Doctor says teens have wrong idea about marijuana - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Doctor says teens have wrong idea about marijuana

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Pot and perception: we posed the question on social media after a study found teens don't necessarily think the drug is harmful today as opposed to years ago.

Our experts say the recent numbers are considered alarming because like Dr. Thomas Kosten believes if teens think the drug isn't harmful they're more likely to "use marijuana."

He drew that conclusion based on a study by the National Institute of Health.

-- 41.7 percent of eighth graders believe occasional use of marijuana is harmful
-- 66.9 perceive it dangerous when used regularly

Both are the lowest rates since the early 90s.

"As adolescents feel that drugs are safer they use them more frequently and the perception that drugs are safer have been flustered in particularly with marijuana by its legalization in several states," said Dr. Kosten who specializes in drug and alcohol addiction at Baylor College of Medicine.

He went on to say once teens become hooked on the high, it's very likely they'll lag in other area like school or their studies.

Same applies to high school aged students where the findings found perception of pot risks diminished with older teenagers too.

-- 20.6 percent of 12th graders said occasional use is harmful
-- 44.1 percent said its regular use was detrimental

The lowest since 1979 and a bigger problem Dr. Kosten says stems from misperception.

"These brain areas that were designed two keep you on an even keel keep you on such an even keel that you lose interest in everything else other than taking the drug," he says.

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