According to a new study conducted among high school students, at least 40 percent of the students have tried using marijuana. The study also reveals that most of the students who are taking part in various extracurricular or sports activities may not use the drug. The study was done among 4,076 students from Connecticut, who were in the ninth through the twelfth grades. The results provide us an insight into the favorite recreational activities of the high school students.
Another survey that was carried out among 2,191 girls and 1,906 boys revealed that 40 percent of them had tried using the drug. Some of them even used it regularly. About one in five girls and more than one in four boys had used it in the previous month. Most of the users were in their 11th or 12th grades and usually had grades ranging between B, C and lower. Teens who stayed with single parent were more likely to use the drug than those who were with both the parents. The Journal of Addiction Medicine had published the results of the report.
Why teens use marijuana?
Teens use marijuana for various reasons. Some of the common reasons include curiosity, friendship, fun etc and some of them may try it when they are in the company of a social group. Teens who smoke or drink are at a higher risk of using marijuana. Marijuana is readily available to the teens at a relatively cheap price when compared to other drugs. According to many students who use the drug, they find great relaxation after using it and most of them use it for combating stress or getting rid of anxiety. Some of the users are also known to have some kind of mental disorder. Certain studies suggest that if one or more of the family members have the habit of drinking or using the drug, children follow such habits instantly. It could wither be the parents, grandparents or older siblings who are used to such habits and become the ‘role model’ for others.
Many teens use marijuana just because they cannot get along well with their parents. Some of them even have a strong network of friends who persuade them to use it. Other aspects such as hone environment, school, friends and neighborhood, everything can be responsible in some way or the other for the teens to develop this habit. When the teens are heavily dependent on this drug they become dependent on the drug and keep using it again and again.
Some teens state that they use the drug as a means of coping with psychological conditions such as anger, anxiety, depression and boredom etc. Using marijuana is by no means a way to deal with such problems. It only makes them more dependent on these and causes various other health problems. According to the researchers, teens who are abused sexually, physically and emotionally are at a bigger risk of using the drug.
Consequences of using marijuana
Though the use of certain illicit drugs is on the decline, marijuana use among the teens is still common among children who are 16 and 17 years old. It is during this age that most of the teens use this drug for the first time. Regular use of the drug can have serious affects on their academic performance as well.
1. Marijuana can prevent the teen’s ability to learn. Heavy usage can impair the person’s ability to retain the information or concentrate.
2. Marijuana usage is also linked to very poor grades. A teen who gets ‘D’ grade or lower for more than four times may have used marijuana more often when compared to a teen who gets ‘A’ grade.
3. Marijuana is also linked to high dropout rates. Children who are addicted to this kind of drug are more likely to drop out of school soon.
4. If the teen begins using the drug at a very early stage when his brain is in the developing stage, he may be more prone to neuropsychological deficits such as verbal disabilities.
5. The drug available to the teenagers now are considered to be at least 20 times stronger than what it used to be about two decades ago.
6. Marijuana usage can destroy the motivation and messes up the memory. Finally, it destroys the self-esteem.
7. The teens also undergo emotional changes with anger and irritability increasing. Suicidal thoughts become a by-product of marijuana usage.
8. The overall performance of the teens in school, home, sports and all other areas in life falls. The brain development comes to a standstill by the usage of marijuana. It may take a long time to recover from such an addiction that has affected the brain.