How to Talk to Your Kids about Marijuana
There is a vast array of reasons why young children and teens begin to use marijuana and other substances. Sometimes kids are feeling pressure from their friends to use, and because they have a strong desire to be part of the group they will give in to peer pressure. Other young people are just plain curious about marijuana because they have heard so much about it and may have seen their friends use it. That’s why it is important to learn how to talk to your kids about marijuana.
There are other young people who are struggling with untreated mental disorders such as Bi-Polar, ADHD, anxiety, fear, chronic depression, loneliness, etc. These young people are trying desperately to cope with overwhelming thoughts and emotions such as anger, fear, loneliness, confusion, low self-esteem, etc. Getting high on marijuana is an easy way for these kids to escape from their problems. Unfortunately the problems are still there after the high wears off, so substance abuse becomes a daily occurrence.
Growing up in a family where alcohol or drug abuse was a common occurrence is another reason why kids start using. If a child has suffered traumatic events such as physical or sexual abuse, neglect, violence in the home or other negative environmental factors, they will also be vulnerable to substance abuse. The environment of the home, school and neighborhood that a child grows up in can all influence whether or not they may start using drugs or alcohol.
Parents should be aware and concerned about what their kids are experiencing and talk openly with them about their situations, thoughts and feelings. Parents should create a strong bond with their child and be involved in their child’s life. Parents have a strong influence on their child even when it does not appear to be so. If you can educate your kid about marijuana there is less of a chance that they will want to use it. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions from kids regarding marijuana use.
Marijuana can be addictive with repeated use. You may not be able to stop using marijuana even if you want to, without professional medical help. Statistics reveal that approximately one in eleven people who use marijuana become addicted to it. This rate increases to one in six people when those people are children and teens. Approximately 4.3 million people were dependent on marijuana in 2012. Marijuana accounts for the largest percentage of admissions into rehab facilities for kids seeking treatment. Marijuana is also highly popular among the young and the drug can create many problems for them.
Marijuana use has also been associated with a decline in school performance. The drug creates negative effects on memory, motivation, attention and learning. Marijuana may result in reduced intellectual functioning when it is used daily. Research suggests that kids may permanently lose approximately eight points in their IQ by the time they reach mid-adulthood. When kids who are using marijuana are compared with kids who don’t, the difference is clear. Kids who use marijuana tend to get lower grades in school and they are more likely to drop out of high school. People who have used marijuana long-term have reported that they are unsatisfied with their life. They often exhibit diminished mental and physical health and relationship problems. They receive lower salaries than their peers and have a noted decline in career success.
Marijuana also promotes risky behavior and compromises a person’s judgment, coordination, concentration, alertness and reaction time. When driving under the influence of marijuana, a person will have difficulty judging distance, hearing sounds and reacting to signals. Marijuana use accounts for fourteen percent of vehicular deaths due to accidents. The drug is suspected of doubling a driver’s chance of having an accident and when alcohol is added to the mix it is even more dangerous.
Talking with your kid about marijuana is important. When you give them the facts about the drug they will probably be surprised because they didn’t hear about the dangers before. The facts alone should deter them from being curious about the drug and wanting to experiment with it.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.