GULF BREEZE, Fla., Aug. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Legalizing Marijuana –Salvation or Curse?
Many states are legalizing marijuana and/or its derivatives as public opinion pushes for more options and availability. But as it becomes more readily available, are we ignoring the risks, or unintentionally putting some people in danger?
Aspirin was once believed to be a miracle cure. Today it is effective and inexpensive for pain and fever reduction and is commonly used in low doses for heart attack prevention and blood thinning. Despite all the positive uses for aspirin, it is not safe for everyone to use.
Lower doses and better tasting "baby" aspirins gained popularity with both doctors and mothers and was the most commonly used medication for pediatrics in the 1950s. Then a correlation between aspirin and Reye's Syndrome, a rare but potentially deadly disease was discovered.
In 1980, the Center for Disease Control issued a public warning about the association of aspirin with Reye's syndrome. 555 cases of Reye's syndrome were reported that year.
The U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory about the risks of aspirin and Reye's syndrome in 1982. That year 222 cases of Reye's syndrome were reported.
In 1986, pharmaceutical companies were required to place warnings on products containing aspirin. Only 101 cases were reported that year, and by 1997, Reye's syndrome had nearly been eliminated, with only two cases reported.
Research is showing that marijuana shows highest risks, as aspirin does, for youth. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in a December 2016 article stated, "Marijuana raises car crash risk; in some studies, it has been associated with neurodevelopmental problems in prenatally exposed children; and its use by adolescents has been linked to cognitive impairments and poor educational outcomes and well-being."
NIDA issued an even stronger warning in May 2018, saying, "It (marijuana) also affects brain systems that are still maturing through young adulthood, so regular use by teens may have negative and long-lasting effects on their cognitive development, putting them at a competitive disadvantage and possibly interfering with their well-being in other ways. Also, contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive, and its use during adolescence may make other forms of problem use or addiction more likely."
When the possible perils of marijuana and youth are explored, it should be noted that the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., states, "Marijuana is the most commonly used and abused illicit drug in the U.S., particularly among adolescents and young adults. In fact, teens' perceptions of the risks of marijuana use have steadily declined over the past decade, possibly related to increasing public debate about legalizing or loosening restrictions on marijuana."
While marijuana is becoming more widely available and is seen in a more positive light for medical use, it is prudent to use caution and not put our youth at risk. Just as aspirin shouldn't be used for everyone, neither should marijuana be assumed safe for everyone.
Parents should be aware of the dangers marijuana poses to children, adolescents and teens, and educate their children of those dangers just as they do for alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Waiting for government warnings might take years. We can't afford to wait.
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SOURCE Gulf Breeze Recovery
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