Teens Don’t Think Marijuana is Harmful

Blame it on movies like Pineapple Express or Taking Woodstock, or even on celebs who hint that smoking weed is cool – but parents be warned:  marijuana use is on the rise. And although smoking marijuana isn’t anything new to this decade, the alarming statistics that drug use is the #1 concern of adolescents (even above childhood obesity) is a trend to be concerned about.

PineappleExpress_weed

Movies like Pineapple Express can make smoking marijuana seem harmless and cool

Daily Marijuana and Drug Use on the Rise

This year’s Monitoring the Future Survey raised concerns not only about the growing numbers of teen drug users, but the lack of care or concern about the risk of using illegal drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that:

  • Daily marijuana use increased among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 2009 to 2010. Among 12th graders it was at its highest point since the early 1980s at 6.1%.
  • In addition, most measures of marijuana use increased among 8th graders between 2009 and 2010.
  • Marijuana use is now ahead of cigarette smoking on some measures (due to decreases in smoking and recent increases in marijuana use). In 2010, 21.4 percent of high school seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days, while 19.2 percent smoked cigarettes.
  • After several years of decline, current and past year use of Ecstasy has risen among 8th and 10th graders. From 2009 to 2010, lifetime use of ecstasy among 8th graders increased from 2.2% to 3.3%, past year use from 1.3% to 2.4%, and current use 0.6% to 1.1%.

Teens Don’t View Marijuana and Drug Use as Dangerous

Although the study showed that teenage tobacco and alcohol use were down, the staggering reports of daily drug use, especially among younger users, uncovered a serious problem. The study doesn’t only show that drug use is on the rise, but it also gives explanation for why more teens are using marijuana daily.

  • This year, perceived risk of regular marijuana use also declined among 10th and 12th graders suggesting future trends in use may continue upward.
  • [There have been] softening attitudes for the last 2 years about the risk of using marijuana.

Negative Effects of Marijuana

Teens do not view using marijuana as dangerous. They ignore the negative effects of smoking marijuana and disregard risks that range from distorted perception to brain damage to lung impairment. From Skittle Parties to new, accessible synthetic drugs on the market like K2 and bath salts, teens have more and more accessibility when it comes to illegal drugs, which is leading to a growing problem and lack of concern for negative health impacts and dangers that the drugs create.

Get your Teenager Tested for Marijuana

If you’re suspecting that your teenager is using marijuana or any other illegal substance, consider having him/her tested and getting them help quickly. Marijuana is known as the “gateway drug,” and its use, especially daily use, will open the door to many unwanted drug problems. An independent lab can run a test to determine if your teenager is using marijuana or any other illegal drugs. If you’re in the Kansas City area, stop by our lab to get the help you need.

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