I am so heated as I type this.
I just found out my child was offered weed, Mary Jane, Spice, K12, blunt, bud, pot, spliff- what ever you want to call it, by a very close family member. Now, what should I do? My husband says that I am blowing it out of proportion. I think NOT! This is my child we talking about!
What really made me furious is the fact that I thought she knew how to say “Heck No”! We see teens that “live that rebellious lifestyle” and I assume that she conceptualizes it, (as I have) as a troubled teen that needs an outlet. But it would never be her because we are always doing something positive. BUT I guess I missed something.
I am logical enough to know that it’s the thing now among kids, but for a brain as young as hers. I can’t see how it won’t cause ill effects. So I did a little research for support. I wanted to validated my ill feelings on why young teens should not smoke weed. I found one.
Specifically, Duke University linked smoking weed to lower IQ. The study followed more than 1,000 people over several decades and recorded their marijuana use and IQ. Those who smoked regularly and who’d begun in adolescence had an average drop of eight IQ points by their 30s. “It does impact brain function and reduces one’s intellect. It has a tremendous impact on decision-making,” Dean says. People are not as apt to make good, positive decisions under the influence of marijuana.”
Putting her in a drug awareness program is sounding like the route to go for me! After a little more research I found this it seems to be helpful as well.
Parents and Prevention
Talking with your child when they are in elementary or middle school in an honest and open way can prevent drug use in the future.
(many of these tips I have tried, so my guess is that peer pressure is powerful than I thought! But do try them)
The following are tips on for how to discuss marijuana with your child:
- Ask what he/she has heard about using marijuana. Listen carefully, pay attention, and do not interrupt. Avoid making negative or angry comments.
- Offer your child facts about the risks and consequences of smoking marijuana
- Ask your child to give examples of the effects of marijuana. This will help you make sure that your child understands what you talked about.
- If you choose to talk to your child about your own experiences with drugs, be honest about your reasons, be careful not to glamorize marijuana or other drugs, and discuss the negative things and dangers that resulted from you or your friends’ drug use
Teenage girl suffered strokes, brain damage after smoking synthetic marijuana
Sometimes parents may suspect that their child is already using marijuana. The following are common signs of marijuana use:
- Acting silly for no reason
- Being hungry and eating more than usual
- Red eyes or use of eye drops
- Increased irritability or grumpiness
- Reduced motivation and lack of interest in usual activities
- Trouble remembering things that just happened
- A smell on clothes, or the use of incense or other deodorizers
- Owning clothing, posters, or jewelry encouraging drug use
- Having pipes or rolling papers
- Stealing money or having money that cannot be accounted for
Many teenagers believe that marijuana is safer than alcohol or other drugs. When discussing marijuana with your child, it is helpful to know the myths and the facts. The following are some common myths about marijuana:
- “It is harmless and natural, it is only an herb, and it won’t affect me long-term”
- “It is not addictive”
- “It doesn’t hurt me as much as smoking tobacco”
- “It makes me feel calm”
- “It doesn’t affect my thinking or my grades”
- “It’s safe because it is used as medicine for cancer and other diseases”
Effects of Marijuana
Regular use of marijuana can lead to dependence, which causes users to have a very hard time stopping. When teens use marijuana regularly, they may crave marijuana and give up important activities to use marijuana. If they stop using, they may suffer from withdrawal symptoms which can include irritability, anxiety, and changes in mood, sleep, and appetite.
Marijuana can also cause serious problems with learning, feelings, and health. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active ingredient in marijuana. THC affects the brain’s control of emotions, thinking, and coordination.
Use of marijuana can lead to:
- School difficulties
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Increased aggression
- Car accidents
- Use of other drugs or alcohol
- Risky sexual behaviors
- Increased risk of suicide
- Increased risk of psychosis
Long-term use of marijuana can lead to:
- The same breathing problems as smoking cigarettes (coughing, wheezing, trouble with physical activity, and lung cancer)
- Decreased motivation or interest
- Lower intelligence
- Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, anger, moodiness, and psychosis
- Decreased or lack of response to mental health medication
- Increased risk of side effects from mental health medication
One thing it didn’t cover is the possibility of getting a bad mix or synthetic (man-made) marijuana-like drugs. It too is possible. To help prevent your child from blazing, bonging, puffing, and toking start now. If you think she/he has tried it – do something, just don’t give up! Well, it’s almost time for the crew to get up. I got to go now, see you Wednesday!
Some relative links-
A Parent’s Guide to the Teen Brain
Parents Toll-Free Helpline
The Parent Toolkit
Marijuana and Teens
Till the next mess, take care, QC Supermom