Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States and tends to
be the first illegal drug teens use.
The physical effects of marijuana use, particularly on developing adolescents, can be acute.
Short-term effects of using marijuana:
- difficulty keeping track of time, impaired or reduced short-term memory
- reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving a car
- increased heart rate
- potential cardiac dangers for those with preexisting heart disease
- bloodshot eyes
- dry mouth and throat
- decreased social inhibitions
- paranoia, hallucinations
Long-term effects of using marijuana:
- enhanced cancer risk
- decrease in testosterone levels for men; also lower sperm counts and difficulty having children
- increase in testosterone levels for women; also increased risk of infertility
- diminished or extinguished sexual pleasure
- psychological dependence requiring more of the drug to get the same effect
Marijuana blocks the messages going to your brain and alters your perceptions and emotions, vision,
hearing, and coordination.
A recent study of 1,023 trauma patients admitted to a shock trauma unit found that one-third had marijuana
in their blood.
The information contained herein is courtesy of the National Clearinghouse of Alcohol and Drug Information
website at http://www.health.org
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