Talking With Your Teen About Marijuana

Posted by Prelude on Jan 29, 2016 9:00:00 AM

15_1224_TalkToYourKidsMaryNowadays, it seems like it’s everywhere you look… in the news headlines, in the middle of today’s popular music, on tv, and in box-office topping movies. We’re talking about marijuana, and, for parents, it’s tough to escape the drug’s social influence on today’s teen culture. So, what’s a parent to do when popular sports stars and former Disney Channel teen-celebs appear online and on-air unabashedly promoting the use of pot? Where should a parent turn when everywhere you look in malls, on hats and on t-shirts, the marijuana leaf seems to keep popping up?

Research shows that parents are the number one influence on children’s decisions when it comes to using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, like marijuana.  Here at Prelude, we want to help you.  We offer a huge selection of services designed to educate parents on how to prevent substance abuse from occurring at home and with your families.

One of the common themes for success in our services is communication. Educating your kids and loved ones about using marijuana (and other substances for that matter,) is one of the best things you can do.  Being their friend and talking to them is key.  So, why wait?  

Here are some reminders of what marijuana research tells us. We’re posting them below to help you spark conversation with your child, to help them separate the fact from fiction about one of today’s most used drugs. And, remember, if you need a helping hand of support, we’re right here for you anytime you need us.

Contrary to what all of your teen’s friends may be thinking, research continues to tell us that the repeated use of marijuana can lead to addiction.  Before talking, you might want to consider this:

  • Approximately 9% of people who use marijuana will become dependent.

  • Roughly 17% of people who start using young (in their teens) will become dependent. 

  • Among those who have used daily, 25 to 50% are reported to become dependent.

Talking with your child about smoking pot could be one of the biggest academic assists you can provide your child because it can be directly connected to performing poorly at school.  

  • Marijuana’s effects can last for days. Because the drug’s effects on attention, memory and learning can last for days, someone who uses marijuana daily operates at a lower level than a non-user, most or all of the time.   

  • Marijuana can lower your IQ over time if you smoke it regularly during the teenage years.  

  • Not only can the use of marijuana hurt your grades, but it can also hurt in youth and school athletics, too, because of the drug’s effects on timing, movement and coordination.

Another topic of conversation you could have is the effects that marijuana use can have on your body.

  • Marijuana affects sites in your brain that influence many things including memory, appetite, learning and pleasure.  Though the long-term effects of the drug on the brain are still being studied, we know there are differences between those who use and those who don’t.

  • Smoking marijuana damages your lungs.  Users may experience the same ill-effects that cigarette smokers experience, including daily coughs, lung infections and lung disease.

  • Withdrawal from marijuana can sometimes be severe.  Symptoms can include problems sleeping, periods of irritability, bouts of anxiety and harsh cravings.

Starting the conversation with your child is one of the toughest obstacles that you will have to face. Having some facts to help back you up can make it a lot easier. When you do speak, we encourage you to keep the conversation open and honest.  Be certain to listen as well as to talk. Relationships go a long way in making sure your family travels the right road.

We’d love to help if you need the support.  

Prelude Iowa: Get your friends or family help with their addiction.

Topics: Addicton, Recovery

We're Here to Help.

At Prelude, we work tirelessly to improve the lives of individuals, their families, and members of their communities.

From prevention to intensive residential care, Prelude offers a range of services to help you and your loved one lead a full, productive life.  Prelude Behavioral Services has been providing comprehensive services since 1969. We are committed to serving hard-to-reach and disenfranchised populations and to breaking down barriers that hinder access to behavioral health care for all Iowans.



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