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If you want to know what really is going on in middle school regarding marijuana abuse, who better to ask than a fellow student. We invited Joselyn, a middle-school student to guest blog for us regarding child and teen marijuana abuse

Why do kids or teens start using marijuana?

By Joselyn

Kids and Teens start to use marijuana at about 12 or 13 years old, usually to escape painful feelings such as

  • Depression
  • Peer pressure
  • Being bullied
  • Overweight problems
  • Difficulty with school work and grades
  • Family problems
  • Feeling isolated in their age group.

These kids think that marijuana is helping them and being a friend to them because they don’t know that marijuana will affect them in the long run. Also some teens think that they will only “try” marijuana once or twice and then stop, and then after the third or fourth time they realize that all they think about is using marijuana.

When kids start getting addicted to a type of drug, their everyday behaviors start to change, such as:

  • Being bored with things that were once fun
  • Becoming friends with different or new kids
  • Not being a part of the family
  • Not interested in getting approval from family, school, and other people or organizations that are a part of daily life
  • Sometimes teens will show signs of risky behavior and/or become admitted in a juvenile detention center

Some clues that you could look for to find out if your child is smoking marijuana:

  • Notice a change of friends
  • Finding marijuana – Your child might be hiding marijuana or paraphernalia (rolling papers, a bong, pipes) in places like dresser drawers, backpacks, gym bags, shoe boxes, or under the mattress
  • Household items go missing that might be used to smoke marijuana which can include tin foil, metal knives, soda cans, milk jugs (for improvised smoking tools), rubbing alcohol and cleaning materials (for cleanup and odor removal) watches and lighters (for lighting joints).
  • Watch for changes in eating habits: Marijuana can sometimes make a user’s mouth and throat feel dry or scratchy, which can lead them to drink lots of water or other beverages. Marijuana can also increase appetites aka “The Munchies.”

Stay tuned for more blogs from Joselyn on a wide array of topics involving youth using drugs and alcohol from a teen’s perspective.