Teenagers under 17 who use cannabis daily are 60 percent less likely to complete high school or get a degree than peers who have never taken the drug, researchers said on Wednesday.
They are also nearly seven times likelier to attempt suicide and are almost eight times likelier to use other illicit drugs later in life.
The data, published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, comes from an analysis of three large, long-running studies in Australia and New Zealand.
“Our findings are particularly timely, given that several US states and countries in Latin America have made moves to decriminalise or legalise cannabis, raising the possibility that the drug might become more accessible to young people,” said Richard Mattick, a professor at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre in New South Wales.
The three studies considered the welfare of several thousand young people, who were assessed regularly between the ages of 13 and 30.
The analysis divided them into five categories of cannabis use frequency over 12 months in “mid-adolescence” — meaning, over a period before the individual turned 17. The categories ranged from never to daily use.
And it compared this to their educational achievements.
As far as possible, the review took into account factors like gender and socio-economic status that could skew the picture.
“The estimates… suggested that individuals who were daily users before age 17 years had odds of high-school completion and degree attainment that were 63 percent and 62 percent lower, respectively, than those who had never used cannabis,” the study reported.
The researchers conceded it was possible that some cannabis users turned to the drug after dropping out of school, rather than before.
But the figures clearly showed that the more cannabis was consumed, the likelier it was that a teen would not finish secondary education.
The link with suicide risk was not a surprise, given previous research evidence of an association between suicidal thoughts and heavy cannabis use, the authors said.
But the study swept aside the notion that teenaged cannabis smokers were more prone to depression or to be dependent on welfare.
No such association was found in the data, they said.
Other experts said the results of the study were unsurprising but still provided needed data to support anecdotal evidence about pot use.
“None of the findings will surprise mental health workers, and indeed previous studies have reported similar findings for each of the outcomes separately,” said Robin Murray, a professor at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience.
But, Murray added in comments reported by Britain’s Science Media Centre, “This study reminds us that it is important to discourage cannabis use among teenagers.”
“Educational campaigns outlining the risks of heavy cannabis use are warranted whatever the legal status of cannabis.”
He also regretted that the probe did not explore the impact from high-strength cannabis, which now constitutes a major component of sales of the drug.
A contrasting view came from Professor David Nutt, former president of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, who argued that cannabis abuse was rooted in the same problems as alcohol abuse.
“In all cases it is likely that significant proportions of the users have pre-existing problems and seek cannabis as a way out,” he said.
“These data don’t really help with the legalisation debate as it’s been legal in Holland for decades with little impact,” Nutt added. “Indeed, young people may use less once it’s legal, if they were rebelling by using it.”
5 Great Jobs You Didn’t Know You Could Get With an MBA
Whether you are currently deciding if a Master in Business Administration (MBA) is right for you or you are in the middle of your MBA studies, employability has most likely come up in your mind. With the employment world becoming more competitive, it is important for an individual to not only have marketable skills, but a great academic background as well.
MBA graduates have the option of getting into the traditional job markets like human resources and marketing. However, here are five robust employment opportunities that offer graduates comfortable salaries and growth.
Life as a logistician may seem like an unlikely opportunity for MBA graduates, but the logistics sector is currently experiencing rapid growth. Logisticians are responsible for the coordination of various teams to accomplish a set organizational task. Students who have a preference for operations management, and who have completed project management courses offered by online MBA programs, would be well suited in this field.
The fundraiser is that individual who works hard to bring in money for his or her employer. Fundraisers work for a variety of organizations and programs including political campaigns, universities and non-profits.
As a fundraiser, you will be expected to employ various methods to bring the money in, which includes organizing campaigns and events, grant writing and cold calling. The job may require working hand-in-hand with an organization’s training volunteers, board members and keeping a close eye on donors.
Financial analysts are expected to be aware of the latest financial trends. They are responsible for collecting information on micro and macro-economic conditions. In addition, a financial analyst is expected to carry out research, and it is a role that can open up great opportunities for your career advancement.
Public Relations Director
A PR director carries out several responsibilities, including coordinating press releases and media interviews. In short, it is the PR director’s job to ensure that the company he or she represents is always portrayed in a positive and professional manner.
Although an MBA is not an express route to landing the director’s job, it is a huge step in the right direction. With drive and determination, a talented MBA graduate can fill this role once they have the necessary experience. Most PR directors will be required to study in communications, but having an MBA is a definite plus. A good way to get an online MBA degree on the cheap is by going to an online school. Northeastern University offers a great nationally accredited AACSB online MBA that would give you a clear advantage over your competition.
Medical and Health Services Manager
As a medical and health services manager you will be working at ensuring that a hospital, nursing home, group practice or any other medical care facility is running efficiently. This is a job that requires extreme detail-oriented and analytical skills.
