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HomeHealth & Behavior

Teens and drugs by the numbers

Wish you knew what to worry about? We've sifted through the scary stats to get the lowdown on trends in youth drug abuse. Here's what you need to know to help your child.

By Lauren Shanley

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The spread of marijuana

1 in 5 — High school seniors have used marijuana in the past month.

Behind alcohol, marijuana use has recently replaced cigarette smoking as the drug most used among young people. What’s more, fewer high schoolers perceive smoking marijuana as having harmful effects on their health, though researchers report that marijuana carries more risks to growing brains. Compared to 25 years ago, the levels of the psychoactive ingredient (THC) in marijuana have doubled. THC's adverse effects include suppressing cells that are important in learning and memory. Almost half of those who reported current marijuana use said their grades were mostly Ds or Fs, and about one in 16 high school seniors uses marijuana daily.

 

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

02/16/2012:
"I agree with the 1/12/2012 posting. If the schools aren't going to create campaigns, I don't see why they can't let parents volunteer who are interested in the issues create campaigns. Ideally the schools and parents should be working together to create campaigns to educate, and make students aware of the four topics listed in the post. After all, the students are the future and if they are strung out, dropouts or a baby making machines, they aren't going to do much for the future except cause problems. "
01/12/2012:
"We know longer have the SAY NO TO DRUG CAMPAIGN by Nancy Reagan, however the commercials still exist. If the schools would allow parents who are interested in this particular topic to create campaigns focusing on the issues and providing additional prevention and education workshops, it would benefit the schools and students enrolled. Further, each quarter a campaign should be ran focusing on one of the four topics; Say No to Drugs, Abstinence, Stay in School, and Teen Age Pregnancy. "
08/1/2011:
"there are several misconceptions in this article especially about marijuana. first off the amount of thc in marijuana has not doubled in the past 25 years, it has only slightly risen by about 8%. also, smoking marijuana has no harmful effects on your health as opposed to cigarettes because marijuana has mo carsinogens. "
07/20/2011:
"I am surprised by the absence of education about drugs parents know almost nothing about but have extraordinary addictive natures like "bath salts". Ohio is the first state to ban the drug, but more information on this kind of "new, not illegal drug of choice" that we as parents know nothing about would be realy helpful! Thanks for all the information you provide. It helps! "
07/14/2011:
"If you live in the Cincinnati, Ohio regions check out this websites on Drug Free Coaltions http://www.drugfreecincinnati.org/ "
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