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Tips For Teens About Marijuana

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States and tends to be the first illegal drug teens use. However, this is not to say that the majority of teens use marijuana. In fact, according to a 1994 survey of high school seniors, while 30.7% used marijuana sometime within the past year, 69.3% did not use marijuana. Additionally, most marijuana users do not go on to use other illegal drugs.

Marijuana has several negative physical and mental effects. Use of marijuana may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving a car.

Some people who are shy in social situations who turn to marijuana to loosen up, frequently end up making fools of themselves and doing things that they later regret./TD>
What are the Short-Term Effects of Using Marijuana?

  • sleepiness and increased hunger
  • difficulty keeping track of time, impaired or reduced short-term memory
  • reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving a car.
  • increased heart rate
  • potential cardiac dangers for those with preexisting heart disease
  • bloodshot eyes
  • decreased social inhibitions
  • risk of paranoia, hallucinations, intense anxiety
What are the Long-Term Effects of Using Marijuana?
  • increased risk of chronic pulmonary disorders, including cancer
  • decrease in testosterone levels for men
  • increase in testosterone levles for women
  • lower sperm counts and difficulty having children in men
  • increased risk of infertility in women
  • diminished or extinguished sexual pleasure
  • psychological dependence requiring more of the drug to get the same effect

If you or someone you know has been using marijuana, there is help available. Talk to a school counselor, a friend, or a parent, and check the back of this pamphlet for some valuable resource information.

Alcohol blocks the messages going to your brain and alters your perceptions and emotions, vision, hearing, and coordination.

Some people find that marijuana can increase their appetites which may lead to gorging on junk food and possible weight gain.

A recent study of 1,023 trauma patiens admitted to a shock trauma unit (receiving only the most seriously injured accident victims), found that one-third had detectable levels of marijuana in their blood.

Quick Facts

  1. Know the law.
    Marijuana is an illegal substance. Depending upon where you are caught, you could face a heavy-duty fine and jail time.

  2. Get the facts right.
    You do not function normally and cannot do things which require concentration under the influence of marijuana.

  3. Stay informed.
    Marijuana has been shown to lower sperm counts in men and increase the risk of infertility in women.

  4. Be aware of the risks.
    Using drugs increases the risk of injury. Car crashes, falls, burns, drowning, and suicide are all linked to drug use.

  5. Keep your edge.
    Drugs can ruin your looks, make you depressed, and contribute to slipping grades.

  6. Play it safe.
    One incident of drug use could make you do something that you will regret for a lifetime.

  7. Do the smart thing.
    Using drugs puts your health, education, family ties, and social life at risk.

  8. Face your problems.
    Using drugs won't help you escape your problems, it will only create more.

  9. Be a real friend.
    If you know someone with a drug problem, be part of the solution. Urge your friend to get help.

    American Council for Drug Education
    164 West 74th Street
    New York NY 10023

    Families Anonymous, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3475
    Culver City, CA 90231-3475

    Nar-Anon Family Groups
    P.O. Box 2562
    Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274

    Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
    P.O. Box 9999
    Van Nuys, CA 91409

    National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
    12 West 21st Street, 7th Floor
    New York, NY 10010

    National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
    P.O. Box 2345
    Rockville, MD 20847-2345

    National Families in Action
    2296 Henderson Mill Road, Suite 300
    Atlanta, GA 30345

    Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
    Information and Treatment Referral Hotline
    11426-28 Rockville Pike, Suite 410
    Rockville, MD 20852