Brain Development

As you might have seen Paul was interviewed by Sky about the research that has recently been published looking at the long-term consequences of early use of cannabis.

The findings from the research add to concerns that Mentor have been articulating about brain development for some time.  Below is a presentation developed by Ken Winter for Mentor International.

This said I thought that this piece on the Guardian’s website was a useful reminder that the world is a complex place and that we need to take care when reading the research:

Firstly, as is often said, correlation does not imply causation. Just because those who smoked cannabis as teenagers were recorded as having lower IQs, doesn’t automatically mean that cannabis intake causes lower IQ. Measuring IQ is often a slippery subject, let alone working out what sort of things affect it. For example, as bizarre as it may seem, height is apparently positively correlated with IQ. That is, taller people seem to be more intelligent, according to IQ tests. Why is this? It’s uncertain. You may think it’s a bit contrived to use height as an example in a discussion about cannabis. But then, cannabis is typically smoked. And what stunts your growth…?

We also need to be aware that young people have been known to discount health warnings, and that is why there is much more focus in prevention research into developing life skills, undermining misconceptions about social norms, and in building protective factors (such as family bonding and attachment to school).

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