Sunday, July 13, 2014

NAMI presents Marijuana and the Developing Brain

I would like to bring your attention to NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness. Their programs are designed to help families of those suffering from a mental health condition. Mental illness touches every family. The educational information you receive through NAMI is the most up-to-date on the topic you're concerned about. You can get more information about NAMI by visiting


Marijuana and the Developing Brain:
New Risks and Realities for Ventura County 
Dan Hicks & Richard La Perriere
Ventura County Behavioral Health
Earlier this year, Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) noted that there have been significant changes over the last 20 years in Marijuana. Levels of THC -- the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana - have gone up a great deal, from 3.75 percent in 1995 to an average of 15 percent in today's marijuana. 

She notes: "Daily use today can have stronger effects on a developing teen brain than it did 10 or 20 years ago."

The potency of marijuana has increased to over 20% THC in the same time period, while availability and heavy use among adolescents have continued to rise.

This presentation will outline contemporary research on the effects of Marijuana on the teen brain, and address a range of issues now discussed across Ventura County, including availability, potency, modes of administration, levels of use, perceived harm, cognitive effects and local youth prevention strategies. 

Understanding the current local context of marijuana use and scientific studies on the effects of marijuana on the developing brain, the presenters will share views from the behavioral health field, including the risks of dependence, lasting cognitive declines, links between use and problem behavior, and implications for prevention and treatment.   
Dan Hicks is Manager, Prevention Services - Ventura County Behavioral Health Department. A graduate of Princeton University, Dan has been an alcohol and drug policy advocate for 20 years, working closely with city and county governments, public safety agencies, and retail alcohol establishments. He has facilitated policy discussions of among elected officials, police officers, parents groups and regional media, and helped establish Ventura County Limits - responsible prevention policies and practices locally.

Richard La Perriere has 20 years of experience with alcohol & drug treatment services, and is a Clinic Administrator in the Alcohol & Drug Programs at VCBH.
All General Meetings are Free and Open to the Public.
NAMI General Meetings are open to anyone interested in learning about mental illness. Speakers address a wide range of topics such as: research on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, new medications, proven rehabilitation approaches, financial planning for families with a disabled member, early diagnosis and intervention, public and other community mental health services, disability benefits, etc.

Please contact NAMI Ventura County for more information on this program, and others like it by visiting this web page:


  1. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comSeptember 20, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    Hi Val,

    I hope all is well with you. Healthline just published an infographic detailing how marijuana affects the body. This is an interactive chart allowing the reader to pick the side effect they want to learn more about.

    You can see the overview of the report here:

    Our users have found our guide very useful and I thought it would be a great resource for your page:

    I would appreciate it if you could review our request and consider adding this visual representation of the effects of marijuana to your site or sharing it on your social media feeds.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    All the best,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

    About Us:

    1. Maggie, thank you for this resource. I have looked at your link, and think it offers valuable information for those people with questions. Thank you for reaching out.