The Latest Stats & Facts: Spring Round Up (February + March + April 2014)

Each month PAD compiles the latest news, evidence and resources about parenting, teen development, and alcohol and other drugs into a single blog post.  Have something to add? Please let us know!

  • A new study from Northwestern Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School finds young adults who recreationally use marijuana displayed significant abnormalities in brain regions that are important in emotion and motivation.  This is the first study to show casual use of marijuana is related to major brain changes. It showed the degree of brain abnormalities is directly related to the number of joints a person smoked per week. However, there is discussion around the study’s definition of “causal recreational use” as some scientists believe this level to be higher than other classifications of casual use. It is important to note that cannabis use is increasingly studied.
  • A news release  from group of concerned parents highlights that retailers sell tobacco to underage youth. The release quotes a provincial study by the University of Guelph and a survey from Ipsos Reid survey.  Both indicate that that convenience stores did not ask for appropriate identification for tobacco sales. A related news article focuses on Toronto. 
  • A news article looks at a new study conducted by University of Waterloo and Dalhousie University amongst highschool students in Atlantic Canada. The study found links between “intense use” of energy drinks and depression as well as  substance use. Results also found that younger teens were more likely to consume energy drinks than older teens. The news article also looks at the marketing  of risk-taking  and why energy drinks may appeal to youth.
  • A website article A Parent’s Guide to Talking to Teens About Drugs and Alcohol  encourages parents to talk openly with their teens about drinking and drug use.  The article stresses that although the goal of the ongoing conversation is to encourage teens to not use drugs or drink, parents should be realistic about use. Parent should keeps the links of communication open and let their teens know that their safety is of the utmost importance. The article includes a number of links to other websites and resources.
  • A news article, titled The case for why teens should wait to smoke up  looks at the different messages youth are receiving in the media and in society around marijuana use. The article looks at the different in risks for adults and youth and importance of delaying initiation due to emerging research.


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