We need a public health campaign against teen marijuana use – Twin CitiesPosted by On

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to teen drug and alcohol use. The good news is that fewer teens are drinking, a trend that has been steadily improving over the last two decades. The negative is that cannabis seems to be picking up alcohol’s slack.

The research is still evolving, but the decline in teen drinking likely stems from a mix of policies and public health campaigns. The same level of effort should be applied to discouraging teen cannabis use — and quickly.

A new study that looked at calls to poison centers in the U.S. over the course of two decades adds to growing evidence that more adolescents and teens are turning to cannabis over alcohol. The researchers found a gradual decline in alcohol-related calls since 2010, but a steady rise in cannabis cases from 2010 to 2017. Cases since 2017 have spiked.

There was a particular rise in cases of misuse of edible products, says Adrienne Hughes, an emergency medicine physician at Oregon Health and Science University who led the study. Unlike smoking weed, which gives an immediate high, edibles take longer to kick in and have more unpredictable highs, making it easier to overuse.

The study has some limitations. Calls to the poison center are typically from either a parent or a healthcare provider, which means the actual numbers of cases across all substances are likely higher. And the cases reported are all intentional use — this data doesn’t reflect, for example, a call coming in because a child…

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