Teens may think that smoking or consuming marijuana is harmless compared to abusing “harder” drugs like cocaine or heroin. However, even casual marijuana use comes with its own risks that pose negative side effects for teens’ developing brains. The CDC states that marijuana use in teens “can have harmful and long-lasting effects on a teen’s health and well-being.”

Marijuana Can Be Just as Addictive as Alcohol

It is common knowledge that if you drink too much alcohol, you can develop a physical dependence on it that can become a severe addiction with deadly consequences. The dangers of marijuana, on the other hand, are not as widely known as the dangers of alcohol use.

Research shows that frequent use of marijuana early in life can cause functional impairments in cognitive abilities. THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, can be very harmful to the developing minds of those under the age of 25. The THC content can be as high as 80-90% in vape pens and butane hash oil. The more potent the THC product is, the more damage it can do to different parts of the brain.

How Marijuana Use Can Affect Teen Driving

Marijuana can impact the ability to control your car, judge your speed, and see everything on the road. While government regulators have established that there is a safe level for your blood alcohol content (0.08%), there is no such safe level with THC.

THC is rapidly absorbed into the brain and has a longer duration of effect than alcohol. Motor problems can occur 24 hours later. Getting behind the wheel while you are high on marijuana can lead to dangerous legal and health risks.

How to Direct Teens Away From Marijuana Use

Teens who smoke marijuana have a reason for it. It could be because of pressure from their peers, to better manage their anxiety, or because of its euphoric effects. It is essential to have a talk with your teen about what their reason is for consuming marijuana and to find a healthier coping method for them, like therapy for anxiety.

Instead of punishing them for their negative behavior, encourage a change. Let them know that the short-lived high from marijuana use is not worth the long-term consequences that come with it. Educating teens about marijuana use will show them this substance they are consuming is not so harmless.

Marijuana use is very common in teens because they think they are making the safer choice. The truth is that marijuana can impact your brain with the harmful qualities of THC, as well as impair your driving. Having a conversation with your kids about marijuana use can make a difference. At Alta Loma, we understand the consequences of marijuana use, and we are here to help you. Our transformative treatment center in Georgetown, Texas, can provide you with individualized therapy, life and coping skills education, therapeutic recreational activities, and more. Call us at (866) 457-3843 for more information.