Is weed addictive, or does it truly have benefits? Many people wonder about these things when it comes to marijuana. Weed has become more popular these days because of the studies that claim it has many beneficial qualities. While this could be good news for those who use medical marijuana, the fact remains that it also has chemicals that make it addictive.
There is a growing concern among parents about the legalization and availability of marijuana to their teenage children. For sure, they are asking questions like is weed addictive, and will it lead to other substance abuse problems? All of these are valid concerns.
If you are a parent and you want to know more about marijuana, its effects, and how you can protect your children from substance abuse, this article is for you. Let’s begin by what you ought to know as a parent when it comes to marijuana.
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What Parents Should Know About Weed
Our children are more exposed to illicit substances than what you might think. Drugs or references to them can be found everywhere. It could be on movies, television, songs, and the internet. Social influences and peer pressure can also lead to marijuana use.
Kids today have so much exposure to drugs that it is frightening. It can make them become curious about trying the substances for themselves. It can lead to dependence and addiction. Parents should step in before any of these things can happen.
Many teenagers will say that marijuana is easily available. It is often the first illicit drug that they will try in their lives. Hopefully, it will be the only one. However, weed abuse often leads to the use of other drugs that are stronger and more dangerous. Some people would claim that marijuana is harmless. Parents should never be complacent about this statement.
Weed is just as addictive as other illegal drugs. During their teenage years, your children are vulnerable. The use of this drug can affect their health tremendously. That is why, as parents, you have to be able to offer the first protection for your children against the use of drugs.
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How Does Weed Affect the Well-Being of Our Children?
Marijuana can affect so many aspects of our children’s lives. It’s not just their health that is at risk. Their ability to focus at school, their relationships with family and friends, and their future are all going to suffer if there is no way to avert their drug use and addiction.
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When your child begins using weed, he or she will have trouble thinking and concentrating. Learning lessons in school is going to be a challenge. As a consequence, they will have poor grades in school. It will become worse if marijuana use is not addressed. With heavier use of weed, kids may lose their interest in going to school altogether. They may drop out and ruin their chances for a good future.
Higher Risk of Getting Into Accidents
Marijuana is a drug that can impair the judgment of the user. It can affect their motor skills and capacity to do things safely, such as driving. It is dangerous if your child is a marijuana user, and he or she also drives.
The chances of them meeting an accident are high. It can lead to injuries and even death. Other than that, risky behaviour can also result from marijuana abuse. Your children may get into trouble with the law, cause accidents and injuries, and other unfortunate events.
Sexual Health Risks
Teenagers who are abusing marijuana have higher sexual health risks. They may experience unprotected or unwanted sex. It may lead to contracting sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, and other consequences. All these can affect the future of your children. That is why it is crucial to know the people that your children are hanging out with. They can greatly influence the actions of your children, such as trying out drugs.
Overall Health and Well-Being
During their teenage years, our children’s brains and bodies are not fully grown. Smoking marijuana or taking drugs won’t do any good for their lungs and other vital organs. Weed abuse can lead to dependence and addiction. Apart from that, the kids may be at risk of suffering from mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Using marijuana regularly can change the way that the brain develops among teenagers.
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How Weed is Commonly Used
The way that marijuana is used is by drying its leaves. Usually, it is mixed with tobacco to form joints. The user then smokes it. There are also other ways to consume marijuana. Some users mix it with their food. They also brew it like tea. It is possible for your child to consume foods or beverages without knowing that it has marijuana in it.
What’s more dangerous is when weed and crack cocaine or other drugs are mixed. The effects of the combination of these drugs are more powerful. It may lead to overdose and other health hazards. It is crucial to remind your child about suspicious edibles because those may contain drugs in them.
Why is Weed Addictive?
Is weed addictive? Yes. Weed or marijuana is like other drugs because it is addictive. In the same way that alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit substances can lead to addiction, your child may start using weed for fun at first. However, they can easily lose control of their use and develop a dependence and addiction to the drug.
It is easy to overlook addiction to marijuana since the withdrawal symptoms may not be as intense compared to other substances. Nevertheless, weed is still dangerous. When your child develops an addiction to marijuana, they will smoke or consume it more and more.
Users of marijuana think that they are still in control of their drug use. They think that they can quit whenever they want to. But the reality is that quitting becomes harder the longer they keep on using weed or other substances.
