Marijuana changes brain in young users, Boston researchers find

Young adults who smoke marijuana even once in a while may develop abnormalities in two key areas of the brain, reports a new study by researchers in Boston. According to the Boston Globe, the study indicates brain areas related to emotion, motivation and decision-making are effected.

Heroin abuse on the rise

Heroin is readily available in Washington state and its prevalence and use signal changes in trafficking and abuse patterns, according to statistics compiled by the Northwest High Drug Trafficking Area (NW HIDTA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration. An article detailing this trend was published in the most recent NW HIDTA newsletter, downloadable from our site, and can also be read online.  An article in New Republic alleges the blame for the nationwide increase in heroin abuse belongs to doctors as much as drug dealers.
Parent Guide to Preventing Marijuana
is now available in Spanish

A comprehensive guide targeted for parents of middle school students is now available in both Spanish and English, thanks to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Intititute at the University of Washington and their partners. The booklet was written by Dr. Leslie Walker from Seattle Children’s Hospital and Dr. Kevin Haggerty from the University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group. It contains information about marijuana and teen health, what parents can do to prevent teen marijuana use and what Washington state's new law means for minors.

Download in English
Descargar en Español
New campaign, interactive tool helps parents talk
to their kids about drinking, substance abuse
Talk graphic SAMHSA
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA) has launched a new campaign, "Talk - They Hear You" that includes several public service announcements and an animated interactive education tool that walks parents through numerous scenarios in which they can help their teens make responsible decisions about drinking. See it on the SAMHSA website.
New study shows marijuana may cause 
changes in the brains of young users
A new study by researchers at Northwestern University shows that chronic smoking of marijuana as a teen may alter the brain memory structure in later years. Study authors are also calling for more studies on the impacts of marijuana on brain use as more states move to legalize pot. Read more from multiple news sources.

Addiction to prescription opiates and heroin addressed by new resource
The Partnership at, a national nonprofit working to find evidence-based solutions to adolescent substance use, has launched a comprehensive new digital resource that helps parents better understand the potential life-saving benefits of medication-assisted treatment. The advanced online tool is comprised of videos, testimonials and an e-book to help parents make an informed choice when they are looking for treatment options to help a teen or young adult recover from an addiction to prescription pain medications, heroin or other opiates. (Continue reading at The Partnership at newsroom). 
Marijuana, meth top list of Northwest HIDTA’s
current greatest drug threats for 2014

Despite the legalization of cannabis in Washington State in 2012, both marijuana and methamphetamine are considered by Northwest HIDTA as the state’s greatest drug threats, according to a recent report by NW HIDTA. Both drugs are closely associated with crime and are easily available, making them a significant threat to society.


Mentioned in the Media

 Seattle Times
Pot plans for Vashon’s vacant
K2 building divide ‘Weed Island’
Residents voted for initiative, but some relucant to turn former ski manufacture facility into a pot plant. Read about it in the Seattle Times (subscription may be required to view).
Oregon Live
Washington legislature aims to reconcile
medical, recreational marijuana markets
One state Senator calls current state of medical marijuana regulation "the Wild West."  Read more in an Associated Press story in the Oregonean's OregonLive. 
Mother Jones
Are California's pot farms bad for the planet?
The so-called California Green Rush may not be so green after all, article states. Read the full piece in Mother Jones. 


Partner Reports

Marijuana still most illicit drug
And acceptance is growing, as are the number of youth treatments, according to the 2012 Marijuana Situation Report by NW HIDTA.


Drug Overdoses in Washington:
Police officers’ experiences and
the Good Samaritan Overdose Law
(Reprinted from January, 2013 edition of the NW HIDTA Newsletter)
(See Drug Overdoses in Washington)


Office of National Drug Control Policy