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Youth of Himachal should pay attention to this new research on effects of marijuana use during adolescence

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Marijuana use in himachal youth

Boys who started occasionally using cannabis around 15 or 16 years old and had a dramatic increase in use by the time they were 19 had the greatest dysfunction in brain reward circuitry, the highest rates of depression and the lowest educational achievements.

Shimla – How an adolescent uses marijuana, in particular, a pattern of escalating use, may make an adolescent more prone to higher rates of depression and lower educational accomplishments by the time they reach adulthood. Those findings come from a new study led by researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Pitt Department of Psychology published today in the journal Addiction.

The drug menace among the adolescents and youth of Himachal Pradesh is on an alarming level. The recent case of gruesome rape and murder of a school girl in Kotkhai region of Shimla district is being associated with increased substance and drug abuse among youth. Now the substance abuse is not limited only to smoking marijuana. A variety of synthetic drugs are consuming the youth of Himachal. Unfortunately, school children nowadays are exposed to drugs at a very tender age.

More unfortunate is the fact that even the most prestigious schools in Himachal don’t want to spend on services of professional child psychologists to deal with it in the proper way. The State Education Department is also in deep slumber and representatives of people are busy in politics.

Meanwhile, a section of youth in Himachal favors marijuana believing it is not a drug. They believe it cast a lesser negative impact on their brains. While smoking, its users often hold unofficial debates in enclosed groups advocating legalisation of marijuana in Himachal. The adolescents here should pay special attention to findings of this new research before they fall into this trap.

According to Erika Forbes, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, psychology and pediatrics, and lead author of the study,

We know that cannabis use in adolescence is associated with outcomes like lower educational level, and difficulties with mood and depression, but through this long-term study, we’ve been able to provide a much deeper insight into this relationship, showing that certain characteristics of use may be more important than others.

The researcher further adds,

The findings highlight that understanding marijuana use across the entire period of adolescence, which we know is an extremely vulnerable developmental phase, may tell us much more about detrimental long-term impacts than knowing about overall or one time use,

.

Researchers analyzed 158 boys and young men from Pittsburgh who were part of The Pitt Mother & Child Project (PMCP), a long-running longitudinal study of males at high risk for antisocial behavior and other psychopathology based on low income, family size and child gender, led by Daniel Shaw, Ph.D., distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.

At age 20, the young men self-reported annual cannabis use characteristics for every year since they started use during an interview. Each man’s brain was also scanned using fMRI to assess functional connectivity in the brain’s reward circuit. The study participants completed questionnaires at ages 20 and 22 that examined psychosocial outcomes measuring depression and educational attainment.

The researchers analyzed frequency of cannabis use from ages 14 to 19 to determine the relationship between use during adolescence and psychosocial outcomes. In an unexpected finding, boys who started occasionally using cannabis around 15 or 16 years old and had a dramatic increase in use by the time they were 19 had the greatest dysfunction in brain reward circuitry, the highest rates of depression and the lowest educational achievements.

We expected to see that the young men who had a high, consistent level of marijuana use would have differences in brain function. However, it turned out that those who had an increasing pattern of use over their teens had the biggest differences,

Forbes added.

Though the results do not show a direct causal link, it’s important to note that even though most people think marijuana isn’t harmful, it may have severe consequences for some people’s functioning, education and mood,

Forbes said.

While that may seem unimportant at age 20, the level of education you receive will likely have a huge effect on your quality of life and socioeconomic status later in adulthood.

Additional authors on this research are Sarah D. Lichenstein, M.S., Samuel Musselman, B.S., Daniel S. Shaw, Ph.D., and Stephanie Sitnick, Ph.D., all of Pitt.

Photo: Mental Healthy.co.uk

Misc News/Press Release

Shimla Police nabs Nigerian man with 25 grams Chitta

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Nigerian man arrested by shimla police with chitta

Shimla: With the assistance of the Delhi Police, the district police has arrested a Nigerian national Kra Basile for alleged involvement in drug peddling to Shimla.

