Posts Tagged teen pot abuse
Teenagers should be aware of the possible psychological effects of using marijuana. Recent studies have shown that marijuana users, especially teens, could develop schizophrenia or psychosis with continued use of the drug.
In a study conducted with nearly 2,000 teenager participants, those who smoked marijuana at least five times were twice as likely to develop psychosis in the next ten years or when they become young adults compared to those who did not use weed at all.
Psychosis is the condition when a person develops a pattern of unusual mental activities, such as believing in and talking to inanimate objects. Schizophrenia is a form of psychotic disorder which leads to loss of emotional expression and proper brain functions.
The risks become higher for teens who have parents or siblings who are already affected with schizophrenia or other psychotic problems. A normal teen with a family history of the psychotic disorder has a one out of ten chance of developing the condition as well. Teens who take marijuana dramatically double this rate.
To better illustrate the impact of pot on teens unaffected by psychosis or other mental disorders, chances of developing the mental abnormality is at 7 to 1,000. Smoking pot on a regular basis increases the risks making it 14 to 1,000.
In a study published in the Harvard Health Publication, studies on the effects of marijuana clearly has a long way to go. For instance, researchers may be able to account the active ingredient in pot, THC, as a factor which initiates chemical reactions in a user’s brain allowing the drug to have psychological and physical effects. Yet there isn’t a crystal clear explanation on how marijuana could lead a teen to be psychotic or schizophrenic later on in life.
While it may be true that alcohol and tobacco use among young people have decreased over the years, it seems a different case when it comes to teen marijuana use.
Parents often refuse to acknowledge what is happening to their kids until everything becomes too late. This is because parents and kids feel uncomfortable discussing marijuana and other drug abuse issues. Yet in keeping kids away from pot and other drugs, parents are key factors as they serve as their children’s role models and source of information.
Here are some suggestions as to how parents can keep teens safe and in a healthy environment:
1. The talk about drugs should start early and should be consistent through the years. Remember to include issues like addictions, impaired driving skill and learning capabilities, and other risky behaviors associated with drug use. Cooperate with your child’s school on the matter as they can very well influence your child on his decision making.
2. Parents should serve as role models, so if you are a pot smoker, you must cut the habit immediately and without hesitation.
3. If you have experiences on pot use or other types of drug abuse, be honest and tell your kids you’ve done it. It’s the best way for you to share the destructive effects of your past habits and it will no doubt have a great impact on your kids.
4. Make sure you know your child’s activities without invading their right to privacy. Give concrete guidelines to them when it comes to drinking and drugs and at least ensure that adults are present during teen parties or gatherings.
5. Kids should be able to approach parents when they are in doubt of anything related to substance abuse. As parents, you should be the first persons kids run to when they need proper education and correct information on the subject matter. In short, communication lines should be kept open between you and your children at all times.
The 21st Annual Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use did not reveal encouraging statistics regarding marijuana use among teens in Indiana. While the number of students who consumed alcohol went down, those who admitted to using marijuana and smokeless tobacco went up, based on the survey results.
The study was conducted by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC) at IU-Bloomington. The results, which were released on Wednesday, indicated an increase in reported marijuana use among 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.
The survey was conducted among 168,801 students in both public and private schools in Indiana.
Courtney Stewart, a research associate at IPRC and coordinator of research and translation, shared: “I think what we have focused in on this year and last year is an increase in marijuana use… The good news is, we’re seeing an overall decrease in alcohol use.” Stewart attributed the decline to statewide programs that zeroed in on underage drinking: “I think the prevention programs in Indiana that are in place, they have been successful as far as alcohol use.”
The same thing could not be said, however, for marijuana use. Stewart gave the opinion that the upward trend and seeming popularity of marijuana may have stemmed from the attention being placed by the media on the legalization of medical pot: “It’s the perception of harm and risk… With medical marijuana, a lot of youth might think, ‘Hey, its OK, doctors are prescribing it. It’s OK to use it.’”
A report on the Los Angeles Times revealed that after almost a decade of decline, the rates of pot smoking among teens is now on a rise, according to the results of a recent government survey.
The results of the annual “Monitoring the Future” survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse was released on Tuesday, and for the first time since 1981, there were more high school seniors who said that they had used marijuana in the last 30 days as opposed to those who had smoked cigarettes.
The recent statistics represented good news for those who are working hard to stop cigarette smoking among teenagers – but did not make federal officials that track illegal drug use too happy.
Gil Kerlikowske, drug czar for the Obama administration, placed the blame on state medical marijuana measures – such as California’s Proposition 19 – for leading youngsters to believe that pot is not that dangerous.
Kerlikowske declared during a news conference in Washington that it was “absolutely incorrect” to call marijuana “smoked medicine,” and that young people have derived the wrong message from the ongoing debate regarding medical marijuana.
The survey yielded further that 6.1 percent of 12th graders admitted to using marijuana daily, the highest since the early 80s. The number of 8th- and 10th- graders who admitted to smoking pot daily also increased to 1 and 3 percent, respectively.
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said that the increase in pot smoking is “troubling” because frequent pot use is more damaging to learning and memory than occasional use, especially in teens.