Today’s kids are becoming more and more fearless. This could be why many children are experimenting with drugs at a younger age, particularly marijuana. A recent survey, Monitoring the Future, revealed that marijuana use among teens is steadily increasing. These results were obtained by surveying 45,449 students from 395 public and private schools. In fact, 6.5 percent of the students surveyed claimed that they smoked pot on a daily basis as opposed to 5.1 percent five years ago.
Why is teen pot use increasing and what steps can we take to stop marijuana usage by teens?
Dangers Of Marijuana Taken Lightly
We’re not sure exactly why marijuana use is increasing with teens, but the fact that many don’t see anything wrong with it may have something to do with it. While the use of pot rises, the conception of its dangers has dropped. Actually, the older the kids got, the less they thought of pot to be dangerous at all. In fact, when surveyed, 20.6 percent of high school seniors saw occasional use of pot as dangerous, while a much higher 41.7 percent of 8th graders saw it as being dangerous.
The fact is that marijuana is more dangerous today than it was years ago. A study ran by the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project shows that the potency of marijuana continues to increase through the years. The results were found by testing thousands of seized marijuana plants every year. The THC levels in today’s plants are around 15 to 16 percent. Some of these samples even showed levels of THC exceeding 30 percent. This may not seem like much, but when you compare it to marijuana in the 1980’s, with THC levels of around 4 percent, you begin to realize how potent this stuff is that our kids are smoking these days.
Signs Of Marijuana Use
If you are concerned that a friend or loved one may be smoking pot, there are several indicators to look for. Dilated pupils and red, bloodshot eyes are very common in someone who has just used marijuana. They may seem dizzy and have trouble keeping their balance. They may also act silly and giggly for no obvious reason and may feel extremely hungry or sleepy. You may also come across evidence of the drug as well as drug paraphernalia such as rolling papers and pipes. Some additional changes in a person’s behavior may include:
• Withdrawal from friends and family
• Constant fatigue or tiredness
• Lack of personal hygiene
• Hostility towards people and relationships
• Changes in academic performances
• Loss of interest in favorite activities
• Changes in eating or sleeping habits
Someone who uses marijuana daily may create a dependency on the drug and need to use it just to feel normal and get through the day. This can cause many problems and adverse effects including memory loss. Long term use can also affect the ability to learn and problem solve. It can also cause anxiety, depression and mood swings as well as more physical effects such as breathing problems and even cancer.
If you notice the above signs the best thing to do it talk to your friend or loved one and get them help. The longer an addiction goes on the more severe it becomes. Often marijuana users will gateway into harder drugs after marijuana use. Get help for an addicted person through an effective drug and alcohol treatment program.
Deliver regular drug prevention in schools with Narconon meetings and parents, talk to your kids about drugs.