Not So Harmless

Addiction, Lower IQ, and Other “Harmless” Consequences

If you have ever caught your teenager or young adult smoking marijuana, they likely defended their actions by calling the drug “harmless” or “recreational”, but is it really as harmless as kids think?

This awareness campaign is brought to you in partnership with Empower Tusc.

Chances are you and your teen have had a conversation about marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs. And if it turned into an argument, someone might’ve tried to reason that marijuana is just a fun drug, harmless and nonaddicting. That belief is not true, though- especially where teens are concerned.

The Not-So-Harmless Side Effects of Marijuana

One startling statistic about marijuana is that one in six teens becomes addicted to it. That’s 16.7% of teenagers ( Marijuana is addictive. Depending on genetics, other drug use, relationships, etc., it can become a highly addictive substance.

Another unfortunate byproduct of smoking marijuana is the effect it has on a teenager’s IQ. Marijuana is linked to school failure and lower grades. It has negative effects on memory, motivation, and learning. Even after the effects of the drug wear off, people who use marijuana regularly see an average drop of 6-8 IQ points.

Other effects of marijuana include psychosis, panic, an inability to drive or walk, or overdose dangers if it is laced with other drugs. Talk to your teen about these dangers and downfalls. Scare tactics rarely work, especially with young adults, but laying out the facts and providing them with knowledge will help your teen make the best decisions for their health and safety.

EmpowerTusc provides resources and assistance for families and individuals struggling with addiction. Visit their website at or give them a call at (330) 440-7319. You can also check out their list of local resources for those struggling with addiction, dependency, grief, anxiety/depression, and more.

Audrey Mattevi, Reporting

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