Young people (and everyone) call it weed, pot, gunja, green, chronic, bud or a mixture of 100s of other street names. We call it weed.
No argument! Weed + teens = bad. Agreed. But at this age, is it a recipe for…
Destruction? An average life? Or nothing?
The most likely negative for smoking weed regularly as a teen is continued addiction.
If the habit grows and stays with a user for many years they are more likely to experience an average life, which is the most likely negative result if a teenager does not quit smoking marijuana. Could be worse! Rather an average life than health concerns or loss in quality of life. These things still happen but take years to manifest with marijuana.
But even an average life is a pretty bad outcome for a teenager you care about, right?So why do teens smoke weed and how much harm does weed actually do – before we blast Junior on avoiding drugs. So…
There are over 400 chemicals in marijuana, the worst one (and the reason teenagers smoke pot) is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC to everyone else. So, THC is not good for any human body and yes, even worse for teenagers.
[showmyads]But if you’re a concerned parent you should be aware that weed is not heroin, ecstacy, meth, or ice! This is just weed we are talking about, it is just marijuana. Marijuana is seen by most people as the weak, almost baby and certainly harmless drug of all drugs.
You need to be aware of the difference between marijuana and everything else because the teenager you are dealing with is definitely aware of the difference between weed and harder drugs. There is a difference you must understand before discussing anything.
Because if you treat a marijuana user like a drug addict – they will not listen to you because you clearly don’t “get it” (from their point of view) – and hey they are right.
Mis-information will ruin your chances of helping any teen quit weed. Some of the worst people that I have seen smoking marijuana (with the worst addictions) come from families that have a zero tolerance on all drugs, have no idea and because of this, treat smoking marijuana the same as any drug.
For example: tell a stoned teenager that smoking marijuana will kill them and they will stop listening to you because weed does not kill people.
I’m not saying you are doing this, and I know you wouldn’t say something so stupid. But it does point out pretty clearly that if you get the facts wrong (even just a little bit) and you will cause a teenager to stop “hearing” you and very likely you will increase their addiciton.
Most long-term (lifelong) stoners are introduced to marijuana in their critical years when it seems like everyone is smoking. Thing is (like anything else) to some people marijuana will develop into a problem and for others it will be just fine.
One study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that was conducted in 2010 found that less than 10% of eighth graders have smoked marijuana, nearly 20% of tenth graders have smoked marijuana and just over 20% of seniors have been stoned at least once.
Seems low to me.
Either way, most of these people will quit smoking marijuana in their early 20s and a few will continue until after 30. Of course, some will never quit smoking marijuana, but these days I can pick those people a mile away.
Teens smoke weed because it offers a euphoric effect and makes them “feel good” while also lowering inhibitions. A seeminlgy perfect combination for an over emoitonal teenager (is there any other kind)? THC causes brain cells to discharge dopamine, which is your “feel good” chemical. This is what teens find attractive but many truly fail to consider what else marijuana will do for them – in the long-term.
- Marijuana will sabotage coordination: So any teen involved in any sports, dance, cheerleading, extra carrilcular activities or even driver’s training will probably be noticable or ditch the activity altogether
- THC also thwarts memory big time: This is why most teens who smoke weed do not have the best grade point averages. Of course there are exceptions to that rule and always will be, but those people need to look at what they could achieve without the drug
- Marijuana also tampers with decision making and reasoning: This is (sometimes) part of the reason many teens get pregnant. They didn’t want the baby, but also didn’t not want the baby. They just didn’t think about it!
They often take the risk because their perception is (turned) off causing them to do things they probably would not have done if they were straight 24/7.
The teen and adolescent brain is still in the development stages so the effects from marijuana can actually be even worse than anticipated, thinking long-term. It is known that THC also causes pot smokers to have slower reaction times and this coupled with impaired judgment has caused many teen auto accidents, many of which resulted in death.
One study showed that as much as 14% of teen drivers that were involved in an auto accident tested positive for THC. Although I help people quit smoking marijuana for a living, I actually don’t believe smoking marijuana itself will impair driving in regular smokers.
For starters, these guys are almost always stoned and go about life this way, they walk and talk just fine! But also I know from many other people that when you smoke marijuana (and drive) you are among the slowest on the road, and not too slow I should add.
You are a reasonably safe driver.
Either way, there is apparent proof that smoking marijuana will impair your driving. Here is the exact quote from the Government run website – and the sames site linked to in the last paragraph:
Smoking Marijuana Can Make Driving Dangerous
The cerebellum is the section of our brain that controls balance and coordination. When THC affects the cerebellum’s function, it makes scoring a goal in soccer or hitting a home run pretty tough. THC also affects the basal ganglia, another part of the brain that’s involved in movement control.
These THC effects can cause disaster on the road. Research shows that drivers on marijuana have slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and problems responding to signals and sounds. Studies conducted in a number of localities have found that approximately 4 to 14 percent of drivers who sustained injury or death in traffic accidents tested positive for THC.
Still, the fact remains that marijuana is the top choice for illicit drug abuse amongst teens. About 40% of teens who regularly smoke marijuana will go on to experiment with other drugs. More than 25% of youths will have at least tried marijuana by the age of 12. Marijuana is addictive and annually hundreds of thousands of teens are seeking treatment for this.
There is a plethora of reasons why teens start smoking marijuana in the first place. It might be because they saw older brothers or sisters doing it, it could be peer pressure, or it could be the vanity involved, it could be the parents and it may have developed into something much worse!
It also does not take long before teens have built a tolerance and actually start to rely on marijuana. It can quickly become an escape for teens to get away from school or problems at home.
The worst? Serious problems that are not dealt with.
Teens do not plan to get addicted to marijuana but one day find that it just happens. Looking back, this is what happened to me. Pretty soon school is not important, goals are lost, and dreams have faded and for what?
A rush of dopamine? Please. Many teens do not think that marijuana is as bad for them as it really is. Like many people I have now helped, it can take years, sometimes even decades to come to this awareness.
This is because most people lack information, specifically the truth about marijuana addiction.
Marijuana is an illicit drug that is harmful to people and especially to teens. The education process is brought forth early and long before teenage years. Getting your teenager off marijuana is not a one-time conversation that is delivered in one sitting in a bedroom, but one that should be delivered over and over again through real examples and true life experience.
This needs to happen until second nature to any teen who is contemplating a life with marijuana. Even then, marijuana can become a threat to any teen, and will not discriminate against intelligence, race, sex or religion. Only a true understanding of the issue will help a teenager quit smoking marijuana.