DES MOINES, Iowa — A special forum was held Wednesday night to focus on how marijuana effects a person’s development.
The event was sponsored by Drake University and Unity Point Health.
Dr. Kevin Hill, an addiction psychiatrist from Boston, spoke to students about the gap between the science of marijuana and what the public’s perception of the drug is.
“About one thing people can agree upon is there are significant negative impacts of marijuana on the developing brain. So we`re talking about the effects on cognition and mood and anxiety and especially for young people regular marijuana use causes many, many problems,” says Dr. Hill.
Dr. Hill along with other professionals in the field held the forum to help students understand the effects of the drug.
A recovering addict also spoke out as part of the forum.
Colin H. said he started using drugs and alcohol when he was 13 years old.
Now at 24, he’s been sober for two and a half years.
He credits the 12 step program offered at the Powell Chemical Dependency Center at Iowa Lutheran for helping him turn his life around.
“The biggest thing is the relationships with my family that I thought I absolutely destroyed and burnt down. I’ve been able to rebuild those and I get to do things like go and hang out at my sister`s house after she had a child. Before when I was drinking and using they didn’t want me around because I would show up drunk or high and now they do want me around to be an uncle and be a brother,” says Colin.
The speakers said a person’s brain continues to develop into his or her late 20’s and substance abuse can stunt that development.
For more information on the Powell Chemical Dependency Center and their services click here.