Concerned parents worried that their teenage children are smoking cannabis may be spurred on to take them to the best private GPs Bedfordshire has available after hearing that they are 60 per cent less likely to either finish school or go on to higher education and obtain a degree than their non-smoking counterparts if they smoke before the age of 17.
According to a study published in the Lancet journal, they are also 18 times more likely to develop a dependency on the drug, are eight times more likely to move onto other harder drugs and are seven times more likely to attempt suicide.
Study author and professor of drug and alcohol studies at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of South Wales Richard Mattick noted that these results are especially timely given that several states in the US and other countries in Latin America are considering decriminalising or even legalising the drug, which means it could soon become more readily available for young people.
According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, cannabis is the most widely used drug in the UK, with approximately 2.3 million people aged between 16 and 59 admitting to using it in 2011-2012. Frequent use is nearly twice as likely among young people, with almost 5.3 million 16 to 24-year-olds saying they have used it in during this time.
By going to see a doctor you can discuss your concerns and seek advice on what’s best to do next. It’s not advisable to go out and buy DIY testing kits as these are often inaccurate and unreliable, and by going to see a health professional you can also take advantage of optional counselling services which your local clinic may offer.