Teenage Marijuana Use On the Rise

Just recently the Partnership for Drug Free America released a study that showed 1 in 10 teens are smoking weed, and more teens have tried marijuana than cigarettes. What’s even more startling is that in the “age of information,” numbers have skyrocketed since 2008. It’s understood why many parents and teachers are alarmed.

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1 in 10 teens uses marijuana, new study shows. Get them drug tested today.

Why the Increase in Marijuana Use among Teens?

The study indicates that 27% of high school students have used marijuana recently, a near 50% increase since 2008. About 1 in 10 are lighting up at least 20 times/month or more. Nearly 3/4 of teens say they have friends who smoke weed, and it’s estimated that 4.3 billion teens have smoked pot. I’d say we have a growing problem on our hands, and that’s not just because I perform drug testing on teens for a living. The study is fascinating, check out RawStory.com’s summary and observations as the data is compared to other recent studies and some of the articles linked below for more information on the study. One thing is clear by the recent reports:  they’re still smoking and experimenting now more than ever, and that “illegal” activity is seeming to appear less and less dangerous. And, those who are smoking are more likely to be addicted to the “harder” drugs. While I’m no expert, I do have a few suspicions on where some of this is coming from.

1. Marijuana is Highly Publicized

Watch the ballots and you’ll see state after state including the legalization of pot. A growing number of adults are advocating its usage (medical or not), and I feel like it’s flooding into the teenage minds, too. As they say, bad publicity is still publicity – so even if the ballot measures aren’t passing, it’s planting the seeds in people’s minds that marijuana is OK – including teens.

2. Marijuana is a Brand

Spend three minutes learning about Snoop Dogg and you’ll quickly see that “getting high” is part of his famous persona. Several celebrities have built a brand upon smoking marijuana. Kids see celebs doing it, it seems funny and cool, so what’s the big deal?

3.Marijuana is at Concerts

Not only are some celebs known for smoking pot, but some bands and concerts are also known for their “contact high” atmosphere. Dave Matthews, 311, Grateful Dead – plan to attend these concerts and see the audience light up. Sure, the cops are on heavy patrol that night but it doesn’t often deter committed fans from experiencing the night with an illegal drug.

4. Marijuana is “Natural”

With the “go green” campaigns lately, marijuana doesn’t look so bad. It’s a leafy plant that can be naturally grown in your backyard – how bad can it be? Many who advocate the drug claim that it’s a great, natural way to relax and is harmless. They like to omit the fact it’s just as addictive as cocaine and can lead to many problems.

There are many more reasons why marijuana use is on the rise among teens, why more teens are “trying it,” and why it’s seen as “normal” these days. As harmless as the campaigns will try to make it seem, it’s still illegal and especially not for teens.

If you suspect your teen has tried or regularly using marijuana, begin the conversations and get help. A drug test is a simple way to begin and to continue monitoring your teen as he or she gets on a clean path.

For more Information:

Partnership for Drug Free America:  Annual Study

RawStory.com:  Pot More Prevalent Among Teens Than Cigarette Smoking

Fox News:  More Teens are Lighting Up

Huffington Post:  More Teens Smoking Marijuana

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