MEDIA, PA — Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems (HBHS) is excited to launch “The Blunt Truth” campaign, this February. This media campaign focuses on educating adolescents and parents in Delaware County about the harmful effects of marijuana use, including synthetic marijuana, medical marijuana, and new legislation in the United States.

According to the Office of National Drug Control and Policy, confusing messages are presented by popular culture, media, advocacy of “medical” marijuana, and political campaigns to legalize all marijuana use, perpetuating the false notion that marijuana is harmless. Despite the confusing messages, marijuana is a harmful drug that is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse, and no currently accepted medical use for treatment in the United States. In Delaware County, youth have misconceptions regarding marijuana use; 49.7% of 12th grade students reported that they thought it was “not at all wrong” or only “a little bit wrong” for someone their age to use marijuana (PAYS, 2015).

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.

Despite increasing efforts to legalize it, marijuana is harmful, and causes many adverse physical and mental health effects on its users. In 2014, there were 42 percent current (past-month) users—about 8.4 percent of people aged 12 or older—up from 7.3 percent in 2012 (NIDA). Marijuana affects learning and memory, causes distorted perceptions, diminishes motor coordination, and increases heart rate. Chronic drug use has been linked to mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and depression, especially in those who are vulnerable or who start at an early age.

More so now than ever, teenagers and young adults need to be educated on the effects of marijuana on the brain and body, which is why “The Blunt Truth” aims to debunk the misconceptions that these newly enacted laws may portray.  In addition to addressing common myths and facts surrounding marijuana use, Holcomb provides free literature and speaking engagements to schools, youth and parent groups, and communities.  To learn more about “The Blunt Truth,” or request materials or a presentation, please contact our office at 484-444-0412.

“The Blunt Truth” Campaign was developed by and is a project of the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition in the state of Vermont.  In Delaware County, the campaign is coordinated by Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems through funding from the Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health, Division of Drug and Alcohol.

 

Holcomb Prevention and Education Dept., funded by the Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health, Division of Drug and Alcohol, provides education, trainings, consultations, public awareness campaigns, prevention initiatives, student assessments and referrals as a part of a planned strategy to prevent or reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.  For more information, please visit our website at http://www.holcombprevention.org.