Adolescents who are into heavy weed consumption usually do not perform well in school. They may start losing interest in activities that they once enjoyed. Their relationship with their friends and family will also suffer as they ten to isolate themselves.
When teens are left to continue using marijuana, it can lead to trying out other stronger drugs. Their chances for a good future will suffer. They won’t get good jobs because of their poor grades. It is also possible that they won’t be able to stick to one job for a long time because they can’t function and perform well.
School and work will certainly suffer because of drug use. The future of your children will be compromised. When they start having families of their own, their partner and children will be affected by the instability of the household finances. Marijuana addiction can start as a seemingly harmless source of fun. But it will create a domino effect that will ruin the lives of your children and their future families.
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Why Weed is Dangerous for Teenagers
Marijuana’s stigma has been on a steady decline because it is now legal in many places. It has been made legal to use for both medical and also recreational use. However, studies state that marijuana use among teenagers and young children can affect their ability to learn. Not only that, but their decision-making skills, judgment, balance, coordination, memory, and attention will be affected.
Teenagers’ bodies are still growing. That is why marijuana use can have negative effects on their growth and development. There are many other reasons why we should educate our children about the dangers of smoking or consuming marijuana. Even if it is already legal in some places, it does not take away the fact that it still has negative effects on the body, especially for growing kids.
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Understanding Why Teens Try Marijuana
There are plenty of reasons why teenagers and younger adolescents try weed. Not every case is the same. Some may try it out of pure curiosity. Others may try it because they were being pressured by their friends. Whatever the reason, if your child is using weed, it is best if you can talk to them and ask why they are doing drugs. Treating drug abuse will be more effective if the root cause as to why it started is known.
Influence of adult family members
The influence of family members plays a big role in what our children think of drug use. For example, if you have members of the family who smoke or consume marijuana and approve of its use, then the kids will think it’s okay to try it.
You, as a parent, should be able to talk to the family member about how you don’t want your children to get the wrong idea that drugs are okay. Ask them not to do drugs when children are around or talk about drug use to the kids.
To escape problems
A lot of teenagers turn to drugs like the weed so that they can escape the problems they are currently facing. Somehow, it’s their way of making themselves feel better. The teenage years can be difficult. They may feel a lot of emotions, like anger, anxiety, and depression.
Your responsibility as the parent is to be aware of what your children are going through. Don’t dismiss them if they try to express themselves about their feelings. They want to be heard, and they want an adult to tell them that whatever they’re going through will pass.
Teach them other ways to deal with problems and emotions. For example, encourage them to take up the habit of journaling. It’s a good way to reflect on their days. It will help them identify the things that are bothering them and find ways to deal with those issues.
They are misinformed about marijuana
There are some kids who try using weed because they don’t know the dangers of using the drug. It is your role as the parent to educate your children about the negative effects of drug use on their bodies, especially their brains.
Share with them that the adolescent brain has not reached full development. Using drugs can affect their cognitive abilities. It means that they will most likely do poorly in school and ruin their chances of a good future.
How to Tell if Your Child is Using Marijuana
When you know the signs of someone using weed, it will be easier to intervene and get them help. Once you confirm that your child is using marijuana, you can talk to them about the dangers of this drug. Remember that getting angry and disappointed with them are natural reactions. However, what should be your primary concern is to get them into the best rehab centre so that they can get the treatment that they need.
Check these signs that we’ll provide below. You can then assess if your child is exhibiting any of them. You may also talk to your doctor so that you can plan for an intervention. Your physician may recommend a therapist or an addiction treatment expert who can help you further. Here are the signs of someone using marijuana:
- Your child starts to spend less and less time with the family and their friends. They prefer being alone or being out of the house.
- Observe if their behaviours have any changes. They may have become more irritable or moody lately.
- Check their performance in school. They may have been skipping classes. If their grades have been declining, there is usually a problem. One of those could be marijuana use.
- Take a look at their things. They may have been buying merchandise that has pro-marijuana symbols or messages on them.
- Observe if your child hasn’t been doing the hobbies that they used to enjoy. If they were into sports before, check if they have lost interest in going out to play.
- One sign that you should observe is if your child comes home, and he or she is more talkative than usual. Your child may be giggly and have glassy or red eyes. These signs are indicators that they are high from marijuana.
- Lastly, if you see drug paraphernalia in their closet, bag, or in their room, then that is obviously a sign that your child is into drugs.
