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Cannabis Risk are Significant

Motor vehicle accident risks similar between THC and alcohol.

"Marijuana has been associated with substantial adverse effects, some of which have been determined with a high level of confidence." This is the conclusion of top officials of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. This review provides evidence that regular and/or heavy use of cannabis is strongly linked to addictive behaviors, lung dysfunction, motor vehicle accidents, and "diminished lifetime achievement."

PositiveTip: Avoid the "weed" for a healthy and productive life.

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Sleep is Critical to Scholastic Success

Poor sleep hurts GPA as much as alcohol or marijuana abuse.

Sleep researchers recently found after clinical depression or tremendous stress, lack of sleep or poor sleep habits are the highest predictors of academic problems. From a sample of 43,000 college students they found that sleep problems, binge drinking and marijuana use equally predicted lower GPA's. Sleep issues were the strongest predictor for a student dropping a course.

PositiveTip: Stick with a regular sleep pattern for improved productivity in school or at work.

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Heavy Pot Use Linked to Drop in IQ

Teen marijuana use may lower IQ later in life.

Heavy use of marijuana (cannabis), especially when started in the teen years, has been linked to measureable declines in IQ by age 38. New Zealand researchers analyzed data on IQ testing and cannabis dependence diagnoses in 874 individuals. While measurable, the effect was not as marked in those who started heavy cannibis use in adulthood. These findings held true when participants who smoked, consumed alcohol, or used illicit drugs were excluded.

PositiveTip: To help preserve your IQ, avoid the use of marijuana.

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Pot and Driving Don't Mix

Risk of motor vehicle accidents raised by acute marijuana use.

A British meta-analysis of nine oberservational studies involving more than 49,000 participants revealed that driving under the influence of cannabis (marijuana) nearly doubles the risk of motor vehicle accidents compared to unimpaired driving. Acute cannabis consumption was determined by toxicologic analysis of whole blood or by self-reporting.

PositiveTip: Driving while under the influence of any mind-numbing substance--including marijuana--substantially raises the risk of accidents.

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Pot Leads the List

Illicit drug use is a substantial cause of mortality and morbidity.

Tracking the use of illegal drugs is a challenge because of their illegality, but researchers from Australia estimate that 149 to 271 million people around the world use them. Pot (cannabis) is the most widely used. This study did not include hallucinogens, inhalants, anabolic steriods or ecstasy. For perspective, the WHO has estimated that illegal drug use causes 250,000 deaths annually, compared with 2.25 million due to alcohol and over 5 million caused by tobacco.

PositiveTip: For health and safety avoid all illegal drugs, along with the more popular legal ones such as alcohol and tobacco!

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Marijuana Use Raises Risk of Psychosis

Adolescent marijuana use almost doubles rate of psychotic symptoms.

European researchers have found that those who used marijuana during their teens and early 20's were nearly twice (1.9x) as likely to experience psychotic symptoms when compared to those who did not use it. Continued use during the study period was associated with a doubled risk compared to nonusers, and predicted more episodes of psychosis later in life as well.

PositiveTip: Although often promoted as a harmless high, serious risks accompany the use of marijuana.

Marijuana Psychosis

Marijuana (cannabis) is the most popular illegal drug in the world. It is estimated that worldwide, over 160,000,000 people use marijuana every day.

Marijuana use can lead to psychosis.

Psychosis is a major mental disorder, impairing a person's ability to think, respond emotionally, remember, communicate, interpret reality and behave appropriately -- to a degree that the person can't meet the ordinary demands of life. Symptoms can include seeing, hearing, smelling, or tasting things that are not there; paranoia; and delusional thoughts. Depending on the condition, psychotic symptoms may be constant or might come and go.

Marijuana Impairs Young Brains

Man smoking marijuanaMarijuana smoking often begins in the early teen years. This is particularly unfortunate as the young brain is particularly prone to damage.

Dr. Staci A. Gruber confirmed this at the 2010 annual session of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, California. She talked about a small but important study of 35 chronic marijuana smokers who averaged 22 years of age. 

Twenty of the subjects started smoking marijuana regularly before the age of 16. The rest delayed regular smoking until age 16 or later. 

The Importance of Family Meals: Reduce Problem Behaviors

Mother with two daughters eating dessert at the table.This is the seventh blog in a series exploring the benefits of eating meals together as a family.

This report comes from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Bisakha Sen, scholar at the Lister Hill Center said, “Increased frequency of family dinners is associated with lower probabilities of all substance-use and running away for females; binge-drinking, physical fights, property-destruction, stealing and running away for males; and less marijuana use for both genders. In addition, these effects are evident even when the empirical models control for good family connectedness, close parental monitoring, and other potential confounders.”

Parental Connectedness: Substance Use by Youngsters

Parents helping their children with homework.This is the fifth in a series of blogs about the benefits of connectedness between parents and children.

Research shows that :
“…among both older and younger teens, those who felt very connected to parents and other family members reported less frequent use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. The presence of parents at home during key times of the day was associated with a lower likelihood of smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol among older teens (those in grades 9 – 12) and with a lower likelihood of marijuana use among both older and younger teens.”