Teenage Marijuana Use: The Facts on How to Help Your Child

Marijuana Use in Teenagers

Teenage marijuana use statistics show a rise in teenagers smoking weed. This is an alarming trend when it is looked regarding the increase in pot’s availability with it being all but legal in some states. The effects of Marijuana on the teenage brain can be disastrous, considering their minds are still developing, and weed can alter its chemistry, as well as lead to potential abuse, or use of harder drugs. Here are some facts about teen pot use, and what you can do if your child smoking weed.

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Teenage Marijuana Abuse Facts

Teenage marijuana use is on the upswing, partly due to the increase in the use and availability of pot due to legalization, and partly due to teen’s overall attitudes about pot use in general. In 2017, for example, while 64% of teens “looked down on regular marijuana use,” over 72% thought that it should be available and would not condemn anyone who used it.

Since 2014, teenage marijuana use statistics were at their lowest in some time but have since been moving back up. In the past year, for example, 10% of 8th graders admitted to trying pot, 25% of 10th graders admitted to it, and 37% of all 12th graders admitted to smoking weed. Simply put, teenage marijuana abuse facts show that this is a troubling problem.

Marijuana and the Teenage Brain

Marijuana can have serious effects on the developing brain.

A teen’s brain is still growing and developing, so the effects of marijuana on the brain will be different and have worse long-term consequences, than for an adult. First, you need to understand what smoking pot does in general, and then specifically how does marijuana affect the teenage brain.

Smoking marijuana causes a mild psychotropic response, in other words, it changes how the mind perceives the world, thinks, and stores information. It may cause difficulty in thinking and focusing, making the person using it more confused and their mind will wander. It also potentially can cause mild paranoia and hallucinations in some. Weed also slows the brain, causing poor reactions across the board.

The effects of weed on the teenage brain is a little more serious. A person’s brain is still developing and growing up until their 20’s. Smoking weed disrupts this process and has the potential to cause long-term problems. Teens who smoke pot are more likely to drop out of school, score lower on standardized tests, and have worse grades than those who don’t. Paranoia may be long-term as well, and it looks like any cognitive, or thought, damage done in the teens will be permanent.

Why Do Teenagers Use Marijuana?

Teenage use of marijuana is on the rise, but one question is why? Why are teens these days turning to smoking weed more and more frequently? There are some answers that kids have answered that are fairly common.

  • Exploration. Teenage years are hallmarked for trying new things and learning who you are. Drug use may be part of this exploration, unfortunately, this can lead to teenage marijuana addiction.
  • Boredom. Some teens look for a way to relieve what they see as boredom and having to follow the rules regularly. Pot can be a dangerous way to find excitement.
  • Coping. Kids may smoke weed to cope with life’s struggles or severe emotional and mental problems. It is an easy way to change what you are thinking and feeling
  • Peer Pressure. Their friends are doing it, so they feel the pressure to be the same. Peer pressure can be a powerful force in a kid’s life, sometimes leading to teenage marijuana abuse.
  • Lack of Understanding. They may see their friends doing it, or their family doing it, and think it is safe and healthy, especially since it comes from a plant. This is not true. Smoking weed because it is a plant is the same as rolling in poison ivy and thinking you are safe because it’s a plant.

How to Help a Drug Addict Child?

Substance abuse treatment and hope is available.

For teenagers smoking weed, many problems are heading their way if they do it regularly and do not stop. There is still hope. As a parent, you must try to step in and get them the help they need.

The first step is to talk openly with them. Having an open and honest conversation, talking about what you are seeing and what your concerns are is an excellent way to do it. Do not be judgmental. Ask questions to understand what they are doing, how much, and why. Getting useful information will help you find appropriate assistance for your teen.

Then let them know their options of seeking help. Most addicts fear their drugs being taken away, so they may try to talk you out of this. Keep going. Call and find treatment professionals near you that can help your teen with their marijuana use. Smoking pot can be a dependence and require specific Marijuana addiction treatment.

Last, follow through with what the treatment professionals tell you with regards to your child. Using pot can be a crutch so that they may need little extra assistance. You may also want to seek help for yourself as well, while your teen goes through treatment for marijuana use.

Final Thoughts

Teenage marijuana use is back on the rise. This is for several different possible reasons, but one thing that is certain is that pot impacts the growing brain in many ways, and the side effects of marijuana use can be lifelong. Smoking weed for a teen is now seen as something that is socially acceptable; most teens, in fact, have at least a neutral attitude towards it, and very few see it as a dangerous drug. What this ends up meaning for thousands of teens every year is that it does turn into a problem of abuse and addiction. Help is possible and learning the warning signs will be one step towards getting it.

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Teenage marijuana use can be a dangerous and scary thing. The symptoms are a warning sign that there is trouble. If you or someone you care about are showing signs of weed abuse or addiction, please call (888)-459-5511 to talk with a knowledgeable representative about options for help.

Teenage Marijuana Use: The Facts on How to Help Your Child

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