In the United States, the most commonly used illegal drug is marijuana. More than thirty percent of seniors in high school halve already tried this drug at least once and more than half of them say that they could obtain marijuana easily if they wanted it. Decision making and memory are impaired by marijuana use and teens who take this drug are more likely to develop anxiety disorders, depression or risky behavior. You can prevent your teen from using marijuana by knowing the facts about this drug as well as the signs and dangers of taking it.
Marijuana use and some of the signs that your child could be taking it
- Use of deodorizers and incense to disguise the odor
- Odor in the child’s bedroom and on their clothes
- Eyes that are red or bloodshot
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble remembering things that have just happened
- Use of smoking supplies such as rolling papers or pipes
- Giggling and other silly behavior for no reason
- Increased appetite
- Impaired coordination
- Poor personal hygiene
- New friends
- Changed sleeping patterns
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Poor school performance
- Increased truancy or absenteeism from school
How do teenagers use marijuana?
Marijuana looks like dried and crushed leaves, seeds, flowers or stems and can be either green or brown. The smoke emitted from marijuana has a strong, distinctive odor. The main way that marijuana is used is by smoking in either a cigarette (called a ‘joint’) or in a pipe (can be called a ‘bong’). Some people will choose to mix their marijuana with food or they will brew it in tea.
What else is marijuana known as?
- Aunt Mary
- Mary Jane
The Dangers of using marijuana
Short term memory is damaged by those who use marijuana. Long term users can develop learning and memory problems later in their life. There have also been links to cancer, respiratory damage and changes in the reproductive organs. Chronic users of marijuana can develop suicidal tendencies, schizophrenia, as well as increased levels of depression and anxiety.
Those who use marijuana will probably tell you that it is not addictive but using it long term can lead to addiction. Withdrawal symptoms have been reported by long term users including anxiety, irritability, drug craving, sleeplessness and decreased appetite. Many people will also find that marijuana was the gateway that led to other illegal drugs and alcohol.
Marijuana use in teens: facts and statistics.
- According to NSDUH, in 2006, 25 million people over the age of twelve in America had used marijuana at least once in the year prior to that.
- Teenagers that take drugs are five times more likely to have sex than those teenagers who abstain from drugs.
- According to MTF, in 2008 10.9 percent of those in 8th grade had already tried marijuana at least once as well as 23.9 percent of those in 10th grade and 32.4 percent of those in 12th grade.
- Of those who died or were injured in traffic accidents, 4 to 14 percent tested positive for THC.
- Teenagers are doubling their risk of developing anxiety or depression if they use marijuana every week.
- Half of all teenagers have claimed that they would find it very easy to get their hands on marijuana if they wanted to.
- Around 25 percent of teenagers have claimed that they could get their hands on cocaine easily if they wanted it.
How can I prevent my teenager from using marijuana?
- Be familiar with the warning signs.
- Speak to your child about the dangers of marijuana use. A report by the Partnership for a Drug Free America claims that if children learn about the risks of drug taking from their parents, then they will be less likely to use drugs.
- Get to know your teenager’s friends and their parents and make sure you know where your teenager is when he or she goes out.
- If you see any signs of drug use then take action immediately before things get out of hand and the drug use becomes drug addiction.
Choosing a teen drug rehab
There are a number of drug rehab facilities out there for teenagers. There are a few things you need to consider when making your choice such as credentials of the staff, the types of treatment that they provide, the licensing that they have and the types of after care programs on offer. You have to think about whether your child needs to be kept in for treatment or whether an out patient facility will be better. You could also consider whether he or she needs to be treated for a dual diagnosis of co occurring disorder or whether assisted detox is the better option. A medical professional is the best person to speak to regarding symptoms in order to find out what type of treatment will work best.
For more information on how to get you or your teen help, call us toll- free: 877-686-6751.