County of San Diego, Health and Human Services, Alcohol and Drug Services
... Available for download as a PDF file


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,,,,,Marijuana can pose a particular threat to the health and well being of children and adolescents at a critical point in their lives—when they are growing, learning,maturing, and laying the foundation for their adult years. Young people who have already begun to smoke cigarettes and/or use alcohol are at a higher risk for marijuana use.

,,,,,All aspects of a child’s environment—home, school, and neighborhood—help determine whether a child will try drugs. Curiosity and the desire to fit into a social group are common reasons. Research suggests that family members are strong role models in whether children start using drugs. Children tend to copy parents, grandparents, and older brothers and sisters living in the same home. Some have a network of friends who use drugs and urge them to do the same (peer pressure). Others may think it’s "hit" to use marijuana because they hear songs about it and see it on TV and in movies.

,,,,,Some children mention psychological coping as a reason for their use—to deal with anxiety, anger, depression, boredom, and so forth. But marijuana use is not an effective method for coping with life’s problems, and being “high” under the influence of marijuana can be a way of avoiding the problems and challenges of growing up.

,,,,,Researchers have found that children and teens (both male and female), who are physically and/or sexually abused are at greater risk for using marijuana and other drugs at an early age.

,,,,,Adolescents who may be prone to marijuana use include those who are rebellious, cannot control their emotions, and experience internal distress.

....Addictions can harm the user and their family

.....Addictions to marijuana, alcohol and/or other substances have serious effects on the people around the user, especially their loved ones. Substance abuse most visibly hurts the physical and emotional wellbeing of the user, but it also affects those around him or her.

.....The most common feelings that family members may experience include guilt - sometimes blaming themselves for the user’s dependency on drugs - disappointment, shame, and fear of the user actions.

....How can you prevent your child from getting involved with marijuana?

....Communication is the key. Even if teenagers won’t admit it, parents play a powerful role. Parents can be influential by talking to their children about the dangers of using marijuana and other drugs, by remaining actively engaged in their children’s lives, and by staying involved in their schoolwork, recreation, and social activities with the friends of their children.

....Parents need to recognize that marijuana use is a serious concern, and they need to tell their children not to use it. Although it is best to talk about drugs when children are young, it is never too late to talk about the dangers of drug use. Talking to your children about drug abuse is not always easy, but it is very important. Children look to their parents and other family members for help and guidance in working out problems and making decisions, including the decision not to use drugs.

....Help is available.

.....There are many resources where parents can get information on drugs to share with their children.

....If your teen already has a problem, reach out and get help from friends, family and treatment support in your community.

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency funds a variety of free and low-cost services for teens and their families.

...The information in this publication was summarized in easy-to-read format for community education and awareness about the risk of using marijuana. This document is in the public domain and can be freely downloaded as a PDF file and reproduced without permission from County of San Diego Health and Human Services Alcohol and Drug Services, ADS and Salud+Health Info publications. However, you should properly include the acknowledgement of the source of the information. The information was translated to Spanish by Salud+Health Info and is available in PDF format.

....County of San Diego Health and Human Services Alcohol and Drug Services, ADS provides an integrated system of community based alcohol and other drug prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services throughout San Diego County via contracts with local service providers.

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