In the countless national campaigns that stress to students the importance of staying away from drugs and alcohol, the younger generation is led to believe that both categories are inherently bad and have the same adverse effects. Instead, recent Clinical EEG and Neuroscience news suggests that alcohol is far more damaging than marijuana when measuring the impact on adolescents.
Opposing Views reported that while marijuana may subtly impair certain neurocognitive skills, the adverse effects associated with the use of alcohol were far more severe. Those substance users showed abnormalities on measures of brain functioning, brain structure volume, white matter quality and activation to cognitive tasks.
According to investigators at San Diego State University and the University of California at San Diego, these abnormalities were seen in youth with as little as one to two years of heavy drinking, which included consumptions levels of 20 drinks per month. This was especially true if more than four or five drinks were consumed on a single occasion.
While heavy marijuana users also demonstrated subtle anomalies, they were generally not to the same degree of divergence from non-using adolescents.
It is findings such as these that tend to highlight the impracticality of state and federal laws that criminally prohibit the use of marijuana by persons of all ages, yet embrace the use of alcohol in adults. This same mixed message is easily received by youth as a contradiction in values.