Young people need addict help for marijuana use side effects. The McLean Hospital of Harvard University has recently released a study about the side effects of marijuana use on young people. The report states that the younger a person is when they start to use marijuana, the worse they perform on tasks that require planning, listening to instructions, and many other functions.
In the study, children who have used marijuana before the age of 16 made twice as many mistakes in the tests as cannabis users who started later in life. Also the early users of marijuana tended to smoke three times the amount of cannabis per week that other users did – and also more frequently.
Children who have taken to using marijuana before the age of 16 appear to use it constantly and in larger amounts than other cannabis users. The area of the brain most impaired appeared to be the anterior cingulate cortex which moderates emotions, cognitive thinking and executive process. This area of the brain is often implicated as being disordered in cases of “mental illness” such as schizophrenia.
In an October 2010 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, appears an article by Dharma Singh Kalsa MD which deals with the possible benefits of meditation in reducing the stress faced by caregivers in looking after people with dementia etc.
There is no doubt that young people who use marijuana excessively do so to resolve emotional difficulties that they have. Users report feelings of anxiety, loss, grief and depression, relieved, albeit temporarily by marijuana use. In real terms these children have had to take over the function of taking care of themselves. If caring, responsive parental figures were present in their lives, marijuana use would be reduced, it would very likely cease. It is the reality for the abused marijuana using child that they have to be a caretaker of themselves.
Facing the trauma of everyday living without parental support is both a cognitive and emotional challenge to early marijuana users. The cortical dysfunction arises not only from chronic marijuana use, but from the pressures in their life that have induced them to use cannabis in the first place.
It is clear from the Harvard reports that stress is invoked when early cannabis users are required to follow a changing set of rules, instructions and make choices. They make mistakes, become confused, even when given information that choices have been wrong they continue to repeat them.
Young users of cannabis have probably had little experience in resolving complex issues. Long before marijuana use has brought additional cognitive and emotional difficulties, these children would probably have performed badly in these types of test anyway, due to the level of stress and emotional tension in their lives.
Meditation as a source of relief from tension in people who have the responsibility of caring for themselves or others has been known about for centuries. Meditation reduces stress and tension. It enables people to focus their attention more clearly, improves cognitive function and reduces emotional conflicts.
Young people use marijuana to tune out from life’s problems. Their attention deficits are similar to those with a “mental illness” who focus in life is to be dealing with emotional survival. The only way to bring about an improvement in cognitive function in young marijuana users is to give them care and protection, so that they feel secure. When emotions are brought into balance – then cognitive and executive function will not be impaired.
Holistic methods and counseling to support young marijuana users can give addict help for them to regain their inner peace, develop feelings of self esteem, enhance cognitive functions – and give up cannabis use.
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