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Growing use of marijuana among teens

Growing use of marijuana among teens

Almost everyone can remember the troubles of living a stressful life during adolescence. The physical and emotional changes that teens experience as they transition from childhood to adulthood are at times overwhelming. On one hand, they struggle to make sense of the sudden physical and emotional changes and on the other, the responsibilities of school, college and home add to the dilemma. The desire to be accepted by friends or peers and perform well in academics brings more stress. The constant pressure from almost all spheres of life leaves the young minds in a mess, making them vulnerable to experimentation with harmful substances like illicit drugs and alcohol in order to calm anxiety attacks and feel good.

A research report from January 2017 titled “Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis” by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse analyzed young participants’ perceptions on cannabis in 20 different groups in six cities across Canada. The research highlighted how the youth considered marijuana to be less harmful than alcohol and other addictive substances and is more effective in reducing stress. In the research, the participants admitted using cannabis to treat a host of problems such as eating or sleeping disorders, acute pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. They also reported better concentration and performance, increased energy and happiness as a positive aftereffect of marijuana.

Reasons why teens resort to cannabis use

The adolescence stage is when individuals are prone to experimentation. Though substance abuse among teens is mostly due to recreational or ‘feel-good’ purposes, there might be more to it than just to get a high. Some of the reasons that are chiefly responsible for teen’s substance abuse are as follows.

  • Availability and acceptability: Since marijuana is easily available in parties, events and medical stores, especially after its medical legalization across many U.S. states, its acceptance is widespread.
  • Misinformation: Often as a teen, the closest confidant is a friend of the same age group and often personal problems are discussed with extreme confidentiality, without the knowledge of an adult. During such discussions, the use of substances as a means of self-treatment for stress and anxiety attacks sounds like a cool thing to do.
  • Positive effects: According to the latest research, the teens feel they are in better control while using marijuana than when they get drunk. For them, is the “safest” and a “healthier” choice, which cannot result in overdose. Such misconceptions contribute to the overall acceptance of the drug.

Mental disorders associated with teenagers of marijuana use

Past studies have established the correlation between long-term cannabis use and mental health disorders that can leave a lasting effect on one’s life. Some of the commonly manifested forms of mental illnesses are:

  • Anxiety disorders: Includes phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety and generalized anxiety characterized by constant fear and uneasiness.
  • Depression: Associated with feelings of worthlessness, extreme fatigue, lack of concentration, extreme sadness and suicidal thoughts.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Associated with short attention span, impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

Teenagers often undergo mood swings and can get irritable even at the slightest provocation. These signs coincide with symptoms of most mental illnesses and the similarities can often confuse onlookers in recognizing the underlying mental health issue. This delays help and treatment that might be crucial during the early years when the brain is still developing.

Timely treatment is imperative to address marijuana addiction

The researchers believe that the information might be useful in designing education programs and prevention initiatives to address the problem of growing misuse in the vulnerable section of the society. The factors influencing addictive behaviors and the beliefs of the youth should also be taken into account to minimize the risks to overall health. Close vigilance is required at home and in schools/colleges to identify risky behavior.

A holistic detox program coupled with psychotherapies can help youths abstain from their choice of drug and become sober. If you or someone you know is addicted to marijuana, it’s time to seek professional assistance for proper diagnosis and treatment at the earliest. The Colorado Detox Helpline can provide information on the best drug detox treatment centers in Colorado. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 730-5807 or chat online to learn more about the finest detox centers in Colorado.

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