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Marijuana Drug Use

10 of the Most Important Things Parents Need to Know About Marijuana

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Marijuana Drug Use Teen Smoking Pot

Parents should be aware that marijuana is now a drug of choice among teens.

Barbara Peacock / Getty Images
Quick Links: Marijuana Use by Teens | Quiz: Is your teen smoking pot? | How to Raise a Drug-Free Teen

The amount of inaccurate and confusing information about marijuana can overwhelm parents. To help you separate out the facts I created this list of the ten most important things parents need to know about teen marijuana drug use.

  1. Parents of teens should aware of the warning signs of teen drug use.

  2. You can influence your teen not to smoke pot. Parents are the biggest reason teens chose not to get involved with marijuana. According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America Attitude Tracking Study, two-thirds of youth ages 13-17 say losing their parents' respect is one of the main reasons they don't smoke marijuana or use other drugs.

  3. Parents should know the terms teens use to talk about marijuana. Parents should also know that 420 is a popular drug term for smoking marijuana.

  4. Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug among youth today according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. The Monitoring the Future Study conducted by the University of Michigan in 2008, indicates that the percentage of marijuana use in 2010 among eighth, tenth and twelfth graders is 10.9 percent of eighth graders, 23.9 percent of tenth graders and 32.4 percent of twelfth graders. The daily marijuana use increased significantly among all three grades in 2010, use rates were 6.1 percent of high school seniors, 3.3 percent of 10th -graders, and 1.2 percent of eighth-graders compared to 2009 rates of 5.2 percent, 2.8 percent, and 1.0 percent, respectively.

  5. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies of high school students and their patterns of drug use show that very few young people use other drugs without first trying marijuana. One of the reasons is smoking marijuana puts teens in touch with those who sell drugs – all types. Long-term studies of high school aged teens patterns of drug use show that most teen agers who use other drugs have smoked marijuana, drank alcohol or used tobacco first.

  6. Teens who use drugs are five times more likely to have sex than teens who do not use drugs, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

  7. Poorer grades are linked to the use of marijuana. A teen with a "D" average is four times more likely to have used marijuana than a teen with an "A" average based on data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

  8. A British study shows that using marijuana can in fact worsen depression and lead to more serious mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety and even suicide. The Anti-Drug.com reports that using marijuana weekly or more frequently puts teens at risk for dangerous emotional problems, such as doubling a teen’s risk of depression and anxiety.

  9. According to a report from the NSDUH, first use of marijuana among recent new users was highest during June (11%) and July (11%) and lowest during November (7%) and December (6%).

  10. There are those who feel marijuana should be legalized. See Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana, for more information on that side of the issue.

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