The Rate of Teen Marijuana Use Is Increasing

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Rate of Teen Marijuana Use Is Increasing Some parents are aware that their teens are experimenting with marijuana. They may take the stance that they did same thing in their youth, and made it through unscathed, so it is nothing to worry about. Some even look at it as a right of passage for teens and young adults. Experts in the health field, however, would strongly disagree with this mindset.

Facts Parents Should Know About Today’s Marijuana

First of all, today’s marijuana is not that of its cousin of yesteryear. It is still true that the active ingredient, THC, remains the driving force behind the drug. However, over the last two decades, the concentration of THC has drastically doubled what it was in the past.

Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse gave the following explanation to the New York Times, “It’s much more potent marijuana, which may explain why we’ve seen a pretty dramatic increase in admission to emergency rooms and treatment programs for marijuana.”

Parents need to realize that today’s marijuana is nothing like it was in the twentieth century. Given the money involved, the growing techniques have advanced. New technologies increase the potency by making more powerful, hybrid strains of marijuana. The goal of marijuana growers is to increase the THC content. As a result, the marijuana strains of today are much more powerful and much more dangerous than the marijuana of the past.

Strangely, as the potency of marijuana is increasing, the perception it’s harmless is also increasing. Roughly 50 percent of teens report that they believe marijuana use has little to no negative side effects. Additionally, some treatment centers are finding that more teens are seeking treatment for cannabis abuse than alcohol abuse.

Negative Results of Teen Marijuana Use

Studies show that teens using marijuana, use it more often and in greater amounts than those who end up using it later in life. This may be why one in six adolescents who try the drug eventually become addicted. In addition, research has found the following negative consequences of teenage marijuana abuse:

  • Withdrawal symptoms include mood swings, anxiety and depression.
  • Impairment of social development if marijuana is used to gain confidence in social settings during the formative adolescent years.
  • The use of marijuana increases the chance of a heart attack by 4.8-fold in the first 60 minutes after ingesting it.
  • Frequent marijuana use causes respiratory problems such as chronic cough and lung infections.
  • Long-term use leads to cognitive problems that inhibit memory, decrease problem solving ability, lower IQ, and impede the acquisition of new knowledge.
  • Nearly one-fifth of all teens report driving while high on marijuana.

If your teen is abusing marijuana or is unable to stop using the drug without help, Newport Academy offers teen drug rehabilitation programs that can help them get back on track. Contact us now for more information on how we can help you and your teen who is abusing marijuana.

Statistics About Marijuana and Teenagers

Marijuana has multiple effects on teens; once a teen starts abusing marijuana, it can lead to an unhealthy addiction. The most recent research on teen drug abuse shows that although alcohol and cigarette use is on the decline, the opposite trend is happening with marijuana and use continues to climb.

Photo courtesy of iStock.