The Drug Class Blog

Dec 23


We really need to take a look at the attitude around marijuana use.  There is still a pervasive belief that this is a harmless drug, the "don't panic its organic" thinking is still what is driving a lot of the street level thinking about this drug. Marijuana use by our teens is increasing, I see that every day, and it is causing more problems, I see that everyday too.  Over the next few days I'll discuss this more, but here is a start.

Teen Drug Use Increases

Prevention Advocates Say Issue Is Community Problem

Klark Byrd Published: Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 SIDNEY Nebraska – Sun Telegraph

Marijuana use among U.S. teens is increasing, despite decades of prevention efforts. The troubling results of the 2010 Monitoring The Future survey, a product of the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, show that 16 percent of the nation’s eighth-graders use marijuana on a daily basis. That’s up from 14.5 percent in 2009. “Nationally, the use of marijuana has increased, however currently in Sidney we are not certain of the usage of marijuana, as the local Nebraska SHARP survey results will not be released until next summer,” said local prevention advocate Jann Lawler. “Local law enforcement has, however, seen an increase among our youth.” Police Major Joe Aikens said marijuana cases in the community have increased, though not entirely attributed to Sidney’s youth. Even so, the increased cases suggest easier and more frequent availability to youngsters. Nationally, increased teen drug abuse is attributed to a softening in young people’s attitudes toward drugs, in particular toward marijuana. “The perceived risk of marijuana use among youth has declined and we know that when perception of risk declines, use increases,” Lawler said. “We can’t discount the fact that our community is less than 15 miles from the Colorado border where they have legalized marijuana for medical use. Public opinion is that widespread abuse of this law is taking place in many states with legalized marijuana.” Eighth-graders aren’t the only age group to show increased use, either. The survey also found that, when compared to last year, fewer high school seniors associated risk of harm with smoking marijuana, or even when using heroin. The nation’s seniors also reported greater use of Ecstasy, with rates increasing to 2.6 percent from 1.9 percent the year before. The rate of prescription drug abuse remained high for 12th graders. The National Institutes on Drug Abuse research has shown that youth are less likely to use drugs if they have involved adults in their lives, setting clear rules and communicating that drug use is unacceptable. When it comes to talking about drug use with children, Lawler says the first step is education. “Learn to spot risk factors that can lead to drug use,” she said. “Also, association with drug-abusing peers is often the most immediate risk factor that can lead young people to drug use and delinquent behavior.” She added that building strong bonds with children helps parents protect them from influences that lead to drug abuse. Being consistent in the enforcement of discipline and staying involved in their kids lives are the keys to preventing drug use, according to Lawler. “Talk to your kids and always be sure to listen,” she said. “Talking to your kids about the harmful effects of drugs and the consequences can help influence their choice to be drug free.” Among the same tips offered by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse is a suggestion to check your home medicine cabinet. The institute said data this year continued to find that more than 70 percent of kids who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends or family, and often right from their home medicine cabinet. As the nation continues to battle its drug problem, programs such as The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign’s “Above The Influence” are providing greater emphasis on supporting communities across the country working on youth prevention issues. “Above The Influence” aims to inform and inspire teens to reject the influences of drugs, alcohol and other risky behaviors. “Addressing this issue is a community problem and it will take the entire community to keep our kids safe,” Lawler said. “It will take not only schools, but law enforcement, parents, business owners, churches, etc., that will need to partner together to address the issue.”

What do you think?

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