Many teens experiment or regularly use marijuana, with its consumption now being higher than ever. Today’s teenagers are more likely to become addicted to marijuana than to cigarettes. Adults aged 21 and above can consume weed recreationally in several states, but its use among children remains illegal.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2019, approximately 48 million Americans over 12 years old smoked marijuana in the previous year, making it the most widely used illegal drug in the country. The substance is alarmingly accessible to high schoolers. In 2019, over 33% of eighth-graders claimed that getting marijuana was easy for them. Nearly 60% of tenth-grade students and more than 75% of twelfth-grade students also agreed to that statement.
Researchers collected statistics from 3,177 tenth-grader students in Los Angeles at ten high schools from January to October 2015, three years before recreational marijuana was legalized in California in 2018. Tenth-graders reported using combustible cannabis or weed, dabbing, and consuming edible marijuana. Here are other surprising statistics on teen marijuana use in Los Angeles.
- 11.4% of eighth-graders, 28% of tenth-graders, and 35.2% of twelfth-graders used marijuana in 2020.
From the total population of teens using marijuana, 8.1%, 19.1%, and 22.1% of eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders, respectively, used marijuana vapes. When teenagers vape pot, they damage their brains as well as their airways. There have been 2,807 total incidents of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) in the country, according to the data recorded in February 2020. The majority of EVALI cases have been attributed to products that contain THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.
- First-time marijuana users are between the ages of 12 and 14.
The younger a person begins using marijuana, the more likely they are to become addicted to drugs later in life. 66% of teenagers seeking treatment for marijuana addiction began using it when they were 14 years old, and 26% when they were 12 years old. Between 2017 and 2020, the number of high school students who vape marijuana doubled in numbers, with more than 20% of them admitting to doing so in the previous year. Approximately 8% of eighth-graders also said they had vaped marijuana at least once in the previous year.
- More than half of the teenage population is dependent on marijuana.
Marijuana users under 18 are four to seven times more likely than adults to develop a cannabis addiction problem. About one out of every six people who begins smoking marijuana as a teenager develops an addiction. Marijuana addiction affects between 25% and 50% of people who use it daily. The rewarding benefits of marijuana, referred to as the “high,” contribute to its addictiveness, like other substances. When people can no longer afford marijuana or choose not to use it, they might suffer withdrawal symptoms similar to those experienced with other narcotics like cocaine and heroin.
- Many teens have to be rushed to the emergency room due to marijuana overdose.
According to studies, the number of teens admitted to emergency rooms in Colorado tripled after marijuana became legal. The majority of them suffered from mental health issues caused by marijuana. They discovered that 639 teens who visited a Colorado health service in 2015 had marijuana or THC in their urine or directly informed a clinician they had used marijuana. The proportion of children aged 13 to 20 who visited the emergency room or immediate care facility for marijuana-related diseases increased from 1.8 per 1,000 admissions to 4.9 per 1,000 admissions between 2005 and 2015.
- 24% of teens using cannabis concentrates are more likely to try other dangerous substances.
Additionally, 15% of eighth-grade students, 25% of tenth-grader students, and 33% of twelfth-grader students indicated they had tried marijuana concentrates in the last year. Users of concentrated substances were the most likely to have tried other drugs like heroin. Teenagers consume highly concentrated versions of cannabis using vaping devices and e-cigarettes. According to research, concentrate consumption may indicate excessive cannabis use and a willingness to attempt other hazardous substances. Marijuana consumption is linked to the use of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and illicit substances, such as cocaine and methamphetamines. In addition, marijuana addicts are three times as likely to develop a heroin addiction.
If your child is dealing with a marijuana addiction, then be aware that teen marijuana treatment facilities can provide a range of services. Therapies are the most popular, with detox as the first stage. Therapy can be delivered in several methods, including Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and Contingency Management. These were created to manage personality disorders, but since marijuana abuse and addiction change the brain’s structure, they can also be used to address drug issues.