Study Finds Link Between Drugs & Concussions

It’s been known as a “silent epidemic,” affecting thousands of children and teens every year: concussions. More than 173,000 kids and teenagers are already seen every year due to brain injuries, including concussions, and that number could be even higher. Now, a new study has emerged, claiming that teens who smoke pot and drink alcohol, even on occasion, are at higher risk of getting a concussion than their peers who don’t. concussion risk higher for ten drug users

What is a concussion?

A concussion is caused by a sudden blow to the head that shakes the brain against the skull. It can be due to a collision while playing sports, a fall, a car crash or fighting.

Concussion Symptoms

Obvious signs of a concussion include passing out or forgetting what happened before the injury occurred. It’s common for people to experience other symptoms too, including having trouble thinking and remembering information, emotional changes, having headaches or dizziness and a change in sleep patterns. However, concussions often go unnoticed, as the symptoms aren’t always visible or immediately noticeable— especially if the teen doesn’t pass out. Effects can last for hours, days or even months.

The Study

Canadian researched have found a link between kids and teens who drink and/or smoke pot with a higher risk of getting a concussion. They surveyed nearly 9,000 Ontario students between 7th and 12th grade from the general population and found that students who occasionally or frequently drank or smoked were at 5 times the risk than those who didn’t. While the study doesn’t have an answer as to why this is true, the evidence backs it up.

Other Links

Using drugs and drinking alcohol may not be the only factor contributing to concussions. Studies show that males and students who have lower grades in school are more prone to getting a concussion, and those who play contact sports are always at higher risk.

Talk to your teen about the risks of using drugs and alcohol. If you think he or she may be using these substances, ARCpoint labs can help.

 

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