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Study reveals bad news for toking teens

first_imgNZ Herald 18 June 2016Family First Comment: The news is not so good when it comes to mental health. The research showed that teens who started smoking marijuana before 18 and who were diagnosed as being addicted to cannabis by 38 experienced a significant drop in IQ in early adulthood. The IQ drop was not seen for users who began smoking after age 18, implying that cannabis consumption can have a permanent negative effect on teenagers’ developing brains.Cannabis is one of the most widely available illicit drugs in New Zealand – but what impact is it having on our wellbeing?Research from the 2015 New Zealand Health Survey shows that 11 per cent of people aged over 15 have used cannabis in the past 12 months, with one third of this group using it at least weekly. The survey shows it is most widely used by people aged 15 to 24, with 23 per cent of this group having used it in the past year – but when it comes to regularity of use, the over-55s are the most prolific users.Although difficult to overdose, cannabis can be physically and psychologically addictive. It can affect road safety – one third of New Zealand cannabis users have admitted to driving under the influence of cannabis, and in the US state of Washington the AAA reports fatal car accidents involving drivers who recently used marijuana has more than doubled since legalisation.The debate around legalisation is a constant feature in our media, and research around the effects of long-term cannabis consumption in New Zealand is an important consideration. This week, data published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry added to a previous PNAS article to give us a better understanding of how cannabis may be affecting our nation.The study looked at 1037 individuals born in Dunedin in 1972-73 and has followed them to age 38 through the famous Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. Controlling for tobacco use, childhood health and childhood socioeconomic status, they tested whether cannabis use from ages 18 to 38 was associated with mental or physical health at age 38, after assessing the frequency of cannabis use and their health at 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38.This remarkable study relies on confidentiality, allowing participants to be honest about their use of illegal drugs without fear of reporting to the authorities. It is therefore probably the most accurate long-term cannabis study in the world.When it came to physical health, the results were surprising, with marijuana consumption having no negative impact on a dozen health factors including lung function, systemic inflammation, BMI, or metabolic health. The only significant adverse impact was on periodontal health with cannabis use being associated with tooth loss. This is very different to results from the tobacco smokers in the same cohort who showed worse lung function, systemic inflammation, and worse metabolic health at age 38. The theory is a heavy smoker can smoke over 20 cigarettes a day, but heavy cannabis users will still only smoke 2-3 joints a day, meaning their overall smoke exposure is much lower.The news is not so good when it comes to mental health. The research showed that teens who started smoking marijuana before 18 and who were diagnosed as being addicted to cannabis by 38 experienced a significant drop in IQ in early adulthood. The IQ drop was not seen for users who began smoking after age 18, implying that cannabis consumption can have a permanent negative effect on teenagers’ developing brains.READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/science/news/article.cfm?c_id=82&objectid=11658536last_img read more

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Batesville Fire Department hiring process open

first_imgBatesville, In. — The Batesville Fire Department is accepting applications for the Full-Time position of Firefighter / EMT or Paramedic until Wednesday, February 28 at noon.During the hiring process, applicants will be required to subject themselves to various forms of background checks, physical fitness testing, written aptitude testing, an interview process, and other testing that may be deemed appropriate.Requirements:Must be a resident citizen of the United States.Must be 21 years old to apply and not have reached age 36 by date of appointment.Must have a high school diploma or GED certificate.Cannot have a felony conviction.Cannot have a misdemeanor conviction involving domestic violence.Must possess a valid driver’s license.Cannot have been dishonorably discharged from the military.Must be Indiana Certified FireFighter I/II and EMT-B or Paramedic.Must pass a mandatory drug screening test.Resumes will be accepted only if accompanied by an application. The City of Batesville is an Equal Opportunity Employer.last_img read more

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