The teenagers of today, as with every other generation of young people, face countless obstacles and dangers. Some of those are the lure and consequences that come with abusing alcohol or drugs. One popular danger now is marijuana use, and the largest risk comes with the misinformation that is spread not only from teen to teen, but online, where they are exposed to a lot of troubling misconceptions.
Why Do Young People Turn to Marijuana Use?
“The legalization of marijuana is sending mixed messages to teens across the nation.” If it’s so bad, then why is it being legalized in many states? It’s understandable why they might be confused about the situation, but that is where parents, educators, and health professionals need to step in. Without setting the record straight, many young people today will have a hodge-podge of information about the drug that, together, form very little of the truth.
A bit issue with so many people (teens and otherwise) finding so much of their information on the internet is that it is a mix of facts and fiction. It is both “unreliable and ambiguous” in many cases, and frequently does not present a person with the entirety of a story. This is part of how teens come to accept misinformation about things like marijuana use and take it as gospel. Those who then go on to try the drug provide a few different reasons for that decision, including:
- Wanting “to know what it’s like”
- Feeling as if “everyone else is doing it”
- Smoking to ease boredom
- Using it to “feel better”
- And just to chase the high.
Curiosity and seeking out new experiences are a bit part of adolescent life. In high school and in college especially, there are a lot of potential new experiences for these young people to try. One is marijuana, which can be found among some within this age group who then offer it to friends. Teens have no concept of what it feels like if they’ve never smoked before, so they assume one time will do no harm and will instead make them more “worldly.”
More than that, of course, is the social acceptance that they desire and seek out. Within this age range, social acceptance is enormously important. If it seems as if everyone else is using marijuana (or, more crucially, if they’re the only ones not trying it), then they are much more likely to experiment. Feeling left out is nearly unbearable for many young people, and the emotional turmoil of that feeling is worse, to them, than the potential consequences of “just trying it once.”
Even without the presence of others, teenagers turn to marijuana use to solve other “issues.” Studies suggest that “about one third of teens report using marijuana to cope with boredom,” which is a huge portion of this population. More still are using it in order to “feel better” or to cope with the stress and anxiety of their lives. There’s no question that stress and anxiety are huge parts of the lives of these adolescents, but they need to be presented with better ways to deal with those pressures than by smoking.
Teen marijuana use has not diminished in recent years, which may signal that their parents and guardians are not doing an adequate job of informing and aiding them. If you are looking for an addiction treatment plan that works for your situation, or for a loved one’s, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction. We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.
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About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]