Posts Tagged teen pot use
In a latest survey conducted among teens in the United States, it has been noted that while tobacco and alcohol use declined among the youth, marijuana use increased.
Dr. Nora Volkow, who heads the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said that the decline in tobacco use among teens is welcome news. Yet the rate of its decline goes slower and slower over the years, and this could still be a concern for everybody. “This highlights the urgency of maintaining strong prevention efforts against teen smoking and of targeting other tobacco products,” Volkow said.
Survey results also confirmed that marijuana use among high school students has reached 25% in the past year compared to about 21% in 2007. The most troubling reality uncovered by the survey is the fact that daily marijuana use among senior high school students is at 7%. This percentage is by far the highest since 1981.
The rise in marijuana use could be due to the fact that mortality rates linked to marijuana use is by far much lower than reported tobacco fatalities. Smoking marijuana is perceived as much safer than cigarettes therefore more individuals are getting into the habit of pot smoking instead of cigarettes. What teens might be disregarding is that daily marijuana use leads to addiction which in turn could mean more serious conditions.
Alcohol use among teens is also on the decline. Reports regarding fatal cases on driving under the influence, higher risks for addiction and overdose, and violent reactions related to alcohol use have discouraged teens from alcohol abuse.
As various studies on alcohol and drug use and addiction continue to reveal concerning rates regarding teens, alcohol, and drugs, a notion regarding alcohol and pot comes out: students do not necessarily regard pot and alcohol as drugs.
Fred Maher, longtime assistant principal at Abraham Lincoln High School in the Council Bluffs School District, for instance, shared: “We hear students say they don’t have a problem because they only do drugs on the weekends. To them, it’s a way to be social, and they don’t realize it’s a problem.”
Curt Mace, counselor at Lewis Central High School, shared an issue that has come up quite often in conversations with teens: “Students don’t consider alcohol a drug. They think it’s socially acceptable.” Lu Peverill, also a high school counselor at the Lewis Central School District, agrees: “[Students] believe cocaine or methamphetamine is a drug, but they might say, ‘I don’t do drugs, I smoke pot.”
In general, these school administrators and counselors encounter the same triggers for turning to alcohol or drugs: teens would like to be socially accepted, or use them as a coping mechanism to get away from less-than-ideal family and home lives, or to find relief from anxiety, depression or confusion. Peverill shared that students believe that when they get high, they no longer need to think about the situations that trouble them.
St. Albert High School Principal Jonna Anderson shared that the strict enforcement of school policies on drinking and drug use is one way to address the issue. “We bring people in to talk to students about drugs, drinking and consequences,” Anderson shared.
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.