It isn’t so cute. That stereotypical stoner that has popped up more and more on TV shows as marijuana use has become more mainstream, in real life has some major problems brewing.
Studies show those who use marijuana frequently exhibit neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife. Regular use can cause a drop of up to 8 IQ points, says a study by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Given that one in five young people say they have used marijuana within a month of the survey, this may be the most relevant drug targeted, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
Marijuana use as well as prescription drug abuse have heavily increased among teens as the new millennium progressed. Attention needs to be paid to those problems.
This reality and a need to curb it is why the MDHHS has launched a statewide media campaign.
The campaign targets ALL drug abuse and was created by Brogan & Partners. It is running on television and is being highlighted in movie theatres throughout the summer and, of course, where people born after 1996 spend most of their time, the internet.
“We’re incredibly proud of the work we have done with our partnership with the MDHHS to change lives and help people,” says Ellyn Davidson, managing partner of Brogan & Partners.
Here is an example of one of the ads.
“We know that using drugs in adolescence has very real impacts on a young adult’s physical, financial, and emotional wellbeing,” says Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “The purpose of this campaign is to illustrate the harmful effects of drug use so teens better understand the seriousness of what may seem like a momentary decision. This campaign carries an important message: don’t let drugs be your future.”
Prescription drugs are an especially important part of the message given they have replaced the use of many more often criticized drugs in the past decade. Even news that seems good, like a minor decrease in Michigan from 2013, is actually a problematic sign with 15.8% of teens admitting to the abuse. What’s more it is almost twice as many as in 2011.
With opioid and prescription drug use on the rise across the country, special steps have been taken. A special Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force was put together to combat opioid and prescription drug abuse in Michigan. Created by Gov. Rick Snyder, it is chaired by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
As the campaign says, “Don’t let drugs ruin your story. Don’t let drugs determine your future.”
View the 2015 Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force report for more on the task force’s findings and recommendations.
Parents, teachers, professionals and more are still probably the best resource and can help teens learn the perils of drugs. To learn how you can help be part of the solution, visit www.michigan.gov/doyourpart.
For more information about the MDHHS media campaign, or to view the message, visit www.michigan.gov/drugfree.