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- Marijuana is a mixture of leaves, stems, and flowers of the hemp plant.
- It is smoked in the form of a "joint" or a "blunt."
- Marijuana contains more than 600 chemicals, including the primary mind-altering chemical THC.
- Today's pot is addictive, and it causes harm to developing brains and lungs.
- It has been linked to an increased risk of depression.
- It deposits chemicals in the lungs that could eventually cause cancer.
- Marijuana affects a person's memory, concentration, and energy level.
- It is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States.
Effects on Youth
- Marijuana is considered a gateway drug; using it can lead to the use of other drugs.
- The short-term effects of marijuana include problems with memory and learning, increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.
- It can affect the user many ways, depending on the strength of the mixture.
- It can have long-term effects, many of which are not known at this time.
- It could contribute to the early development of head and neck cancer.
- It is usually inhaled more deeply than tobacco.
- Lack of energy
- Bloodshot eyes
- Appearing zoned out
- Diminished sense of smell and taste
- Strong, pungent odors
What can you do to prevent your child from using marijuana?
- Know the facts about it.
- Get educated about the associated risks.
- Remain engaged in your child's life.
- Keep your child involved in activities so he or she will not just “hang out” without direction.
- Praise and reward your child's positive behavior so he or she will be a confident young adult who is capable of resisting peer pressure.
- Don't make excuses. Learn, evaluate, and take action.
- Listen for drug lingo.
- Listen to, talk to, and love your child.
- If substance abuse is suspected, take action to stop it.
- Local information and resources are available by calling the Seven Counties Services, Inc., Regional Prevention Center at (502) 589-8600 or by visiting http://www.sevencounties.org and clicking on Prevention Programs and Services under the “Our Services” tab.
- If you suspect or know that your teen is using marijuana or other drugs, contact the Early Intervention Program (EIP), a Seven Counties Services, Inc., assessment and educational program for youth, at (502) 439-9699.
- The mission at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is to lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.
- The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is an organization that conveys tips, guides, and expert advice to keep teens safe and drug-free.
- The Partnership at Drugfree.org is an organization that unites parents and professionals to help families raise healthy children.
- Best Drug Rehabilitation offers drug and alcohol abuse prevention resources.