Marijuana and the Youth

Many youth consider marijuana as a harmless substance and think as a better substitute to other forms of smoking.Youth marijuana use is risky and can lead to serious consequences of mental health along with other dangerous health hazards.

Facts about marijuana use and the youth:

  • Young people who use marijuana suffer from impaired memory and ability to learn, difficulties in thinking and problem solving, distorted perception, anxiety attacks or feelings of paranoia,Impaired muscle coordination and judgment etc.
  • Young people start using marijuana at an early age and use it for a longer period of time are at the risk of severe respiratory problems, heart attack, cancer of the head or neck. It may badly affect the immune system’s ability to fight disease.
  • Young people who use marijuana weekly have double the risk of depression later in life.
    Teens aged 12-17 who smoke marijuana weekly are three times more likely than non-users to have suicidal thoughts.
  • There is substantial evidence linking marijuana to causal symptoms of severe depression, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia in teens and youth.
  • Certain brain centers, such as the limbic system in teens are highly influenced by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient of marijuana.
  • Some research shows that marijuana use can precede symptoms of depression. Girls (ages 14-15) who used marijuana daily were five times more likely to face depression at age 21.
  • A study of 1,265 children over a 21-year period found that marijuana use, particularly heavy or regular use, was associated with later increases in depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
  • Past-year marijuana use has been linked to social withdrawal, anxiety, depression, attention problems and thoughts of suicide in adolescents.
  • It’s use has been linked to early-onset schizophrenia, and several recent studies show that marijuana use during adolescence increases the risk of psychotic disorders in adulthood.
  • A recent study found that that the earlier the use of marijuana (age 15 vs. age 18), the greater the risk of schizophrenia.