Social isolation is hard for everyone, but it can be especially tough on teens. Some may seek out coping mechanisms that are detrimental to physical and mental health, such as using marijuana.
Studies have shown that using marijuana (also known as pot, weed, herb, flower, chronic, buds, blaze, skunk, ganga, and many other slang terms) impacts growing young people differently than adults. Because the teen brain is still developing, it is more vulnerable to the impacts of substance use.
When youth use marijuana it can lead to addiction, impaired emotional development, increased anxiety and depression, reduced motivation, impaired coordination and reaction time, and can affect learning and memory. Youth who use may have disrupted sleep, difficulty concentrating on school, and may engage in other risky behaviors.
The good news is parents and other influential adults can influence young people’s decisions to use marijuana in any form. When adults show interest in a young person’s life, set clear boundaries, and monitor interactions with other youth with who/what/where/when questions, youth notice. They are less likely to use when they know parents are paying attention and care about what they are doing and who they are doing it with.
For more information and tools to help with those conversations, visit https://www.starttalkingnow.org/ or contact the Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program Manager, Caitlin Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org.