“THC is Changing” campaign to raise public awareness about potential harm to youth
On April 20, 2023, Marshfield Clinic Health System announced their Northwoods Coalition (MCHSNC) has launched a new statewide initiative called “THC is Changing” to educate youth and youth influencers about the potential health hazards of THC, as youth are a targeted market for many of the newest THC-infused products.
“Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the chemical in the cannabis plant that is responsible for psychoactive qualities when consumed,” the release said. “A loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill allows the sale of products containing a certain level of THC in Wisconsin. These products can be purchased by anyone, including youth, in most Wisconsin counties.”
In response to growing concerns about youth use and availability of THC, MCHSNC formed an ad-hoc workgroup derived from the Northwoods Coalition Advisory Board to tackle the issue. MCHSNC, which includes more than 45 local substance use prevention coalitions in northern Wisconsin, provides training, technical assistance, funding and networking opportunities to member coalitions, the release said.
“The campaign is aimed at influencers of youth and encourages them to know the risks and get the facts about novel THC in Wisconsin,” said Meagan Barnett, Community Health Manager. “THC is truly changing. Currently, there aren’t resources out there for coalitions to start this conversation and there are many different factors and terms such as hemp, CBD, THC, marijuana, and Delta that can be confusing for some people.”
Marshfield Clinic Health System and MCHSNC are committed to preventing THC use among youth in Wisconsin through the “THC is Changing” public awareness and education campaign. The public will begin to see campaign messaging throughout northern Wisconsin as substance use prevention coalitions begin to implement. The goals of the “THC is Changing” campaign are to educate youth influencers about the rapidly evolving substance available to youth and to start talking to youth about the dangers of use. Social media posts, informational handouts, advertisements, and billboards are among the resources that will be used by coalition members to educate audiences in their community.
“Although novel THC products may be legal to consume right now, kids do run the risk of testing positive on a drug test because we don’t really know what is being consumed, as these products are not regulated,” Barnett said. “In addition, the potential short- and long-term effects on young, developing brains are extremely concerning.”
To learn more about the “THC is Changing” public awareness campaign and to get facts about the evolution of this substance and its dangers to Wisconsin youth, contact Barnett at 715.221.8422 or [email protected].
For questions regarding Northwoods Coalition, contact Marshfield Clinic Health System, Center for Community Health Advancement at 715.221.8400 or email [email protected].
Marshfield Clinic Health System is an integrated health system serving Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with more than 1,600 providers comprising 170 specialties, health plan, and research and education programs. Primary operations include more than 60 Marshfield Clinic locations, 11 hospitals, Marshfield Children’s Hospital, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Security Health Plan, and Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation. marshfieldclinic.org.