Teenage marijuana use is subjected to many discussions, and parents have split opinions on the topic.
A Dr. Phil audience couldn’t believe that Kaylie smokes weed with her daughter Gabrielle. The divorced mom made the shocking admission in 2017 and her daughter was 14 at the time. This takes us to Johnny Depp’s court trial. The Hollywood superstar gave marijuana to his 11-year-old daughter and didn’t see anything bad in his decision.
The use of marijuana has changed throughout the years, and today, it’s use is legalized in many countries and US states. It was a long process, and non-government organizations did their best to make it happen.
A great number of viewers disapproved the mother’s action. It was a tough debate and everyone had a theory. Is there any need for children and teens to use marijuana?
“We smoke weed before we meditate”
Kaylie had a prescription for medical marijuana in the past. She told Dr. Phil that she and her daughter enjoy their meditation and actually use marijuana before the process.
According to the mother, Gabrielle uses marijuana for two reasons. The girl was already smoking and Kaylie was really worried about her daughter’s supplier. Who was giving her weed? How much is the girl smoking? “She would smoke until she was just worthless. She couldn’t walk around or do anything. […] It really frightens me that she could get something horrible. Or that she’s just going to smoke and smoke and smoke until she’s blue, which is not the point.”
The solution? Kaylie had a deep conversation with her daughter and decided to give her a safe and controlled environment. It’s like using weed under parental supervision.
Is Kaylie a responsible parent? Some people aren’t really convinced in that. There’s an ongoing debate surrounding the use of marijuana by adolescents.
Marijuana and teenagers
Teenage marijuana use has reached the highest peak in the past thirty years. Believe it or not, teens smoke more marijuana than they smoke tobacco. But, the legal age to get weed in the US is 21.
Marijuana has a beneficial effect on adults, especially when it comes to treating serious ailments. However, it may be detrimental to teenagers. Their brains are still developing and regular use of weed can disrupt the process and cause serious side effects.
Side effects of teenage marijuana use:
- Difficulty thinking and solving problems
- Memory and learning issues
- Bad coordination
- Difficulty maintaining attention
- Difficulty learning
- Drugs, alcohol
- Risky sexual habits
- Mood changes, suicidal thoughts and worsened symptoms of underlying mental issue
- Higher risk of psychosis
- Impaired driving
- Interference with prescription drugs
Excessive use of cannabis in teenagers causes poor results at school and lower-income. They become dependent on welfare and can’t get a job. Poor relationship choices and low life satisfaction are also common in these cases.
What really happens inside the head of a teenager?
The teenage brain develops until the mid-twenties. Constant exposure to drugs may have a terrible effect. Marijuana affects the interference of connections formed in the brain with neurotransmitters. Undeveloped brains get abnormal shape and structure volume.
Teenagers pick up bad habits and may develop an addiction to drugs. Cannabis may cause long-lasting depression. That’s not the case with adults though.
The use of marijuana was banned by US laws. Things changed in the past few years and it’s legal in some states. Educating young people on the dangers of the drug was an important step in the process. Uncontrolled youth can easily develop an addiction.
“Just saying no” is never easy
In the 1980s, the “War on Drugs” relied on the “just say no” approach. The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) was brought in schools and police officers visited schools to talk about the negative impact drug has on youth.
The program relied on law enforcement and there was almost no medical science to support the claims. According to researchers, the program had almost no impact. The situation got worse and teenage marijuana use got out of control.
Ignore the problem
The DARE program pushed forward their abstinence-only policy. They ignored the real problem. Young people sometimes experiment with drugs. Marsha Rosenbaum, Director Emerita for the Drug Policy Alliance explains that the program used enough misinformation to scare youngsters and force them to stay away from drugs. The organizations rely on a reality-based approach to drugs and addiction.
Rosenbaum is a contributor to the anti-DARE school curriculum entitled, Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs.
“It’s got at its core the notion of harm reduction. That means that whereas the best choice for teenagers abstinence, hands down, the best choice. However, they make their own decisions. And sometimes they don’t decide to say ‘no’,” says Rosenbaum.
“Accepting that reality is the first step, and then figuring out if you can’t have abstinence, what’s your plan B? What’s the fallback?”
Conversation is important
Today, common programs are focused on education. Teens get to learn a lot about the dangerous effects of drugs and real abstinence. The Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is an international organization of students and young people creating changes to a realistic drug policy.
Vilmarie Narloch, Drug Education Manager for SSDP monitored the program. Narloch also worked with a practiced clinical psychologist.
“We’re targeting students and young people that may already be using the substance,” says Narloch. “We acknowledge that young people are already using these drugs and we want to ensure that, since they are already doing so, give them the tools that allow them to do so in the safest way possible.”
Of course, the program doesn’t encourage youngsters to use weed. It doesn’t promote the drug and its regular use. Narloch and her team try to raise awareness and tell people that the “just say no” approach doesn’t always work.
Conversations with your child matter
Sit down for a talk. Tell your kid that marijuana can lead to serious issues and don’t forget to mention that it was illegal for use for so long.
Ruth Cordukes, a public health nurse in Canada, explains that we really need to talk to school-age children. Marijuana is legal in Canada.
“This is an age when it’s so easy to have these conversations. They’re not actively using it, so they’re not feeling any judgment. It’s more about answering curiosity. It’s a great opportunity for parents to tell youth what they, as parents, think before the child is actually faced with choices.”
Follow the signs
Answer all the questions yout children may have and don’t forget to adjust the language to their age.
“It’s a plant you eat or smoke, and it changes how you feel. Some people use it for medicine. You should only use it if you’re an adult.”
Don’t yell and always be present for your kid. Aggression never works.
Honesty opens every door
Be honest. A lying parent can make the problem even worse. Dr. Seth Ammerman, MD, made a tip sheet of talking points for parents and their teens. The sheet includes the effect of marijuana on their brains and the legal side of the story.
Driving under the influence? Of course! Parents get advice on how to start off a conversation and talk about your own experience with the drug. Adding a few real-life stories is also important.
Marijuana plays is always present in our lives. You may not be consuming it, but there’s always someone close who uses it on a regular basis. Instead of closing your eyes to the problem, talk about it, and give your kid the right direction. Help them understand the danger and the consequences.
The post Why This Mom Loves Smoking Weed With Her 14-Year-Old Daughter appeared first on Healthy Food House.
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