Let’s Be Clear: Cannabis Use Among Youth

Niagara Region Public Health and REACT Niagara want to make the risks and harms of cannabis use a little “less fuzzy” for youth.

“Let’s Be Clear” is a youth-developed, educational campaign that encourages youth to consider how the choice to use cannabis can affect them. REACT, a youth-led action group, identified different aspects of their lives that were important to their peers and created a series of images to highlight how academic, athletic, and social identities can be affected by the choice to use cannabis. For the percentage of Niagara youth who are choosing to use cannabis, it is important for these youth to be aware of their settings and how cannabis use can impede their responsibilities (i.e., school and work).

Let’s be clear. Youth who use weed often are more likely to have difficulty learning. These effects can last weeks after using cannabis.

Adolescence is an important period for the developing brain. The use of cannabis during this time can negatively affect healthy cognitive development. While not all youth experience harm from cannabis use, the increased risk for these potential harms may prevent youth from choosing to use.

Let’s be clear. Weed affects your reaction time and coordination.

Cannabis use can cause impairments that affect information processing, reaction time, coordination, and motor performance. This can make it difficult for youth to perform everyday tasks or to participate in sports.

Let’s be clear. Did you know, 65 per cent of students have not smoked cannabis in the past year?

Cannabis was legalized in Canada in October of 2018. Social norms surrounding cannabis use are shifting and can influence patterns of use. Youth often overestimate peer use, unaware of the prevalence of non-use among young people in Niagara.

Adolescence is a critical period of development for young people. Honest dialogue with youth about cannabis can help them to make informed choices. For more information, please visit our website.

Contact:
Presley Chiasson
Youth Engagement Specialist
Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Public Health
Niagara Region
Phone: 905-688-8248 ext. 7395

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