Substance Abuse Prevention
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Substance Abuse Prevention - Drug Info Resources

Statement from ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy):
Why Marijuana Legalization Would Compromise Public Health and Public Safety.

Prescription Drugs flyer
HIDTA Facts About Marijuana
HIDTA Marijuana 101 PowerPoint
National Cannabis Prevention & Information Centre of Australia/ ADAI University of Washington

Harmful Effects of Marijuana Use

Mental Health

A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia (NIDA, 2009).

The results of a meta-analysis show evidence of a relationship between marijuana use and earlier onset of psychotic illness. They also support the hypothesis that cannabis use plays a causal role in the development of psychosis in some patients. (Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2011).

Memory, perception and problem solving

Heavy marijuana use impairs a person’s ability to form memories, recall events, and shift attention from one thing to another. It also disrupts coordination and balance by binding to receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia (NIDA, 2005).


With marijuana in the blood stream, the ability of the blood to carry oxygen is restricted. This means that vital oxygen is not flowing to the heart properly. This can lead to elevated heart rate and higher blood pressure. Continued use of marijuana can ultimately increase the chances of heart attack.

Marijuana contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke (NIDA, 2005).

Long-term effects of marijuana use and abuse can result in lung and throat cancer, as well as severe respiratory illnesses and problems.


Studies have shown that marijuana smokers have increased absences, accidents, higher worker compensation claims, and job turnovers (NIDA, 2009).

Students who smoke marijuana get lower grades and are less likely to graduate from high school, compared with their non-smoking peers, (NIDA, 2009).


The majority of youth admitted to DASA-funded treatment list marijuana as their primary drug of choice. (DSHS Trends Report, 2008)

“Cannabis withdrawal is caused by cessation of cannabis use that has been heavy and prolonged.  It results in clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning…” (DSM-V draft, 2010)

Street Marijuana that is readily available in the 2000’s is 5-14 times stronger than the marijuana of the ‘60s and ‘70s. (Inaba and Cohen, 2004).

Printable Marijuana Brochures