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NIDA

Pre-Teens

Commentary: More research needed into marijuana’s effects on brain development and function

A journal commentary by Harvard researcher and NIDA grantee Bertha K. Madras stresses the importance of a large scale longitudinal study to better assess the effects of marijuana use on human brain development and function. Dr.


Early-Onset, Regular Cannabis Use Is Linked to IQ Decline

Regular cannabis use that starts in adolescence strips away IQ, a NIDA-supported study suggests. Participants who initiated weekly cannabis use before age 18 dropped IQ points in proportion to how long they persisted in using the drug. Persistent cannabis users’ cognitive difficulties were evident to friends and family and measurable on a battery of tests.

Adolescent Smoking and Drinking at Historic Lows

Rates of adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking stood at historic lows in 2011, but marijuana use trended upward, according to the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey.

Elevated Rates of Drug Abuse Continue for Second Year

Illicit drug use in the United States in 2010 was at its highest level since 2002, according to the most recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. A rise in marijuana use drove the increase. A favorable trend of falling cocaine use continued.

Letter from the Director

The so-called "club drug" MDMA continues to be used by millions of Americans across the country, despite evidence of its potential harmful effects. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or ecstasy) has gained a deceptive reputation as a "safe" drug among its users. This illegal drug, which has both stimulant and psychedelic properties, is often taken for the feelings of well-being, stimulation, and the distortions in time and sensory perceptions that it produces.

Ethnicity Influences Early Smoking and Progression to Drug Abuse

Summarizes findings from a 10-year study that monitored smoking and progress to other drugs among youth that found ethnicity to be an influential factor.

Adolescent Inhalant Use Is Stable Overall, but Rising Among Girls

Reports patterns and trends in inhalant use among adolescents based on an analysis of data from a 2002-2005 national survey on drug use and health.

From the Director

Hallucinogens and dissociative drugs—which have street names like acid, angel dust, and vitamin K—distort the way a user perceives time, motion, colors, sounds, and self. These drugs can disrupt a person’s ability to think and communicate rationally, or even to recognize reality, sometimes resulting in bizarre or dangerous behavior. Hallucinogens such as LSD and psilocybin cause emotions to swing wildly and real-world sensations to appear unreal, sometimes frightening.

Parental Supervision and Genetics Interact To Influence Nicotine Addiction

Reviews research indicating that both parental influence and certain genes interact to influence nicotine addiction and that parental monitoring may play a role in reducing risk.

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