Teen years and rapid exploration often accompany each other. Sometimes this reckless foray into unseen worlds can lead to uncharted waters.
Teenagers are thrilled to indulge in experiences that are labeled as forbidden fruit. As a result, these taboo behaviors are Marijuana misuse, which can prove detrimental to a teen’s overall health and wellbeing.
Before, stigmatization played a role in preventing teens from participating in marijuana misuse. But, after cannabis legalization in several states, this stumbling block has tumbled down.
While cannabis is considered generally safe for adults, the same cannot be said for growing teens. That’s why cannabis is illegal for underage kids in many parts of the world.
A National Institute of Drug and Abuse (NIDA) revealed that frequent marijuana misuse in children could cause various issues, such as learning disabilities, forgetfulness, and indecision.
To understand how cannabis misuse affects misinformed teens, read on:
Reasons Why Teens Misuse Cannabis
So, what’s the reason that tempts millions of teens around the globe to use Marijuana? Well, there isn’t one. Many factors have a stake in this pandemic.
Knowing indicators of premature Marijuana use in children can help you stop your kid from developing a bad and addictive weed habit. Some of these include:
#1 Role of Peer Pressure in Cannabis Misuse in Teens
Families who tend to normalize or encourage the use of Marijuana are likely to influence drug or Marijuana use in children. Similarly, kids who live in drug-active neighborhoods are more likely to approve of Marijuana and partake in its use.
Peer pressure is also an important determinant of Marijuana misuse in teens. If teens have friends who smoke weed all the time, they’re more likely to have a puff or two for themselves in a desperate attempt to “fit in.”
” If everyone’s doing it, why should we feel left out?” — that’s how their mind works.
Another factor that influences drug, alcohol, and cannabis misuse in teens is the media. When teens watch their favorite musicians engaging in drugs on Youtube or TV, it can significantly impact their psyche.
#2 Self-Medicating and Escape
In our octane-powered world where teens live in disgruntled support networks, mental health problems like depression and anxiety are rampant. So, when teens don’t have an outlet to release, they self-medicate with Marijuana.
This behavior starts with a will to escape boredom and gradually grows into something bigger and more complicated.
Furthermore, kids who have a history of mental and physical abuse have a greater susceptibility to Marijuana exposure than those who don’t. They are known to rely on drugs to pave over their abusive pasts and “numb” pain.
Risks Associated with Cannabis Misuse in Teens
Some kids don’t know what they’re getting into. They’re unaware of the harmful consequences of using Marijuana at an early age. Sometimes, misinformation also leads them astray.
Some sources suggest that the global movement for Marijuana legalization may have a role to play in this. Teens might reach conclusions like,” oh, okay, as Marijuana has medicinal value, so it won’t pose any risks.”
Despite these naïve misconceptions, no state has legalized Marijuana for use in individuals under the age of 21, including the states that have legalized cannabis.
The medical community’s stance on marijuana use in children is stern and unanimous— it’s ill-advised.
If you think your children show indications of involvement in a bad drug habit, inform them of the risks associated with pursuing this activity. Because this habit can result in misuse of cannabis as teens. Some implications you can inform them of to discourage this behavior include:
- Difficulty learning and retaining information
- Car accidents
- Risky sexual behavior (leading to sexually transmitted disease)
- Bronchitis (can become chronic if marijuana use continues)
Marijuana addiction is a real possibility, especially if the exposure happens before 18.5 years. Numbers approve of this claim. 50% of teenagers between the ages of 12-17 years who are receiving treatment for substance use disorders share a link with Marijuana use.
Lower Life Satisfaction
Marijuana abuse can have a significant impact on social and academic success. Students with a serious Marijuana problem are more likely to drop out of school than their non-weed smoking counterparts. They have also been found to have lower job incomes, diminished career success, and life happiness.
Researchers have held stumped brain development and cognitive impairment prime culprits behind this drop-down in teen life quality.
Some studies suggest that marijuana overuse can cause severe mental disorders, including acute psychosis. Acute psychosis can plant some frightening images in a teen’s head, from vivid hallucinations to paranoid prophecies. Some children also might experience severe panic attacks.
Those who already have underlying conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, should especially take heed. Research has shown that THC in cannabis can aggravate the symptoms of schizophrenia.
When you’re on the wheel, marijuana use can impair judgment, coordination, alertness, and reaction times, among other things. That’s why driving under the influence is banned in all US states.
According to one statistic, driving while being high on weed can double your chances of experiencing a car accident. In the case of alcohol use, this risk is even higher.
Educating Teens on Cannabis Misuse
The only way to discourage Marijuana is to talk about marijuana use. Just like you muster up the courage to have that awkward sex talk with your children, you have to have that awkward marijuana talk. If you’ve caught a teenage kid smoking a doobie with their friends red-handedly, don’t be shocked if they reel in denial or get defensive — this is standard protocol.
Don’t jump to scold your teen. Bide your time. Wait when they’re sober and then sit down and have a civilized conversation. Instead of commanding them to show up in front of you, try to arrange a “spontaneous” meetup. Organic and casual conversations reduce the likelihood of resistance and ease a child into expressing their reasons.
Don’t be too “Judgy”
If you outright punish your child, they will deny their crime and refuse to talk to you. Instead, you should share your own experiences with drug use and how they affected you to build trust.
If you’re worried your child is using Marijuana, you can reach out for help. Consult a pediatrician who can have a sit-down with your child, or pass the case on to a mental health professional for better results.