Marijuana has long been a back to school participant. Whether the kids that bring it to school have been veteran smokers or only recently discovered it during their summer break, it seems to always make its way back to school with them. But new chilling statistics reveal 5 facts about Marijuana. Every parent, teacher, counselor, and teenager should know these stats about Marijuana.
Back to school can and should be an exciting time for students. Many are anxious to reconnect with friends and partake in the many available arts, sports, and social activities that school has to offer. And the learning: many won’t admit that they like to learn, nor are they perhaps even aware of it, but the teenage mind craves new input.
Teenage emotions are also in full gear, and crave inclusion, acceptance, and adventure. Because of this we all understand why they are so susceptible to peer pressures when it comes to smoking Marijuana. With drugs readily available, and kids so eager to try and fit in with the gang, it’s not surprising that many will be confronted with Marijuana. Some teens take to it because they like the high, other’s like the popularity of participation.
Drug awareness and education should have begun long before they got to high school, even before they got to 7th grade. But it’s never too late to educate kids and teens about their options and choices. Marijuana is just one of the many choices THEY will have to make in life.
But before we get into tips on how to talk to kids and teens, lets do a quick review of the info every parent, teacher, counselor and teen should know about Marijuana.
5 Facts About Marijuana
FACT 1: We all know drugs are addictive, but did you know teens are 6 times more likely to be in treatment for marijuana addiction than for other illegal drugs combined? Such revelation would suggest that Marijuana is not the light social recreational entertainment it has been represented as over the years.
Source: NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
FACT 2: Teens that smoke Marijuana are 4 times more likely to report “D” grades, and 2 times more likely to drop out altogether.
Source: NIDA; SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration)
FACT 3: Teens that smoke Marijuana are twice as likely to have mental health issues. Research shows a connection between marijuana use, depression, and psychosis. Weekly use of marijuana DOUBLES a teen’s risk of depression and anxiety. Source: NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
FACT 4: Marijuana today is not the same smoke-up from the 1960s Woodstock and hippy era. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana has more than tripled in potency according the NY Times, and in some other reports indicate it’s increased from 3 % to 15%, making today’s marijuana more potent and addictive.
Not surprisingly there are many organizations that oppose the use of Marijuana in general, and among teenagers in particular. Some of the them include:
- American Medical Association
- the American Academy of Pediatrics
- the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
SOURCE: The New York Times.
FACT 5: Researchers found that teens who smoked marijuana daily for about three years had abnormal changes in their brain structures related to working memory, and performed poorly on memory tasks. Years after the subjects ceased the use of Marijuana — memory-related structures in their brains appeared to shrink and collapse inward, reflecting a possible decrease in neuron volume. So one can’t just smoke today and quit tomorrow without paying the price.
SOURCE: Psychology Today
Armed with the knowledge to now be able to present a good case as to WHY your teen should not be engaged with smoking Marijuana (rather than the age-old ‘because I said so’ that parents favor), the HOW is just as important as the why if you’re going to crack that teen veneer of cool.
According to career psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi, PhD, parents should talk TO kids and not AT them. Teach them how to make good choices rather than tell them what to do. And this is about lifestyle and living, not just about drug decisions, because in the end it is all interconnected.
By encouraging a healthy diet, for example, teens understand the health ramifications with ingesting harmful drugs into their system. Through general conversations one can lead teens to knowledge but allow them to realize it on their own, based on the information you’ve taught and/or led them to.
Such things include health, exercise and how that affects and stimulates the brain, how the overall machine of the body works. Share articles and tidbits, and “wow, I read this article and it was really amazing …”
Empower kids and teens by letting them make decisions, and having the patience to let them work through it, instead of racing to “this is best, do this.” As they dream up goals you can teach them about self-actualizing, how their decisions and actions will impact their lives and goals, and how drugs will drastically impede their efforts. But you can’t achieve any of that unless your’re engaged with other areas of their lives too.
Kids and teens want to learn, but they don’t want to be TOLD, they want to earn the respect of being asked, of being informed. So when it comes to your kids and drugs, drop knowledge on them in a casual way, not with a hidden, secret agenda — which they’d sniff out anyway –, but with a sense of ‘here is the info and you’re smart and can make the best decisions for you. If you have any questions or want advice, I’m always here for support,’ for example.
However, the best anti drug is an engaged, interested, and caring parent. When it comes to kids and teens, simply TALK TO THEM!
Originally posted 2014-09-16 10:13:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter