For parents of troubled teens in today’s world, it may seem as if there are endless opportunities for their child to get in even more trouble. From constant arguments on social media to easy access to a variety of illegal substances, particularly marijuana, and a blasé attitude about substance abuse, parenting a teen can be very difficult. One area that is especially problematic involves teens and the use of marijuana. What some parents may see as a relatively minor issue has the potential for devastating effects. The following examines the effects of marijuana use among teens.
It is important for parents to understand that the marijuana used today is significantly more potent than it was in the past. Combined with the fact that children are trying pot at a younger age, there is the potential for serious consequences, both short and long term.
Factors to Look at in Regards to How Marijuana May Affect Your Teen
Unfortunately, it is impossible to say for certain what effects marijuana use may have on your child. There are several factors that involved including:
- The strength of the marijuana.
- Whether the teen is using other drugs as well or drinking alcohol.
- Whether or not marijuana has been consumed in the past.
- Where, when, and how much of the drug is used.
Short Term Effects of Marijuana
Smoking pot slows down a teen’s reaction time, as well as distorts their sense of space and time, damages their ability to adapt to dark and light,and makes them feel drowsy. As a result, your troubled teen may experience effects including:
- Poor judgment increasing the likelihood they will try something dangerous.
- Decreased ability to learn and retain information.
- Difficulty solving problems.
- Poor motor coordination resulting in falls and injuries.
- Reduced sense of pain, which also puts them at greater risk of being physically hurt.
- In some instances, teens may experience delusions, anxiety attacks, depression, and hallucinations.
Long Term Effects of Marijuana Use in Teens
It is not unusual for a teen to mistakenly believe that pot is a harmless drug that is non-addicting. However, that is not the case. Long term effects of drug use include:
- Poor school performance. A teen’s brain is still developing and marijuana use can inhibit that growth. Teens who regularly smoke pot are twice as likely to skip classes and have a decreased likelihood of graduating.
- Increased respiratory problems, including constant wheezing and frequent coughing.
- A damaged immune system due to the chemicals in marijuana having the ability to damage cells and tissues that fights off illnesses.
- Cancer. The carcinogenic chemicals found in tobacco smoke are also in marijuana.
- Fertility issues, such as decreased sperm count and testosterone production in boys, as well as incomplete or irregular periods in girls making it difficult to conceive.
If you suspect your troubled teen in using marijuana, now is the time to make certain they get the treatment they need to put a stop to this unhealthy habit.