I am a psychiatrist that specializes in addiction including teenage drug abuse andteenage alcoholism. A number of teens I treat for substance abuse are much more resistant to giving up marijuana than alcohol. Many teens sent to me for evaluation smoke marijuana on a regular basis. Teenage marijuana abuse has become one of the most common reasons a teen goes to rehab.
Here are the top 8 reasons teenagers tell me why they are so attached to smoking pot:
1. “It relaxes me”.
2. “It helps me focus”.
3. “It’s safe”.
4. “It has less side effects than the drugs my doctor gives me to treat my depression”.
5. “Pot helps my creativity. I can think outside the box”.
6. “I use pot, I don’t abuse it”.
7. “Smoking pot doesn’t hurt me or anyone else the way drinking does”.
8.”Smoking pot is what we do for fun when we hang with our friends”.
Smoking marijuana on a regular basis is a form of teenage drug abuse. 6.1% of teens smoke pot daily (teenage marijuana abuse) according to a 2010 survey. Marijuana has been shown to affect learning and memory and lead to problems with problem solving. Over time, it impairs motivation. Marijuana contains some similar cancer causing chemicals similar to someone smoking one pack of cigarettes a day. Smoking marijuana irritates the airways and impairs the ability to fight off lung infections. It is considered a gateway to other teenage drug use as well as teenage alcoholism.