Marijuana Abuse Among Teens in WA Is the Concern of Public Health Group

Ever since marijuana became legal for adult use in Washington State, the state American Civil Liberties Union and several public health groups have been working tirelessly to limit teen access to the drug. These organizations are requesting that marijuana:

  • Only be sold in opaque, child-proof packaging
  • Not feature packaging that could be deemed appealing to children
  • Not contain flavored additives
  • Can only be advertised in certain ways

While these efforts are wise and much appreciated by many concerned parents, the fact remains that teens can and do regularly access and use marijuana, even in states where the drug is not legal. As such, parents need to take care to educate their teens about the potential consequences of marijuana use and seek professional help for those adolescents who are unable to control their use of the drug.

Marijuana Is Not a ‘Safe’ Drug

While many people think of marijuana as a “safe” drug, a “recreational” drug, or according to some, not even a drug at all, there are actually many harmful effects of marijuana, especially when it is being abused by teenagers. Teenagers who abuse marijuana are more likely to experience the following related negative consequences:

And, as is the case with all people who use marijuana regularly, there are some known long-term effects of marijuana usage. These include:

  • Increased risk of lung cancer
  • Breathing problems
  • Increased side effects from mental health medications
  • Lack of motivation
  • Decreased effectiveness of certain medications
  • Reduced intelligence
  • Increased risk of mental health problems

Talking With Your Teen

Because the consequences of teen marijuana use are so harmful to teens, it’s important to talk with your child about them. You can begin by simply asking your teen, in a nonjudgmental fashion, what he or she knows or has heard about marijuana. You can use this as a starting point for discussing the truths about marijuana and its effects. Openly and honestly answer your teen’s questions and, if your teen admits to you that he or she has a problem with marijuana or if you strongly believe that this may be the case, it is a good idea to begin looking into treatment options.

Though marijuana may seem “harmless,” it is an addictive drug just like any other, and many adolescents find that they have a difficult time quitting the drug without professional help. If that is the case for your child, contact us at Newport Academy today.

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