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NIDA

Preadolescentes

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 Brain

Brief Description

Illustration of word cloud on running teen stressing developmentatl trajectories

NIH launches landmark study on substance use and adolescent brain development

The National Institutes of Health today awarded 13 grants to research institutions around the country as part of a landmark study about the effects of adolescent substance use on the developing brain.


Evidence grows that heavy marijuana use may harm the brain

New NIDA-funded research shows that heavy marijuana use (at least four times per week over the past six months) is linked to adverse changes in the function and structure of brain areas associated with reward, decision making, and motivation.  Heavy marijuana use can also enhance some brain circu


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.


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.

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