Despite the commonality of cocaine, alcohol, ecstasy, prescription drug and even newly emerged synthetic drugs, marijuana remains the number one illegal drug use among adolescents in high school and college. Studies now show that marijuana use among teens is more common than cigarette-smoking. Experts don’t know whether to jump for joy over decreased tobacco use, or worry about the soaring marijuana stats.
US Marijuana Statistics
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) 2011 “Monitoring the Future” study, nearly a quarter of high school seniors had used/are using marijuana. Compare this to the 2006 statistic, which was 5% of high school seniors using marijuana. Unfortunately, marijuana’s decline in use seen from the 1990s into the 2000s recently switched directions—since 2006, daily, monthly and annual marijuana use has been on the rise steadily, amounting to literally millions of teens and young adults using the drug every day.
In addition to just teens and college students, the National Drug Report shows nearly 7% of the US population regularly using marijuana, making it the most widely used illicit drug at present—beating out meth and cocaine by a long shot.
Facts About Marijuana
Marijuana is actually addictive, contrary to popular belief, and produces adverse effects after both long-term and short-term use of the drug. Prior to the 1960s, few people had heard of marijuana. In present day, it is now the most commonly used illegal drug in the country.
When smoked (by using a water pipe “bong” or rolled up like cigarettes), the effects of marijuana set in almost immediately by interacting with the brain’s “cannabinoid receptors.” Marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) is one of 400 chemicals contained in marijuana, and is the primary cause for the euphoric and relaxed “high” that users experience.
By stimulating the release of “dopamine,” the high makes one feel good temporarily. Once the high wears off, the following adverse effects may set in:
Increased Heart Rate
Bloodshot Eyes (dilation of blood vessels)
The use of marijuana alters the way the brain (in the hippocampus) processes information, producing negative effects on data retention, learning capabilities and concentration.
Is Marijuana Really A Gateway Drug?
A gateway drug is any substance that may lead users to continue drug/alcohol use over time. Alcohol is a very common gateway drug, and in recent years prescription painkillers have even made a name for themselves as gateway drugs. Marijuana is just as much a gateway substance as these others, in that they are surrounded by common misconceptions of “harmlessness,” thus making them a popular choice for first-time drug users.
The fact that we have marijuana use among teens more common than cigarette-smoking indicates that we have a marijuana epidemic on our hands, of outstanding proportions. Anti-marijuana campaigns are needed to dispel the myths and false misconceptions teens often have about pot, in order to keep our youth away from the harmful gateway drug.
Reason Why And Solutions Through Narconon Objectives
It is clear that there is a major problem with teen marijuana use; but why? The main reason is that teens think that the drug is safe and non-addictive because it is promoted as “natural.” This leads teens into smoking it, becoming addicted and then needing treatment later for this or other drugs.
The truth is that marijuana is just as addictive as the other illicits. The good news is that the problem can be handled through Narconon Objectives. This is a part of the Narconon program that helps addicts to get oriented into their present time environment and takes their attention off drug use.
For more information on Narconon Objectives contact us today.