Lost in the weeds about marijuana?

February 4, 2015

Maureen Fitzgerald
Communications Coordinator, ATTC Network Coordinating Office
Editor, NIATx

If you've been to the ATTC website in the past few days, we hope you've stopped by the webpage for our new resource,  Marijuana Lit: Fact Based Information to Assist You in Providing SUD Services. 

As you'll notice, we've made it easy to find!

We've also released the first video,  Marijuana Effects on the Body. In just under 9 minutes NIDA Deputy Director Wilson Compton gives a recap of the short and long-term effects of marijuana on the brain, heart, and respiratory system.

The series will include five videos in all, with the next, “Youth and Families,” scheduled for release soon. Dr. Kari Franson, a board-certified psychiatric pharmacist at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy talks about marijuana’s effects on teens and their developing brains and bodies.

“The most concerning effect of teen marijuana use are several studies that correlate its use with developing of psychosis, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders,” says Dr. Franson.

Here's a link to a story about one of the studies: Teens who smoke pot at risk for later schizophrenia, psychosis, from the Harvard Health Blog.

Also, as part of this project, Dr. Yifrah Kaiminer of the University of Connecticut spoke about this risk in the ATTC December iTraining. In case you missed it, his presentation, Marijuana Harmfulness to Youth Wellness, is now available on our vimeo channel.

Susan Garrett, National Projects Manager at the ATTC Network Coordinating Office, worked with a team to develop the Marijuana Lit series. Susan and colleagues tapped information, resources, and experts from across the country to select topics for the videos. They also brainstormed ways to condense the vast amount of marijuana information available into a training format that would be most useful to busy behavioral health professionals.

“We wanted to offer the latest research-based information in a brief format that is easy to access and easy to share,” says Susan. 

The resulting short videos are available for free on the ATTC Network’s YouTube and Vimeo channels.

From the Marijuana Lit infographic, "Effects on the Body"

Marijuana Lit also offers a series of infographics, available in both English and Spanish.Look for new infographics in the weeks ahead. 

If you're a treatment provider, how are the shifting policies about marijuana legalization affecting the way you talk with clients about marijuana use and drug use in general? Would you like to know what other providers are doing? What does the research say? We've created a new discussion forum on the ATTC/NIATx Network of Practice for just that purpose. Stop by the "Marijuana Lit" forum and join the conversation today. 

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