• 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.

Warning Signs

  • Lack of energy
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Giddiness
  • Paranoia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Appearing zoned out
  • Diminished sense of smell and taste
  • Strong, pungent odors

Prevention Information

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 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 is an organization that unites parents and professionals to help families raise healthy children.
  • Best Drug Rehabilitation offers drug and alcohol abuse prevention resources.