Teen Drinkers, Pot Smokers at Raised Risk of Concussion

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, June 27, 2013

Teen Drinkers, Pot Smokers at Raised Risk of Concussion

Concussions appear to be a common injury for teenagers, with the risk higher not only for athletes but also for kids who drink or smoke marijuana, new research indicates.

Canadian researchers found that of nearly 9,000 Ontario adolescents, 20 percent said they'd previously had a concussion, and almost 6 percent had suffered at least one in the past year.

Sports accounted for more than half of those recent concussions, according to findings reported in the June 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

And teens who drank alcohol or smoked pot at least occasionally had three to five times the concussion risk of their peers who were drug- and alcohol-free.

It's not clear why kids who drank or smoke pot showed a greater concussion risk, said lead researcher Gabriela Ilie, of the injury prevention research office at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. "All we know is, there was an association," she noted.

Source: U.S. News & World Report