Nationwide 25% of high school seniors use stimulant drugs like speed………10.1% of Teens age 12 – 17 use illicit drug.………High numbers of adolescents take prescription drugs from parents medicine cabinets.……...Heroin is the fastest growing drug abuse in high school.……….Many wealthy communities across the country report high school overdose deaths……….Marijuana is now more popular that cigarettes,……….21.4% of high school senior use marijuana in the last 30 days while 19.2 % smoke cigarettes,………40% of highs school seniors reported smoking marijuana in past 12 months…..Teens who start to use illicit drugs before 15 years old are 6.5% more likely to develop substance use than those who use at 21 or older.
All facts from a Parent Education Evening. Honestly not surprising information with the exception of the rise in Heroin use – this information truly freaks me out. Three educated doctors spoke on the subject of Risky Teenage Behavior - much having to do with Drugs and Alcohol: Risky ‘Normal Developmental’ Behavior when teens experiment, take chances and try to take on adult roles like drinking alcohol or smoking – these teens use infrequently and still function in their lives. Risky ‘Dangerous’ Behavior when teens go over board, look for quick fixes and escapes to fix their problems and battle great insecurity – these teens use drugs heavily, do not function well in their lives and can become addicts.
I do not make light of any of this, but I am constantly reminded that we are all part of a society where human insecurity is tapped and quick fixes are attractive.
After a thought provoking evening on Risky Teenage Behavior, I opened my weekly news bible - The Week - to the headlines: Is marijuana bad for you? Here is a brief snip-it from this article -
Frequent, prolonged marijuana use has been linked to depression, psychosis, anxiety, and other mental disorders, especially among teenagers. A decades-long study in New Zealand found that adolescents who used pot at least four times a week lost an average of 8 IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38. Studies suggest that about 9 percent of all users become dependent on marijuana, and that pot smokers have far higher rates of workplace injuries and school absences than non-users. (I think that most teens would assume that none of these stats would apply to ‘them’)
24 – 7 celebrities, who our teens are enamored by, share their partying escapades through word and song. Teens attend gatherings where partaking in drugs appears the norm. Teenager’s access to drugs no matter what school your child attends and where you live is easy.
Parents are up against a lot of forces, including but not limited to the fact that teens do not have fully developed ‘frontal lobes’ and are not always capable of making smart decisions. Parents walk a very careful line: we need to make sure that out children take ‘Normal Developmental Risks’ (I am not advocating that they be drug/alcohol related risks!), while at the same time being extremely conscientious (and rightfully so) that our teens do not take ‘Dangerous Risks’ that are perilous.
Stay present, be engaged and keep talking with your teenagers!
Is marijuana bad for you? Please click on the blue to read the whole article.