Topic: To help you think this through
Parents’ Marijuana Use Sends Wrong Message to Teens – Don’t Fall for the TrapBy Kent Runyon
A major concern today is the introduction of marijuana as a legal, widely-available substance. With children of marijuana users the likelihood of trying marijuana at earlier and earlier ages is real, largely because their views of marijuana as an illegal drug will be replaced with a viewpoint of “it’s medicine, it’s no big deal, its only marijuana, and it does not hurt you.” People use marijuana because it changes how they feel and it works because it affects the reward system of the brain by releasing Dopamine. But there is a price with this reward.
We know that the negative effects of smoking marijuana are most pronounced when people begin using at an earlier age. As a teenager, your brain is still developing well into your twenties, and introducing chemicals such as THC changes the chemistry of the brain—by using marijuana at a young age, you’ll be taking a dangerous chance with your brain that has known consequences later in life:
Marijuana use reduces IQ by as much as eight points by age 38 among people who started using marijuana regularly before the age of 18.
· Even people who had stopped using the drug before their 38th birthday experienced losses in IQ (1).
Other studies have found that marijuana use is linked with school dropout and subsequent unemployment, social welfare dependence, and a self-reported lower quality of life than non-marijuana-abusing people (2).
It is important to become educated on the risks of substance abuse, and to learn about the treatment options and resources that are available to help your parent(s) if and when they are ready. It is easier to deal with an addicted person—especially when it is a parent—if you first learn about addiction itself, and the first step in doing so is seeking reliable information. Marijuana is increasingly becoming a political topic, and it is very quickly becoming an economic issue. You need to understand that there are companies who are investing a lot of money based on the belief that marijuana will become legal in the U.S., meaning that they have an agenda based on financial interests. Equally, there are those who view marijuana in any form as bad, including for medicinal purposes. There certainly are two sides to this debate, and it is important to listen to both and not get caught up simply in the momentum of what is popular or what feels good.
About Kent Runyon and Novus Medical Detox Center:
Kent Runyon joined Novus Medical Detox with over 20 years of management experience and over 15 years of executive-level experience. He has led accreditation teams and is a consultant auditor for the American Correctional Association. Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an in-patient medical detox facility, and is accredited by The Joint Commission. For more information on Novus Medical Detox Center, please visit .
1. Meier et al. (2012). Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
2. Fergusson, D. M. and Boden, J. M. (2008), Cannabis use and later life outcomes. Addiction, 103: 969–976.