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Youth Cannabis Use and Risks Quiz & Slide Program

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Marijuana Awareness TrainingTM

Youth Cannabis Use and Risks Quiz

1.   Accidental marijuana use poisonings among children have increased five-fold in the US during last several years.  True or False

2.   More US teens smoke marijuana than cigarettes.  True or False

3.   Perceived harmfulness of using marijuana is increasing among youth.  True or False

4.   About nine percent of adolescents who use marijuana become dependent upon it.  True or False

5.   Youth marijuana use is associated with initiating other more dangerous illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine.  True or False

6.   Marijuana use is associated with immediate, but not lasting changes in the brain.  True or False

7.   Marijuana use is linked to improved mental health.  True or False

8.   Marijuana use is associated with less academic success.  True or False

9.   Marijuana use slightly reduces the risk of being involved in a car crash.  True or False

10. Smoking marijuana increases the risk of having a heart attack and testicular cancer.  True or False

11. Using marijuana during pregnancy is linked to decreased childhood impulsivity, attention deficits, and difficulty solving problems.  True or False

12. Increased rates of marijuana use have resulted in a new health syndrome characterized by repeated episodes of nausea and vomiting.  True or False

©All Rights Reserved, 2017, Prevention Plus Wellness, LLC

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Marijuana Awareness TrainingTM

Youth Cannabis Use and Risks Quiz Answers

  1. Accidental marijuana use poisonings among children have increased five-fold in the US during last several years. True or False

True.  A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics found the rate of marijuana poisoning of children under age 10 increased more than five-fold at regional poison centers from 2009 to 2015.  This study also found that the childhood marijuana cases increased 34% annually for Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use, compared to 19% for the rest of the US (http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/1691416).

Reported symptoms of childhood marijuana poisoning include lifelessness (lethargy), lack of muscle coordination affecting speech, swallowing, walking and eye movements (ataxia), and respiratory problems, with some children being sent to intensive care (http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2534480).

 

  1. More US teens smoke marijuana than cigarettes. True or False

True.  For example, according to recent Monitoring the Future data, 4.8 percent of 12th grade students used cigarettes daily, compared to 6.0 percent using marijuana daily (https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/monitoring-future-survey-high-school-youth-trends).  Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among youth.  The good news is that the vast majority of 12th graders, 94% in fact, are not using marijuana daily.

 

  1. Perceived harmfulness of using marijuana is increasing among youth. True or False

False.  According to the Monitoring the Future Survey, the perception of risk associated with smoking marijuana continues to decline across all grades.  For example, only 31.1 percent of 12th graders in 2016 report that regular marijuana use is harmful, compared to 58.3 percent in 2000.  This is important because less perceived harmfulness of a substance is generally associated with greater use.  For example, a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that Washington state eighth and 10th graders perceived marijuana harmfulness decreased while their use increased over the past several years (http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2593707).

These changes followed the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the state.

Monitoring the Future data also show that there continues to be a higher rate of marijuana use among 12th graders in states with medical marijuana laws, compared to states without them (https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/monitoring-future-survey-high-school-youth-trends).  Continued expansion of marijuana legalization for recreational and medical purposes will likely increase youth use in the future by reducing perceived harmfulness and stigma, and increasing youth access.

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  1. About nine percent of adolescents who use marijuana become dependent upon it. True or False

False.  According to studies reported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), about nine percent of those who start using marijuana become dependent, compared to 17% who start using it in their teens.  In addition, people who begin using marijuana before age 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults (https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive).  These data highlight the importance of avoiding marijuana use until later in life to reduce the potential for developing marijuana dependence and marijuana use disorders.  Dependence can result in withdrawal symptoms like irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and physical discomfort when not using, and can make quitting difficult.  In addition, the steady increase in the amount of THC in marijuana over the past several decades, marijuana’s key active ingredient, might increase the likelihood for dependence, poisonings and other harmful effects, particularly among young and early users.

 

  1. Youth marijuana use is associated with initiating other more dangerous illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine. True or False

True.  Epidemiology studies reported by NIDA show marijuana use typically follows cigarette and alcohol use and is a “gateway” to then using other more hazardous illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin.  Marijuana use is also associated with a worsening of the use of legal substances, including increasing the probability of developing an alcohol use disorder (https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug).  Animal research reported by NIDA also suggests that THC in marijuana has been shown to prime the brain for enhanced responses to other drugs (http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/Addictions/46169).  Lastly, social interactions with marijuana users can increase the likelihood of using other drugs.  The good news is that even though it is rare for a person to use illicit drugs like cocaine or heroin without first using marijuana, most individuals who use marijuana do not advance to using more dangerous drugs.

 

  1. Marijuana use is associated with immediate, but not lasting changes in the brain. True or False

False.  Animal and human studies indicate that marijuana use during development is associated with long-term and even permanent negative changes in the brain, according to studies reported by NIDA (https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/how-does-marijuana-use-affect-your-brain-body).  Research providing rats with THC early in life show problems with learning and memory later in life, while other animal research shows changes in the hippocampus portion of the brain which is involved in the formation of memory and learning.  In addition, longitudinal human studies link lower cognitive abilities including memory and perhaps IQ, even after quitting marijuana use.  The level of impairment appears to depend upon the age of initiation, and level and length of use.  In addition, some imaging studies suggest that regular marijuana use in adolescence is associated with altered brain conductivity and reduced brain volume in regions associated with memory, learning and impulse control.  A recent review of research published in Biological Psychiatry reported that studies show impaired verbal memory, attention and some executive functions may continue even after long-term abstinence from marijuana use, and associations between poorer cognitive performance and younger age of onset were found (http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(15)01037-9/abstract).

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©All Rights Reserved, 2017, Prevention Plus Wellness, LLC

 

Order a downloadable PDF version of this quiz, with all of the answers and a scoring guide, suitable for reproduction and use in your organization or locality.  You also receive a PowerPoint slide program to present the quiz questions and answers to your youth and adult groups. 

The Marijuana Awareness Training: Youth Cannabis Use & Risks Quiz and slide program are also included among ready-to-use materials in the Marijuana Awareness School & Community Campaign.