A team led by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Shimla (City), Dinesh Sharma, also recovered 25 grams of Chitta (heroin) from his possession during questioning.

During the course of interrogation the said Nigerian National was trying to conceal something. On being suspicious of narcotics/ contraband, a search of the above person was conducted in the presence of DSP City. During the search, 25.46 gram Chitta (heroin) has been recovered from the possession of Nigerian National,

said the FIR registered at the Police Station, Dhalli, under Sections 21,29 of the ND&PS Act.

Related Story: Two Shimla youth held with 19 grams Chitta

As per the Sharma, the said accused is believed to be involved in supply to several parts of the district for some time. His name had appeared during the questioning from some local youth allegedly arrested with Chitta during past week, he said.

Following this lead, the police put his number on tracking, and a trap was laid to nab him by posing as a decoy customer.

It is expected that his interrogation would lead to more revelations and arrests of others linked with this network.

Also Read: Story of Shimla youth who started with smoking charas at 17, ended up in jail at 22 as drug peddler

The DSP Sharma and other staff members were cheering considering it a breakthrough amid heavy pressure from the public due to an alarming rise in involvment of youth in drug/substance abuse.

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15 lakh saplings planted in Himachal by 80,000 people in 3 days, claims Forest Minister

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15 lakh sapling planted in Himachal Pradesh on van mahotsav

Shimla: The Forest Minister Govind Singh Thakur today said that three days statewide plantation campaign from 12 to 14 July 2018 was launched in the State and more than 15 lakh saplings were planted in different parts of the State.

He said that the campaign was undertaken in all 13 Forest Circles in the state and Forty-one Forest Divisions participated in the campaign. Plantations were performed at 600 sites of the state. Chamba Forest Division with 99,281 plants was at First position followed by Ani and Rampur Forest Divisions with 81,369 and 80,059 plants respectively.

More than six lakh deodar species were planted beside broad leave and other conifers. He said that the entire plantation campaign was monitored online.

He said that all walks of life including school children, women, senior citizen and youth comprising 80000 people actively participated in the campaign. Plantation activities were performed from the boundaries of the state in the north with Jammu and Kashmir to Yamuna River in south and Kinnaur district in the east to boundaries of the state with Punjab in the west, he added.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had inaugurated state level Van Mahotsav on July 10 from Rajgargh in Sirmaur district. Governor Acharya Devvrat also participated in the campaign at Nehra in Shimla District on July 13 2018.

He said that plantation activities are still going on and it is expected that total 17 lakh plants will be planted by the end of the campaign.

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Misc News/Press Release

Gunfight in Naina Devi: One wanted criminal shot dead, 2 arrested

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Nainadevi encounter by punjab police

Bilaspur: Panic gripped the world famous Shakti Peeth Shri Naina Devi in Bilaspur district on Saturday morning due to a gun-fight between alleged gangsters and a team of the Punjab Police. While one of the criminals was shot dead in the cross firing, two others were arrested.

Punjab and Himachal Pradesh Police had sealed the entire area including the bus station and main entrance to the temple. The devotees also faced huged inconvenience due to it.

Some policemen were also injured in the gunfight, however, the police did not make any confirmation about the number of injured policemen.

Naina devi firing

Weapon recovered by the police

As per the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mohali, Kuldeep Singh, armed with a firearm, these men had allegedly snatched a car from a man in Mohali on the intervening night of 13 and 14 July.

After receiving the information, the police chased them upto Naina Devi where one of the criminals opened fire on the police, and police also responded with firearms.

Naina devi shooting

Area turned into police cantonment

During a cross firing between the police and the criminals. The Superintendent of Police, Bilaspur, Ashok Kumar also reached the spot and confirmed the incident.

The killed youth was identified as Sunni Masih while two others arrested were identified as Amanpreet and Goldy. Sunni was taken to the Aanandpur Sahib hospital where he died.

As per the police, the alleged criminals were wanted in several cases registered for theft and under the arms act in various police stations of Punjab.

The Himachal Pradesh police have registered a case under Section 307 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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