Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sue Scheff: June and July More Teens Start Smoking Pot

For many teenagers, summer is a time of freedom.  A time to do what they want and some have limited boundaries as both parents are working or they are in a single parent household.

For teens, is summer going to pot? What an interesting concept and essay by Connect with Kids.

Data released by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse that shows 40% of teens first try marijuana during the summer. In fact, about 5,800 teens try marijuana for the first time each day in June and July.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention annual Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, more than 38% of teens report having use marijuana in their life. Nearly 20% admitted to smoking pot within the past 30 days and 8% of kids tried marijuana prior to turning 13 years of age.
In order for parents to help curb the growing problem of marijuana use among teens, they must first understand the dangers involved in using the drug. The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign cautions parents to be aware of the following points about marijuana use:
  • Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among youth today.
  • More teens enter treatment for marijuana abuse each year than for all other illicit drugs combined.
  • Marijuana is addictive.
  • Marijuana use can lead to a host of significant health, social, learning and behavioral problems at a crucial time in a young person's development.
  • Adolescent marijuana users show lower academic achievement compared to non-users.
  • Even short-term marijuana use has been linked to memory loss and difficulty with problem-solving.
  • Time and again, kids say that their parents are the single most important influence when it comes to using drugs.
Whether or not you suspect your child is using marijuana, it is crucial that you discuss the issue at an early age. The experts at DrugHelp suggest following these steps when discussing tough issues, like drug abuse, with your child:
  • Create a climate in which your child feels comfortable approaching you and expressing his or her feelings.
  • Don't shut off communication by responding judgmentally, saying, "You're wrong" or "That's bad."
  • Give your child an opportunity to talk.
  • Show your interest by asking appropriate questions.
  • Listen to what your child has to say before formulating a response.
  • Focus on what your child has to say, not on language or grammar.
  • Use probing questions to encourage a shy child to talk.
  • Identify areas of common experience and agreement.
  • Leave the door open for future conversations
Reference: Connect with Kids

Broward County offers Operation Medicine Cabinet. Be aware of who your teen's drug supplier is, and they may not even know it.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Read more.