A recent survey taken in Arlington VA, showed that the use of cigarettes is down among teens. That’s good, right? Well, it depends on the way you look at it. Along with the decrease of this statistic comes a rise in another, the use of marijuana. As reported by the 2012 Developmental Assets Survey taken by the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families, forty-seven percent of 12th-graders had admitted to using marijuana within the past year. Another study done my the Center for Disease Control reported that the number of teens that had smoked cigarettes within the past month was down from 28 percent in 2000 to 17.2 percent in 2009.
This is compared to an annual study taken by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America that showed that the amount of high school students who used marijuana within the last month had increased by 42 percent since 2008. In addition to this study, the Partnership’s report stated that the number of high school students that smoked cigarettes at least once was down from 39 percent in 2000 to 30 percent in 2009 and the number of American teens that had tried marijuana at least once had increased to 47 percent. It also reported that 73 percent of teens admitted they have friends that use marijuana on a regular basis.
Overall, this study concluded that around 4.3 million American high school students have used marijuana in the recent past while 3.6 million have tried cigarettes at least once.
Why The Recent Shift
Many attribute this increase in the use of marijuana to the lack of attention put on it. Parents are talking to their kids about drugs like cocaine and heroin and may not be as worried about marijuana. As a result of this, teens may have the impression that pot is safe and doesn’t pose as many problems.
As for the decrease in teens using tobacco, it could be because of the new anti-smoking and smoke free environment laws as well as the tax increase on cigarettes, though this is just speculation.
What Can We Do About Teen Marijuana Use
Long-term abuse of marijuana may lead to addiction. Research shows that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana. Withdrawal symptoms that have been reported by abusers consist of the following: anxiety, decreased appetite, irritability, sleeplessness and drug cravings. These symptoms usually begin after the first day of quitting and last from 1 to 2 weeks. Obviously, addiction to marijuana is not wished for.
Parents should not only focus on the more scary drugs, but on the ones that tend to slide under the radar such as marijuana and prescription drugs. Educate your children on the potential dangers of using marijuana, such as addiction, lung cancer and respiratory illnesses. Inform them that the use of marijuana can cause problems in life such as impairment of physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life and career opportunities. But, most importantly, set a good example.
If you child is experimenting with marijuana, using the drug on a regular basis or suffering with an addiction don’t wait to do something about it. Marijuana is still the number one most abused drug in the country which accounts for the highest numbers of rehab admissions. In addition to this many Narconon center enrollees report that they began smoking marijuana before moving onto harder drugs like prescriptions, marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
For more information on teen marijuana use or to get help for a loved one contact a Narconon center today. Narconon achieves a 76% success rate for permanent recovery from substance abuse and addiction.