You CAN live a SOBER LIFE again - CALL NOW for treatment options
1-800-259-1361

Is The Legalization of Marijuana Affecting Teens?

 

In January of 2014, residents in the state of Colorado experienced the outcome of one of the most impacting decisions regarding the legalization of a controlled substance with marijuana. Washington State was not far behind, and several other states now have measures fighting towards legalization. However, while pot may now be legal in some states, it doesn’t mean the drug is harmless, especially in regards to teenage drug use.

Susceptibility

Teenagers and drug use have gone hand in hand throughout history. The teen years mark an era of experimentation and heavy peer pressure, resulting in a higher likelihood of experimenting with drugs like pot. With its legalization, use of this drug has become largely normalized. In fact, 64 percent of high school seniors now believe that using pot is harmless, up almost 30 percent from 20 years ago, according to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Pot is also the most commonly abused illicit substance among adolescents.

The perceived belief that legality means there’s no consequences for using the drug also makes teens more susceptible. However, even in legalized states, anyone under the age of 21 can still face legal problems for possessing or using marijuana, but the word “legal” can be deceiving.

Availability

While states have put in place strict guidelines for who can purchase pot and where it can be used, what adult users do once they’ve purchased the drug is more difficult to monitor. Like cigarettes and alcohol, legal pot use in the home creates increased accessibility to teenagers who are also living in the same space. Teenagers can also use adults to purchase the drug for them. If both parents and teenagers don’t see a harm in using pot, the potential for abuse becomes exponential.

Dangers

There are varying levels of risk when teenagers use marijuana. Physical dangers include increased heart rate and lung damage. In fact, smoking the drug often leads to severe lung infections and an increased risk of developing pneumonia. Abuse of this drug can also increase risks of mental health problems like depression and anxiety, especially in teens who are still developing cognitively. Like most controlled drugs, regular use of pot can lead to addiction, with an estimated 10 to 30 percent of users developing a dependence on the drug, according to research from Cambridge pharmacology professor Leslie L. Iverson.

Prevention

Prevention starts at home. If you’re in a state where the drug is legal, watch for changes in behavior and signs of pot use, especially with the unique smell of the drug. Stay involved in your child’s life through open communication. Know who their friends are, and talk to them about the dangers of pot use even if you don’t suspect there’s a problem.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, know that there’s help out there. Seek out the help of a treatment center that specializes in teen addiction to ensure your loved one maintains the chance of a bright and successful future.

Are you or someone you love suffering from drug or alcohol addiction? Call our addiction advisors for the guidance you’re looking for: 1-800-259-1361

Related Articles

Addressing Patterns of Isolation in Addicts It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being. ...
Quitting Drinking is Just the Beginning Quitting drinking for good can certainly be tough. It’s no secret that it can take many relapses to finally make that break for good and when you do, it can feel quite amazing. Keep in mind, however, ...
Parents: Watch for These Substance Abuse Signs As a parent, it’s our job to make sure we protect our kids from everything. This means teaching them how to take care of themselves and protecting them from dangers they may not even know exist. The n...
Effects of Drugs on the Human Brain The effects of various drugs on the human brain are both physiological and psychological. Those with substance abuse problems often prize their drug of choice for the euphoric feelings with which it i...
Why Mobile Games Are So Addictive Gaming is now the largest entertainment industry worldwide, with an estimated 1.2 billion people now playing some sort of video game on a regular basis. About 966 million of these people play mobile g...
Dear Non-Addict, I Don’t Love Using Dear Non-Addict, You’re wrong about a lot of things. In hopes of dispelling some myths, I felt compelled to write you this letter. First and foremost, I didn’t wake up one day and say, “I want to a...
Is Drug Addiction a Choice? Most individuals use medicines as directed by their physicians. Nevertheless, millions of American citizens have admitted to taking prescription drugs for reasons that have nothing to do with maintain...
Ending the Stigma of Addiction When I first realized I had a problem with alcohol, I didn’t tell a soul. In fact, I suffered alone for many years, terrified that someone might notice my problem. I hid my addiction from everyone in ...
What You Should Know About 12-Step Programs According to a 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 46,5000 people die annually from drug-related deaths and almost 30,000 die each year from alcohol-induced deaths....
Recovery Takes Down the Walls of Self-Protection .pquote { font-size: 20px; color: #005c8d; width: 50%; float: right; padding: 20px; font-style: italic; font-family: Halant; quotes: "201C""201D""2018""2...
The Inspiration of Watching a Recovering Addict Struggle I consider myself to be one of the luckiest women in the world, having found my other half. He is not perfect, but he is perfect for me. He used to have a massive drug habit, but he has been recovered...
Prescription Drug Addiction and the Workforce Prescription drug abuse comes in second only to marijuana as the United State's most prevalent illicit drug problem. Unfortunately, a large number of people naively abuse or become addicted to prescri...