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11. Driving Under the Influence

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Drug Effects

Effects of Use

Within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana smoke, users likely experience dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, some loss of coordination and poor sense of balance, and slower reaction times, along with intoxication. Blood vessels in the eye expand. For some people, marijuana raises blood pressure slightly and can double the normal heart rate. This effect can be greater when other drugs are mixed with marijuana. Research also has documented the following chronic or long-term effects of marijuana use.

Effects on the BrainTHC suppresses the neurons in the information-processing system of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation. Researchers have discovered that learned behaviors, which depend on the hippocampus, deteriorate after chronic exposure to THC. Chronic abuse of marijuana also is associated with impaired attention and memory, while prenatal exposure to marijuana is associated with impaired verbal reasoning and memory in preschool children. Of possible relevance are findings from animal studies showing that chronic exposure to THC damages and destroys nerve cells and causes other pathological changes in the hippocampus.

Effects on the Respiratory System:

Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. These individuals may have daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds.

Continuing to smoke marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of the lungs and airways. Scientists have found signs of lung tissue injured or destroyed by marijuana smoke.

Lesson Summary


  

Lesson 11 Quiz


You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

  1. After completing all 11 lessons and then passing the final test, your certificate of completion of driver education will be:


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  2. If you are under 21, the zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving will revoke your license even if your BAC is as low as what percent?


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  3. Alcohol is a:


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  4. Designated Drivers:


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  5. BAC stands for:


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