A couple of weeks ago the media filmed cannabis Spice users collapsing like zombies on the streets of Manchester. And today we learn that Abedi, the Manchester attacker was, according to a school friend a ‘victim of weed.’ His friend described how Abedi’s smoking of weed over a period of time altered his personality and the move towards radicalisation may have been aggravated by the damaging effects of cannabis on his brain. Over time he became withdrawn, on the edge of friendship circles and lived in a bubble.
Based on my personal knowledge of observing cannabis users I have witnessed a change in the behaviour of those users over a period of time. My reflections and what I went through as a mother are recorded in my novel ‘Every Family Has One.’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/EVERY-FAMILY-HAS-Warrington-Joanna-ebook/dp/B015RUZL7Y/I wanted to make other parents aware of the dangers of cannabis use.
The cannabis plant contains mind altering chemicals, most notably THC (Tetrahydro cannabinol). THC passes from the lungs into the bloodstream and there are short and long term effects on the brain. THC acts on specific brain cell receptors. The effects include altered senses, changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty thinking and problem solving. Over time users can lose some of their mental abilities and that’s disastrous on their future, a tragic situation. Maybe weed affected Abedi in this way. He dropped out of college. He lost his way academically just like the character in my book ‘Every Family Has One.’
I’m not blaming weed on what happened to Abedi but smoking weed didn’t do him any favours. As parents we worry about our children becoming involved in drugs. I’ve noticed how cannabis affects teenagers. They sleep for long periods in the day, they’re awake all night eating and going up and down the stairs, unable to settle. They cut themselves off from the rest of the family, retreating into their own bubble. Maybe this is what happened to Abedi. He had a good future but it was ruined by alcohol and cannabis.
It’s a mystery and a huge worry for parents today because the THC levels in cannabis are much stronger than decades ago. Teenagers need to focus on study and weed stops them focusing. They become scatty, dreamy and complacent or at the other extreme over anxious.
My book ‘Every Family Has One’ contains some graphic descriptions of the effects of cannabis use and the failure of the professionals and NHS to help parents and help the users. There will be many more young people affected by cannabis if we don’t do something fast.
‘EVERY FAMILY HAS ONE’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/EVERY-FAMILY-HAS-Warrington-Joanna-ebook/dp/B015RUZL7Y/