09 Nov Risks
[Note: we use the term “using” pot to cover all the ways pot can enter your bloodstream: smoking, eating, etc.]
Marijuana, or pot as it is commonly called, has become a popular drug with teens because of its availability and the belief some people have that it is not harmful. However, it does have risks associate with it. Very real, very serious risks.
DID YOU KNOW? Code names for marijuana: POT, REEFER, WEED, DOPE, MARY JANE. (FYI, Cannabis is the name of the marijuana plant, so you may hear your teacher refer to it that way.)
Before reading the risks, please answer just one question:
On a scale from 1-5 (1 means, no way, never am I ever trying pot; and 5 means, I am totally open to the idea of using pot.):
Where are your thoughts on the 1-5 scale when it comes to using pot?
Okay. Got that number? Great. Read the risks and then answer the next question below…
RISKS FROM MARIJUANA USE:
- Memory and learning impairment (Uh, like I totally don’t remember kissing Rachel, and I like completely don’t get why my grades have dropped)
- Distorted perceptions (Why is everything moving and what’s up with you? Why are you getting on my back so badly?)
- Difficulty in thinking and problem solving (Um, it’s raining and I don’t have an umbrella… That’s ok, I have a picture of one on my cell phone. That’ll work.)
- Loss of coordination (Whoa, I didn’t see that last step…)
- Altered sense of time (Where did the last 8 hours go?)
- Feelings of anxiety or panic (I have to get out of here, something terrible is going to happen)
- Increased heart rate
- Long-term use can lead to addiction
- Lowers male testosterone and sperm count and quality
- Death by accident
Now…. On a scale from 1-5 (1 means, no way, never am I ever trying pot; and 5 means, I am totally open to the idea of using pot.):
Where are your thoughts when it comes to using pot?
DID YOU KNOW? “Spice” and “K2” are the names of synthetic (artificial) cannabis products that are often marketed as a safe and legal alternative to marijuana. They are made by spraying chemicals on dried herbs or the chemicals are sold in a vapor/inhale-able form. The use of these products has been associated with the onset of irrational and psychotic-like behaviors. Synthetic cannabinoids are designed to be much more potent than the active ingredient in marijuana—50 to 100 times more powerful. This potency can have serious consequences.
Despite the documented risks just listed, your answer to the survey may not have switched from a 5 to a 1, or even a 3 to a 2. Often, just knowing the risks doesn’t seem to be enough to steer a person away from pot. But the risks are real and present. No matter how well someone may SEEM to be managing the effects of pot, smoking pot is 1) not healthy for a person’s body, 2) not making a positive impact on a person’s brain, and 3) putting that person at risk for addiction. So you do need to consider why you might feel the need to do it. Why change your perceptions, your brain, your potentials? For someone who regularly ingests THC (the main ingredients in pot), you have made a choice that COULD change your life in ways unforeseen at this moment, and for many, many people, ways that include negative outcomes. The choice is yours, but please make that choice after learning all the facts.
And those facts are laid out in the next few sub-posts…
How do all those risks make you feel about trying (or continuing to use) pot?
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