What You Can Do As a Parent to Prevent Marijuana Use
As a parent, there are plenty of things that you can do to prevent your child from using drugs like marijuana. Before anything else, you should be well-informed about the facts. It is vital that what you tell your children is true. As the authority figure in the life of your child, you have the responsibility to share only the facts and not any myths just to scare them. Here are some of the other ways you can prevent your child from using drugs.
Related article: Why Quitting Marijuana is Best for You?
Be clear about your expectations
It is crucial that your child learns strong values from you. Let them know that you expect them to be honest and to tell you things that are bothering them. For example, are they being pressured by friends to try weed? You and your child should have a relationship where you can openly communicate with each other.
Teaching your children good values will also help them when it is time to decide what is right and what is wrong. Whenever they are exposed to drugs like marijuana, they will have the backbone to say “No.” They will be able to resist the temptation or pressure because you have planted in them strong values that they can use throughout their lives.
Have open communication about drugs and its dangers
Many teens try using drugs such as weed because they are curious about it. When they don’t know the effects of the drug, they will want to try it out for themselves. See to it that you and your child have open communication so that you can talk to them about drugs and its bad effects.
Don’t just say, “Don’t do drugs.” Explain to them why they should stay away from illicit substances. In fact, encourage them to ask you questions and raise any concerns that they may have. Make sure that you pay attention to your children when they are talking. Don’t get carried away and lecture. It should be a healthy conversation between two individuals.
Watch the news or read the paper together
There are many ways that you can teach your children about the bad effects of drugs. For example, when you are watching the news together, pay attention to news about drugs. It could be a car accident because the driver was under the influence of drugs. Explain to your child that drug use is dangerous because it can cause harm, not just for the person using it but for others as well. Express your concern that you don’t want them to be in any kind of danger.
Help your children in dealing with peer pressure
Your children’s friends can have a strong influence on them. Many adolescents try drugs because their friends are also doing drugs. But as the parent, your influence should be stronger. Help your children to become confident individuals who can make the right decisions.
Teach your child that it is okay to say “No.” when they are being pressured into trying drugs. Remind them that there are better people who can be their friends. If the peers that they have now are forcing them to try drugs, then tell them that they are not good friends to have. And your children are better off with fewer but better friends.
Help your children in dealing with emotions
During their teenage years, your children will become exposed to many things. It includes strong and intense emotions that they have never felt before. It is possible for your children to feel anxious and depressed. It may lead to drug use to cope with such feelings.
As the parent, make sure that you are there for them during this challenging time. There are many things that they are yet to understand. Be there to guide them and explain to them that such feelings won’t last forever. Remind them that doing drugs is not the answer. In fact, drugs will only make problems worse.
Introduce to your children healthier ways of coping. It is so that they will know that there are things that they can do about their situation. Get them into sports, volunteerism, or even therapy.
Therapy isn’t just for people with mental conditions or addictions. If your child has trouble communicating with you, maybe he or she will be more comfortable with a therapist. Provide all the possible ways that your child can cope with their intense emotions.
Be a great example to your children
Your children look up to you. That is why you should try your best to avoid showing them behaviours that you don’t want them to copy. For example, don’t smoke when your children are around. When it comes to alcohol, do your best to minimize consumption. Never drink and drive because you will be setting a bad example for your children.
You have the responsibility to be a great role model for the kids. Show them that there are many ways that they can deal with problems and stress. Be expressive and do your best to communicate with them. Tell them that doing drugs won’t solve any problem. And then show them how things can be dealt with in healthier ways.
Get professional help whenever necessary
If you suspect that your child is doing drugs, don’t hesitate to go to your family doctor. Express your concerns to your physician so that he or she can help your child. The doctor may refer you to an addiction treatment specialist or a therapist. Those experts will be able to talk to your child about marijuana use and its bad effects. You may also ask questions to the specialist about treating drug use among teens.
Related article: Top Benefits of Quitting Marijuana
So, if you were wondering is weed addictive, the answer is a resounding yes. Not only is it addictive, but it is dangerous to the health of growing kids. Drug use at a young age can greatly affect the development of their vital organs, such as their brains.
If you suspect that your child is into drugs like marijuana, you ought to step in and get them help as soon as possible. The addiction treatment experts here at Addiction Healing Centre can assist you. Don’t hesitate to reach out for questions and queries. We’re here to help.