Some teens believe that using marijuana is just part of the teenage experience. As society’s view of the drug is evolving, it’s also easier than ever to procure. However, are marijuana and teens a good mix? If your adolescent is currently using the drug, what are your options?
Illegal and Addictive
Countless social media sites tout the health benefits of cannabinoids. It’s true that there are medicinal applications. That said, marijuana and teens don’t usually connect because of health concerns. Almost always, it’s due to party influences, peer pressure, or pure experimentation.
This activity is illegal. Most importantly, it can lead to the development of a marijuana use disorder. The condition acts just as any other addiction might. Your teen uses the substance even though it causes problems at school, home, or with peers.
Peer Pressure, Marijuana, and Teens
Few adolescents try inhaling the acrid smoke of weed because they have a desire for the experience. It’s far more likely that there’s a good bit of peer pressure. Everyone else is doing it, and they don’t want to stand out. In the process, they open the door to an increased risk of psychosis and aggravation of mood disorders.
Even if you’ve tried to be proactive, it’s still possible for the teen to cave under pressure. This isn’t the time for lectures. Rather, turn to a professional treatment program that specializes in working with adolescents. Treatments may include:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which allows a therapist to work side-by-side with the teen on understanding circumstances and turning things around
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a way to change areas of dysfunction with positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment that focuses on dealing with underlying psychiatric conditions such as mood or personality disorders
- Family Therapy, which brings in parents, loved ones, and close friends to form a strong support network
- Group Therapy as a way to undergo addiction education and receive peer support
What Happens If the Teen Doesn’t Receive Treatment?
It’s a common misconception that smoking weed is a phase that a teen eventually outgrows. While it’s true that the drug of choice might change, the addictive behavior is a disease. Outgrowing it is impossible. Therefore, your teen might exchange cannabis for alcohol, or worse.
While using marijuana, your teen’s motivation to do well in school will drop. There’s a chance that he won’t finish high school. Smoking marijuana will also adversely affect the lungs. Your teen may also lose the ability to participate in athletic activities.
Behaviorally, you’ll notice a rise in aggression. Your teen will be dealing with mood swings that result in uncertain behaviors. He can’t concentrate or remember things. This adds to the frustration.
Getting Your Teen the Help He Needs
Did you know that you could enroll your teen in a treatment program even if he’s not very enthusiastic? Gateway Foundation Lake Villa offers treatments for adolescents as well as a Young Mens Residential Bridge Program. Find out more about marijuana and teens today. Call 847.356.8205 now.