Marijuana is a drug that is becoming increasingly legal and increasingly popular among young people. While it may seem harmless, marijuana can have severe consequences for the developing brains of children and teenagers. As a parent, it is essential to understand the risks associated with marijuana use and to have open and honest conversations with your kids about the dangers of this drug.
One of the most significant risks associated with marijuana use is the potential for addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 9% of people who use marijuana will become addicted to it. This risk is even higher for teens, with as many as 17% of those who use marijuana becoming addicted. This addiction can lead to many problems, including poor academic performance, decreased motivation, and difficulty maintaining relationships.
Another primary concern is the impact of marijuana use on the developing brain. The brain continues to develop throughout adolescence and into young adulthood, and marijuana use during this time can negatively affect cognitive function, memory, and attention. Studies have also shown that regular marijuana use during adolescence can decrease IQ and long-term cognitive deficits.
Marijuana use can also lead to mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and psychosis. According to the American Psychological Association, marijuana use increases the risk of developing mental health disorders, particularly among teenagers and young adults. Regular marijuana use can also exacerbate symptoms of existing mental health conditions, making them more challenging to treat.
Moreover, smoking marijuana can harm lung health, as it contains many of the same toxins and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Studies have shown that smoking marijuana regularly can lead to chronic bronchitis, lung infections, and an increased risk of lung cancer.
As a parent, it is essential to have open and honest conversations with your children about the dangers of marijuana. Be sure to educate yourself about the risks associated with marijuana use, and be prepared to answer your child’s questions and address their concerns. It’s also a good idea to set clear boundaries and expectations for your child’s behavior, including a zero-tolerance drug-use policy.
It’s also important to be aware of the signs of marijuana use, such as changes in behavior, mood, or academic performance. If you suspect that your child is using marijuana, it is essential to address the issue immediately and seek help if necessary. This can include talking to a school counselor, a pediatrician, or a drug counselor.
Marijuana may seem harmless, but it can have severe consequences for the developing brains of children and teenagers. As a parent, it is essential to understand the risks associated with marijuana use and to have open and honest conversations with your kids about the dangers of this drug. By taking the time to educate yourself and your child about the risks of marijuana, you can help to keep your child safe and healthy.
How do I talk to my kids about Marijuana?
- Use facts, not emotion.
- Say what is true.
- Use personal examples.
- Point them to Christ as our hope.
- Clearly explain the expectations of your home.