Parents Attend Marijuana Awareness Meeting

Jack Zapfel, Staff Writer

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On Friday, November 13th, concerned parents, of Westport, attended a New York University Addiction Psychiatry: Emerging Drugs of Abuse meeting, focused on marijuana at town hall in Westport from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.

An hour long informative the Powerpoint presentation was followed by a thirty minute question and answer.

The presentation was lead by John Douglas, the clinical director of the Outpatient Addiction Program at Silver Hill Hospital, in the effort to educate parents about different aspects of marijuana and its risks. The discussion took place largely in part due to the drug’s increased usage around the town and country.

His presentation outlined prevalence, recreational forms, intoxication symptoms, long-term adverse effects, potential medical benefits, perceived risk and use, and concluded with the future directions of the drug.

Douglas constantly preached the dangers of using Marijuana in adolescence. He discussed the risks of developing cognitive impairments in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of the brain. He preached that 9% of people who try cannabis become dependent on it, along with 50% of daily users.

After speaking with a group of parents who attended, one parent, who has a freshmen at Staples, said, “It’s important for us (parents) to be as informed and knowledgeable as possible about risks to our children. We all want what’s best for our children.”

Douglas stated that Marijuana isn’t a safe drug. When asked if he thought someone could be a safe Marijuana user? He replied by saying, “Addictive drugs are a risky way to cope with all aspects of life.”

Staples senior, Ian Offenberg ’16, curiously shared his opinions by saying, “Why are they making that presentation available to just parents; not students as well?”

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