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Research Topic 1: Teens and Marijuana

Adolescents’ use of marijuana and rate of marijuana use disorders fell from 2002 to 2013 in the United States, according to research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Researchers analyzed data from 216, 000 teens collected as part of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In 2002, 16 percent reported using marijuana during the previous year; in 2013 it had dropped to 14 percent. In 2002, 4 percent of teens reported marijuana-use disorders such as becoming dependent on the drug; in 2013, it was 3 percent.

Research Topic 2: Alcohol and Stress

Drinking during teen years could increase vulnerability to stress later in life suggests a rat study in Brain Research. The researchers gave rats alcohol every other day starting in early- to mid-adolescence. In adulthood, those same rats showed a maladaptive stress response: Rats like humans should release large amounts of stress hormones when they are first exposed to a stressor but have a smaller response to the same stressor over time as they adapt to it. But the alcohol exposed rats continued to show a large hormone response to a chronic stressor, suggesting that teen alcohol use could have lifelong effects.

Susie Bean Gives Team