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Cannabis education starts before legal age of consumption

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Oct. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To prepare for Canada’s Oct. 17 cannabis legalization, TeenMentalHealth.Org is educating students, parents, teachers and school-based student care providers about cannabis use in teens. Information and resources can be freely downloaded at TeenMentalHealth.org/Cannabis.

“There’s a great deal of misinformation about cannabis use out there. That’s why it was critical to develop evidence-based resources to properly answer questions Canadians may have leading up to (and after) cannabis legalization,” says Dr. Stan Kutcher, the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health.

Adolescent years are a crucial period for brain growth and development, and regular cannabis use can have negative impacts on a teenager’s brain growth and development. Cannabis use may also impair coordination, judgment, problem solving, memory and learning. It can also cause anxiety, panic and psychosis.

After alcohol, cannabis is the most common drug used by Canadian teens. “Regular cannabis use, starting use young and using cannabis with high THC can lead to detrimental mental health effects. It’s important that youth have reliable information to make informed decisions about cannabis use,” says Dr. Phil Tibbo, Nova Scotia Health Authority/Dalhousie University.

The resources, that were developed by Dr. Stan Kutcher in collaboration with Dr. Phil Tibbo, Dr. Selene Etches, IWK Health Centre and Dr. Rob Milin, University of Ottawa, are well-received by educators.

“Educators and those who work with youth need to receive the same, accurate information to promote healthy behavior and reduce harm. This resource needs to be visible in classrooms and school websites, but also used as the trusted source of information during conversations to ensure we’re all sharing the same messages,” says Jenn Richardson, Youth Health Centre Coordinator at Charles P Allen High School.

TeenMentalHealth.org is distributing its cannabis infographics to schools and youth organizations across Canada in the hopes of providing best available evidence-based information.

Anyone seeking information on the effects of cannabis use in teens can find infographics and resources at TeenMentalHealth.org/Cannabis.

About TeenMentalHealth.Org
TeenMentalHealth.Org uses the best scientific evidence available to develop application-ready professional learning programs, publications, tools and resources to enhance the understanding of adolescent mental health. Dr. Stan Kutcher works to create, develop and deliver research, education and clinical programs by collaborating with its audiences.

Media contact
Mallory Comeau, Communications Coordinator
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health
(902) 470-6582

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 11:08