Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

New Liver Toxicity Drug Maybe Helpful for Teen Marijuana Use

Taking too much Tylenol can cause liver toxicity. A medication that has been used in the treatment of this issue may also be effective in the treatment of teenagers who are addicted to marijuana as long as it is used in combination with behavioral therapy, says a speaker at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual convention.

Kevin M. Gray, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, was a researcher on the study. He says, “Young people should be a particular focus of treatment for marijuana dependence. We want to treat it early, before a lot of serious outcomes occur when they transition to adulthood.”

The Study

Gray’s study looked at the efficacy of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and found that it worked to help the 116 teenaged participants who also received skills-based therapeutic intervention each week. They also received compensation when their drug tests showed that they were drug-free.

It’s a drug that has been proven beneficial in the treatment of a number of different ailments including liver issues, cystic fibrosis, and lung disorders. It’s safe enough to be on the shelves of most health food stores.

Gray’s study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He published the results in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Marijuana Addiction Among Teens

Too often, people gloss over teen use of marijuana as if it were harmless and non-addictive. In fact, the truth is the exact opposite.

Says Gray, “There’s a general perception that marijuana may not be as addictive as other drugs, and it’s not seen as a ‘hard’ drug, so people think it’s easy to stop using it. The medical marijuana movement has further decreased the view of marijuana as risky. We’re seeing an increased rate of use and dependence in teens, which is especially worrisome because of the increased potency of marijuana in recent years.”

Parents Can Help Their Teens Make Better Choices

No matter your personal view on the use of marijuana, there is no doubt that smoking marijuana during the teen years leads to:

  • Slowed emotional development
  • Slowed cognitive development
  • Poor academic performance
  • Increased rate of accidents under the influence
  • Arrest—even in the states where it’s legal for adults, it is not legal for teens

Help your son to make better choices concerning the use of marijuana and other substances when you contact us at Muir Wood the phone number listed above.