The legalization of medical marijuana in the state of Illinois means that approved patients can receive permission to obtain and use marijuana for specific medical conditions. However, many drug abuse prevention experts are worried that it also means that marijuana will be more widely available, and therefore more widely abused–especially by teenagers. If this occurs and marijuana becomes widely abused in Illinois and Chicago then referring that individual to any Chicago drug rehabilitation centers.
Marijuana Dispensaries in Chicago Suburbs
To date, there have been at least eight medical marijuana dispensaries opened in the Chicago suburbs of Addison, Mundelein, North Aurora, Schaumburg, Canton, Marion, Ottawa and Quincy. While many marijuana supporters feel that this is a wonderful move in the direction of helping more individuals receive the help they need in order to deal with difficult medical conditions, others are concerned about the message these dispensaries may be sending to the general public.
Dr. David Lott, the medical director of addiction services at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health in Naperville, feels that the most effective preventative measure is the public believing that marijuana is dangerous to use. However, by making this substance legal and acceptable for medical use, more people will hear about it in a positive way, and it’s inevitable that many are going to begin viewing the drug as less risky and therefore more appealing. Kathleen Kane-Willis of the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy feels that fact-based messages that don’t either demonize or glamorize drug use is the best prevention method, as it gives the individual enough factual information that they feel ready and able to make their own wise choices regarding drug use.
Experts are concerned that right now, members of the general public are receiving the message that marijuana isn’t a dangerous drug, it’s a therapeutic medicine, which can lead to wider use. Recent surveys indicate that this view may actually be well-founded. According to the 2008 Illinois Youth Survey, roughly twenty-seven and a half percent of twelfth graders across the state admitted that they felt there was a great risk of harm from smoking marijuana once or twice a week. However, according to the 2014 Illinois Youth Survey, only twenty-two percent of twelfth graders across the state admitted that they felt there was a great risk of harm from smoking marijuana once or twice a week. It may not be coincidental that the state’s medical marijuana program was actually discussed and approved in 2013, opening the door to a different view of this drug.
The Danger of Marijuana Use in Teens
Marijuana has long been the most commonly used illicit drug substance in the country, with a wide range of dangerous side effects. Research has proven that marijuana use is especially harmful in adolescents, due to the effects it can have on developing brains. The main ingredient, THC, is a mind-altering substance which directly affects those sections of the brain that are responsible for memory, learning, attention and reaction time. Studies have indicated that since an adolescent’s brain is not yet fully developed, marijuana use can reduce IQ up to eight points, cause schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, anxiety and lead to reduced learning and memory capacity. Unfortunately, even those individuals who use marijuana during adolescence and then abstain from further marijuana use in adulthood can still suffer from the long-term effects caused by this drug substance and that is why before getting to that point, the individual must be referred to a drug rehab Chicago Illinois.
The medical marijuana legalization in Illinois is currently being run as a pilot program, and even while medical experts, lawmakers and law enforcement officials determine whether it is beneficial to state residents, prevention experts would do right to continue raising public awareness of the truth about this drug substance, and the dangers its misuse and abuse can create. You can also find these facts on any drug substances at the drug rehab Chicago.