Marijuana Use in High School - More Danger than Meets the Eye

Many parents have a rather permissive view when it comes to their teenager’s experimentation with marijuana in high school. They went through a similar phase in their adolescence, and have come to the conclusion there is no sense in attempting to stop their child’s foray into the world of marijuana as little harm will come of some exploration in this field. Those of us who have struggled with addiction know this to be wholly untrue, as for many of us high school marijuana use opened the door to the world of drugs and alcohol, igniting the powder keg of our substance abuse disorder and leading to a great deal of pain and misery in both our lives and the lives of our loved ones. For anyone who is the parent of a high schooler, it is crucial you take steps to prevent your child from getting sucked in to the tempting world of drugs and alcohol.

First and foremost, marijuana use during this critical phase of neurological development could have a lasting impact on your child’s higher order thinking and decision making. Areas of the brain which control these processes are still growing and forming until the age of 24, and marijuana use has been scientifically proven to inhibit the healthy development of these important sectors of the mind. Even occasional weekend use has the potential to permanently stunt the growth of your child’s brain, the effects of which are unpredictable and could cost them dearly later in life.

Beyond the immediate health implications of teenage marijuana use is the increased risk of addiction. We have all heard the phrase “gateway drug” and indeed today’s society has grown weary of this moniker, doubting the legitimacy of the claim. Despite your own personal opinions surrounding the gateway drug theory, clinical studies do support the notion those who experiment with marijuana at an early age have a greater chance of developing a substance abuse disorder than those who abstain from drugs and alcohol in their formative years. This is another compelling reason in support of open communication with your child about the dangers of marijuana use. Remember to strive for two-way dialogue between you and your child regarding this issue - the last thing you want is for them to fear coming to you with any questions or concerns they have.

Marijuana use has long been considered a rite of passage for high schoolers. While many parents take a moderate stance on marijuana, looking the other way as their child experiments with their peers, the dangers posed by this practice are significant. Marijuana use in teenagers has a direct link to the development of substance abuse disorders. Even those young adults who escape this fate may still suffer from diminished neurological development as a result of marijuana use, inhibiting their ability to function at their full potential for the rest of their lives. Any parent of a teenager should establish and maintain an open dialogue about drugs and alcohol, especially the very real dangers of marijuana given its prevalence among that age group. If you fear your child is struggling with drugs or alcohol, Evolutions Treatment Center is here for you. Our clinical team has decades of combined experience treating substance abuse across all age groups and demographics. Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 and take action to secure your child’s health and well-being!

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