The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is addressing the 2012 Monitoring the Future study that found a significant increase in the use and abuse of marijuana among teens of all ages. For their part, the NIDA recognizes that teen marijuana abuse is a concern and is calling for more research to determine why the issue is becoming increasingly problematic. They are also advocating an increase in education and prevention efforts to help change the commonly held view among teens that marijuana is a harmless substance.
Why Attitudes Are Changing
Teens aren’t the only Americans that are of the opinion that marijuana is a harmless drug. Eighteen states have legalized the drug for medicinal purposes, Washington State has decriminalized possession of the drug in small amounts for personal use, and Colorado has legalized it for recreational use. In surveys across the country, many Americans are voicing their opinion that this legislation is in line with their view that marijuana use should not be regulated by the government any more than alcohol is.
The federal government, however, is still staunchly adamant that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, approved for no medical or recreational purpose and highly addictive. More and more studies are coming out in support of the fact that marijuana use brings with it a host of risks, and there is little evidence to scientifically prove the medical efficacy of the drug.
The Risk to Teens
In states where marijuana has been legalized for medicinal use for years and there has been time to see the effects, two major issues have been noted:
- More teens are abusing marijuana.
- The number one drug of choice for which patients seek treatment is marijuana.
Teen drug use is undeniably a concern, and the fact that more and more people are seeking treatment for use of the drug demonstrates that many users themselves are identifying marijuana use as a problem that requires intervention.
If your son is smoking marijuana and house rules are doing little to help him stop, don’t ignore the issue. At Muir Wood, we offer activities-based, evidence-based intervention and care that can help him to recognize the risk of continued drug and/or alcohol abuse and learn how to address the issues he’s attempting to escape through drug use in a more positive and healthy manner. Contact us at our call center today, or download an application packet for more information.