Marijuana addiction is real. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana can be addictive. Of course, this finding contradicts what many parents and teenagers believe. However, recognizing the signs of marijuana addiction can help teens understand the importance of seeking help.
Marijuana Use In Teens: Statistics
Research shows that marijuana is the most common illicit drug used by young people in developed countries. In fact, approximately 9% of people who use marijuana become addicted. The risk is higher for people who start using the substance as adolescents. Between 25 and 50% of people who use the substance daily become addicted. To put this in perspective, about 7% of high-school seniors smoke marijuana just about every day. Approximately 45% of people in this age group have tried marijuana. 13% of eighth graders have used the drug at some point in their life. In fact, marijuana smoking has surpassed cigarette smoking in many teenage populations. Marijuana use can cause teenagers to perform poorly in school, interfere with brain development and increase participation in risky behaviors, including driving while impaired. It also weakens short-term memory, processing speed, and impulse control.
Signs Of Marijuana Addiction
It’s hard for a parent to determine whether recreational marijuana use has become a severe problem. Three signs of marijuana addiction include the following:
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Drug tolerance
- Using more than you planned to or having trouble stopping
Teens that use marijuana frequently or for a long time may develop withdrawal symptoms when they’re not high. Some of these include irritability, insomnia, anxiety, diminished appetite, or drug cravings. If you’re addicted to marijuana, you can eventually develop a tolerance. Needing more of the substance to generate a high is a sign that you’re building a tolerance. Using more of the drug than you intended to or having trouble cutting back on your marijuana use can also be signs that you’re addicted.
What to Do If Your Teen Shows Signs Of Marijuana Addiction
If you’re parenting a teen who abuses marijuana, try not to overreact or panic. Starting a conversation about drug use is an excellent place to start. Many teens don’t think that marijuana is dangerous and don’t realize that it can even cause a drop in IQ. A professional counselor can help you find the words and techniques to help change your child’s behavior. Teenagers who recognize that they may be developing a problematic relationship with marijuana shouldn’t be afraid to be open about their concerns. There are many resources to help young people with substance abuse, including Destinations for Teens, which works to meet the unique needs that teenagers have. Our treatment programs offer a holistic approach that empowers teens and creates a lasting support system for them. We use marijuana addiction treatment modalities such as:
If your teen shows signs of marijuana addiction, then break the cycle by calling Destinations for Teens at 877-466-0620.