can be especially bad for young people who decide to toke. A December study found that former pot smokers who used during their teenage years had brain structure changes similar to what was seen in schizophrenics, including in areas that control for memory. Other studies have linked teen marijuana use to drops in IQ, but that evidence has been refuted by some researchers.

    In addition, Dr. Margaret Haney, director of the Marijuana Research Lab in the department of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, previously told CBS News that weed may be addicting for about 10 percent of users. They may experience withdrawal symptoms including trouble sleeping, irritability, anxiety and food consumption differences when they stop smoking.

    She said she expects those addiction rates to rise as more states legalize recreational use of marijuana. Colorado and Washington both legalized recreational use following November 2012 elections.

    “We should be extremely concerned that 12 percent of 13- to 14-year-old s are using marijuana,” NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow said in a press release. “The children whose experimentation leads to regular use are setting themselves up for declines in IQ and diminish ed ability for success in life.”

    Part of the concern is because marijuana today is stronger than it used to be. In 1990, marijuana had about 3.35 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient that gets users high. In 2013, pot contained a little less than 15 percent THC on average.

    “This is not just an issue of increased daily use…. Daily use today can have stronger effects on a developing teen brain than it did 10 or 20 years ago,” Volkow said.

    Over the last five years, opioid, alcohol and cigarette use also declined, according to the survey. Vicodin and salvia use was down amongst the oldest teens surveyed, as well as the use of inhalants by eighth graders. Cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine abuse levels remained low among students.

    However, researchers were startled to find that non-medical use of Adderall has increased over the last four years. About 7.4 percent of high school seniors said they used Adderall recreationally in 2013. The researchers believe that teens think that using the prescription ADHD drug will help their grades, and there is some evidence they are using the pills to get high.

    The researchers pointed out that the survey only involved teens who are still in school. Twenty-five percent of the class of 2010 did not graduate, and heavy marijuana use is often associated with high school dropouts, the researchers said.

    Dec. 18, 2013
    Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/synthetic-pot-use-down-but-real-marijuana-use-up-among-teens/

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Willyzh
    I can't stand statistics. THis article is garbage.

    Initially they don't account for the fact that synthetic cannabis has largely been banned while marijuana legality has changed or been reconsidered... in no way would this mean that fewer teens are concerned about the dangerous effects of marijuana, it would more likely mean that although marijuana could have negative effects, when teenagers navigate the current landscape of ways to alter their consciousness, marijuana repeatedly is the least harmful and most positive choice out of everything available.

    When stated that way it doesn't sound that bad now does it?

    Ooh please tell me about the dangerous effects of smoking marijuana alone.
    How many went for marijuana, and what was the diagnosis/prognosis? Marijuana overconsumtion, patient will be fine with no further medical assistance?

    The statistics about marijuana and educational success make no correlations to societal dysfunction as a rule. We live in a competitive society where 10% of brains are considered developmentally abnormal. Whether they smoked marijuana or consumed caffeine or read comic books indicates absolutely nothing. Some people chose to question everything. Whether marijuana made them ask the question, incited their questioning nature or left them without answers is irrelevant because the question of why society fails a portion of its members will remain.
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    The reason for this story being covered here is because The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health released their (yearly) 2013 Monitoring the Future survey three days ago, Wednesday.

    Whether we personally agree with those statistics or the so-called insights these agencies release or we don't, it is still interesting and makes for a good discussion point. I believe we should always be aware of what government agencies are saying, whether we agree with their observations or we don't.

    That was the main purpose of me putting the information up here on DF. I believe the left hand should always know what the right hand is doing, so to speak.
  3. kumar420
    I think its great that the young 'uns have finally realized the synthetic stuff is utter garbage and the real plant is the way to go, but I do agree with the 'rewiring of the brain' part.
    Perhaps not rewiring it to make one more susceptible to schizophrenia, but to pleasure seeking behaviour that leads to addiction. 10-15 year olds are incapable of making long term decisions about something as big as using drugs, especially when one considers the recklessness of youth. I wish i had waited until i was at least 16, preferably 18 before starting the rollercoaster of drinking and smoking and pill-popping, because it sure as hell hasn't done me any good in the long run....
    I read a book on brain plasticity a few weeks ago, and it basically said that any long term behaviours modify the structure of the brain to make accessing those traits easier- its not permanent and will go away eventually, but it requires some fairly major changes in lifestyle and thinking.
    tl;dr: kids under the age of 15 shouldn't be going anywhere near drugs until they can realize the full repercussions of abuse and addiction, because those behaviours can stay with you for a long, long time
  4. Booty love
    I'm glad kids are quitting that fake shit. They have downgraded the formulas so much, all thats left is a placebo followed with a head ache, yet they have continued to raise the prices, when it was legal. Todays synthetic weed is bullshit and isn't worth a dollar a gram.
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