As you can see, the varied syllabus and the opportunity to get hands-on experience makes an MBA a qualification that will set you up for a contented life. An MBA presents you with an opportunity to get creative and play a vital role in challenging but enjoyable job positions.
Analyzing Metrics – First You Have to Get Them!
No matter what industry you are in, the analysis of metrics is a vital part of planning the future of your organization.
From marketing to investing to recruiting talent for your company, you need a data set to look at and analyze to see where you were a year ago, as opposed to where you now stand. When it comes to education, those metrics are even harder to analyze because of the discrepancy of how ‘success’ is measured.
Those in administration are constantly struggling against the tension between the academic success and financial success of their educational institution. Believe it or not, some of the best universities are the very ones that struggle most to set, and stay within, a reasonable budget. If you are a college administrator or on the board of directors, you may want to look at how you are getting those metrics. Some sources may be skewed, meaning your analysis will also be tilted.
Why Metrics Matter to College Administration
For the sake of argument, let’s take a quick look at a school like Maryville University’s online EDD program. It is the focus of a program like this to prepare students for leadership roles within higher education. Individuals who graduate with a higher education leadership degree are prepared to work as:
- Department Chairs
- Academic Deans
- Chief Academic Officers
- Admissions Directors
- President of the University or College
As you can see, being effective in any of these positions requires having an eye on academic progress as well as the financial state of the school they are working for. Without a complete data set it would be virtually impossible to make a thorough analysis as to the state of affairs in either category. Metrics matter because they are the numbers that each of these professionals must crunch in order to run an efficient school and/or department. But if metrics can be slanted, how can you obtain a data set that contains the data you need to analyze?
The Sixty-Four Thousand Dollar Question
And, that is the sixty-four thousand dollar question. How is someone with an online EDD degree supposed to go about collecting the facts and figures they need to assess the current state of their department or educational institution? Before going any further, it perhaps would be a good idea to look at the latest presidential election. On November 8, 2016, no one expected anything but a Hillary Clinton victory. All the polls showed her ahead by several points so when Mr. Trump won, it came as a complete shock to both parties as well as the media.
But why were the media so astounded when it was their polls that predicted a Clinton victory? Actually, the answer is quite simple. It seems as though the media had defective metrics because they weren’t unbiased in the people they polled.
You can analyze metrics all day, but if they are not accurate, you will be no farther along than you are now. The bottom line is that you need to hire an expert to gather the information you require before trying to analyze it. With faulty data you get a faulty projection, as in the recent election. Unbiased, impartial metrics are worth their weight in gold.
3 Tips to Keep You Focused While Studying
Staying focused on your study is one of the hardest parts of doing a course, but it is also the most important. Study, will not only help you pass your exams, but it will help you to consolidate all the new facts you’re learning. If you are thinking of getting a new qualification, check out colleges such as Evocca College that are designed to get you ahead in the workplace. Read on to discover three tips on how to keep yourself focused and on task while you study.
Set yourself goals
Setting yourself goals is one of the easiest ways to stay focused on your study. Short-term goals help you stay on task while you complete a small part of your overall task. Your short-term goals can be anything from studying for fifteen minutes to two hours or reading one chapter of your textbook while summarising it. To build better stamina, a runner will set a distance goal they have to reach before they can stop and rest; you can do the same with your study. Set yourself a minimum study time and don’t stray from the task until you reach it. A great idea is to set an alarm on your phone to let you know when the time is up. As you start to use time goals regularly, you will find it easier to stay focused on your task for that amount of time. But when you reach your goal, make sure you reward yourself with a break. That way you always know something good is coming at the end, giving you the motivation to stay focused.
Unless you lock yourself in a soundproof, windowless room, then it is pretty much impossible to remove every distraction from your study space. It is important that you get rid of as many distractions as you can. Make sure you have an uncluttered desk all to yourself. Even just a little mess can easily distract you and drag your concentration away from your task. Another way to limit distractions is to put your phone on silent and close all your social media connections. Notification sounds are likely to quickly snap you out of study mode, so make sure you put your phone and other items with instant notifications on silent or into airplane mode. Use your break time after reaching each goal to check in with your email and social media.
Keep a positive attitude
It’s easy to be disheartened by the amount of study you might need to do, but you can’t let it bring you down. A positive attitude will help you get though your work faster and more effectively. Break down the huge amount of study you need to complete each week into smaller, less overwhelming segments, and you will find yourself going through them faster than you can believe. Study shouldn’t be seen as a chore: think of it as your first step into your future career.
Very few people will tell you how much they enjoy sitting down to a good study session, but revision is vital to your course and your future. The hard work you put in now will make life so much easier later on. Colleges, like Evocca, often have different study options to make your course a little more manageable for you. How do you keep yourself on task while you study? Leave your comments in the section below.