Success is Substance Free
Science of Learning | Success is substance free
Borrowing from the brilliance of Frédéric Boyer, we have developed a new acronym of SAMO (SAMBA being the latest science-based teen program that has been taken off the shelves) for Marijuana, Achievement and the Teen Brain.
We live in a time where teenage development is most definitely a major issue for parents. It’s important to approach this concern from many angles in order to help our kids grow up and become successful adults.
Marijuana, Achievement and the Teen Brain
With an increasing number of teenagers coming in to use the drug, the Australian Council on Drug and Alcohol Research and Training reported that 10.1 percent of Australian high school students were “reportedly” using cannabis in 2015, a 61 percent increase over 10 years ago.
To put that data into perspective, those who have tried cannabis are around 3.6 times more likely to continue to abuse the drug. In total, 61,899 Australians aged 15-24 years used cannabis at least once during the previous year. Of these, 78.5 percent smoked cannabis on a daily basis.
In the United States, 5.2 percent of high school students claimed to have used cannabis during the last month, up from 3.3 percent in the previous year. Young people who smoked cannabis on a daily basis were six times more likely to become addicted than non-users. When the findings were taken up to a national level, 16 percent of high school students reported using marijuana at least once during the previous month.
It’s worth noting that while some young people may use marijuana to help manage pain (2.5 percent of high school students), 80 percent do not. The feeling that one can feel less stress, less tired and more energized has been documented. Emotional wellbeing has also been shown to be a major factor in the appeal of the drug, leading to smokers saying they feel happier and less anxious.
When using marijuana for these purposes, it is very easily abused because so many alternative medicinal options exist for the same emotional benefits and also for pain relief. All of these substances are offered in pill, spray, gel, liquid and inhaler form, all with an appeal similar to marijuana.
Marijuana, Achievement and the Teen Brain
Because of all the other substances, there has been a decrease in the popularity of marijuana. A 2017 British study looked at whether or not teenagers are turning to other products to cope with stress, anxiety and depression. Sure enough, substance abuse has shot up compared to 2005, while smoking is down 3.1 percent. In the last ten years, there has been a 49 percent increase in the number of teenagers using adrenaline to “ease stress”.
Although drug use appears to be decreasing, the study reported that anxiety, depression and substance abuse have decreased at a greater rate. This could be because the way people use these substances is changing and more and more people are recognizing the positive benefits that help their mind and body.
Despite, the boom of new products that help people deal with stress and depression, we still have not seen our governments take action. When it comes to marijuana, there has been no action taken by governments, considering it’s just a drug and not a legal substance. Despite this, many will argue that it’s a legal substance and it still can have a positive effect in regulating its usage.
The Age of Marijuana
It is important to remember that marijuana can be quite toxic if not handled properly. That being said, a recent report by the Unicef looks at the effects that marijuana use can have on adolescents. The article also noted that many teens fall prey to the disorientation that marijuana can cause and react by doing things that they wouldn’t normally do, such as getting into violent disputes.
With so many positive effects like increased emotional wellbeing and less anxiety in teenagers, we still don’t see changes in government action. We only need our government to make it illegal to smoke marijuana. Even if that’s the only way it can be regulated, it will help curb the use of pot by our young people and discourage them from falling into the drug trap.