Parent Tool Kit

In order to better prevent youth use of marijuana, CASFY is launching a postcard information campaign to increase adults’ awareness of marijuana’s effects on youth.  Nearly 1,000 parents and community members will receive a series of 6 postcards in the mail over the next few months.  You will also see these cards on social media and in other communications.
Recent data from our youth indicate a decreasing perception that marijuana can be harmful and a drastic reduction in disapproval of peer use.  Further, our youth are starting to use marijuana at a younger age.  The average age of first use in L/OL is 14.0 years on our most recent youth survey, a decrease from 14.6 in just two years.  All of these factors predict an increase in use over time.
These troubling indicators led us to launch this campaign.  We invite you to learn more about the postcards on our website, including marijuana research and survey data.  Please talk with your teens and younger children about the risks of marijuana.

The research behind the six postcards:

This is Your Brain on Drugs
By Abigail Sullivan, NY Times, Oct. 29, 2014
Researchers, Brain imaging, casual users, potency, emergency room admissions, addiction, IQ, working memory

Drug Facts: Marijuana
National Institute on Drug Abuse, January, 2014
Brain development, IQ and memory, cardiopulmonary effects, mental health, psychosis, pregnancy, driving, potency, addiction, effects on user’s life

CASFY_POSTCARD(vol2)_FINAL_RSD18 Marijuana Dependence: Not Just Smoke and Mirrors
By Ramesh, Schlosburg, Wiebelhaus, Lichtmann.
NIH Public Access Author Manuscript, March, 2014
Dependence/addiction, endogenous cannabinoids, laboratory animal and human studies showing that repeated administration of cannabinoids can result in physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms

Casual marijuana use linked to brain abnormalities in students
Breiter, Journal of Neuroscience, April 16
Recreational marijuana  users’ brains abnormally altered for at least two structural measures-density, shape, volume.  Alterations directly linked to amount of marijuana smoked.

Considering Cannabis:  The effects of regular cannabis use on neurocognition in adolescents and young adults.
Lisdahl, Wright, Medine-Kirchner, Maple, Shollebarger
Curr Addict Rep (2014): 1:144-156
Overview of studies outlining the effects of regular (at least weekly) cannabis use on neurocognition, including studies outlining cognitive, structural, and functional findings.  “It needs to be emphasized that regular cannabis use, defined here as once a week is not safe and may result in addiction and neurocognitive damage, especially in youth.”

Drug Facts:  Drugged Driving
National Institute on Drug Abuse, December 2014
“Considerable evidence from both real and simulated driving studies indicates that marijuana can negatively affect a driver’s attentiveness, perception of time and speed, and ability to draw on information obtained from past experiences.”

Gone to pot—a review of the association between cannabis and psychosis
Radhakrishnan, Wilkinson, D’Souza
Frontiers in Psychiatry, May 2014
“Converging lines of evidence suggest that early and heavy exposure to cannabis is associated with a higher risk for psychotic outcomes, including schizophrenia in later life.  In addition, cannabinoids can induce immediate-onset psychotomimetic symptoms that do not persist beyond the period of intoxication.  Finally.. cannabinoids are also associated with acute episodes of psychosis that 1) manifest immediately following exposure, 2) last beyond the period of intoxication and 3) require clinical intervention.”

Drugs and Sports:  Marijuana
Wadler, ESPN Special Section
Effects on performance, short-term adverse health effects, long-term adverse health effects, addiction, drug testing.

Summary of marijuana’s effects on athletic performance

From NPR: Why Teens are Impulsive, Addiction prone, and Should Protect Their Brains

To Learn more about prevention in Lyme and Old Lyme, visit the CASFY page by clicking here