Long-Term Marijuana Use Affects Memory and Attention
new study of marijuana users seeking treatment determined that long-term
users performed worse on most of the memory, attention, time judgment,
and information processing tests. The study, "Cognitive Functioning
of Long Term Cannabis Use," is published in the March 6, 2002, issue
of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The data arose as part of a substudy of the adult Marijuana Treatment
Project, a cooperative agreement between SAMHSA's Center for
Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the University of Connecticut
Medical School, the University of Washington, the University of
Connecticut Health Center, and The Village South, Inc., in Miami.
Consulting organizations included the National Drug and Alcohol
Research Centre of the University of New South Wales, Australia;
the University of Wollongong, Australia; the Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University; and Evergreen Treatment Services
"The findings show that there are significant long-term
negative effects of marijuana use," said SAMHSA Administrator
Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W. "Young people need to know
that marijuana is not the harmless substance some have made it out
to be. We are committed to continue educating our youth on the damaging
effects of marijuana use on both their health and their future."
"This study shows that long-term use of marijuana may have
consequences for both individuals and their productivity and performance
in the workplace," said CSAT Director H. Westley Clark, M.D.,
J.D., M.P.H. "There is good treatment available for those
who are habitual marijuana users, and we urge them to seek appropriate
services through the treatment networks in their communities."
Authors of the study include Nadia Solowij, Robert Stephens, Roger
Roffman, Thomas Babor, Ronald Kadden, Michael Miller, Kenneth Christiansen,
Bonnie McRee, Janice Vendetti, and Jean Donaldson, project officer
for CSAT's Marijuana Treatment Project.
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