Perhaps piggybacking on the widespread use of medical marijuana, use by teens has been increasing for the last few years, along with use of “synthetic marijuana,” prompting a greater need for parents to get involved.
The latest Monitoring the Future survey on drug abuse and attitudes among our schoolchildren shows that current rates of daily marijuana use are now at a thirty-year peak. For the past four years straight, statistics on marijuana abuse have been growing, after a decline for the decade before that.
Does this mean that parents have become resigned to the presence of marijuana in the lives of their children? Is it possible that parents now dismiss marijuana use as a harmless practice?
“Parents need to know that their children are likely to be less able to study successfully, less competent athletically, and at greater risk behind the wheel when they smoke marijuana,” warned Bobby Wiggins, longtime drug educator for Narconon International. Narconon is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse and addiction. “The simple truth is that marijuana robs a person of their motivation and this means more of our youth will drop out of school or decide not to pursue college educations as a result of marijuana use.”
Mr. Wiggins cited a research project that showed that the active ingredient from marijuana is stored in the fatty tissues of the body where stress or fasting can release it back into the body. “The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program includes an innovative sauna detoxification program that uses nutrition and exercise to flush out these toxins and restore clarity of thought. But by talking to their children openly about the problems that can result from using marijuana, parents can protect their children’s ability to think, learn, excel and their very safety.”
And it’s not only use of weed that is rising. Teens abusing what is referred to as synthetic marijuana, also called Spice or K2, is also increasing, despite the dangers of this new category of drug. In some states, these substances are still legal so teens may think they have found a legal “high” without considering the risks involved. In 2011, more than 11% of high school seniors tried this drug. But use of Spice has been associated with hallucinations, seizures and hospitalization.
“It is difficult for our teens to make a mature decision about whether or not to use drugs like marijuana or painkillers, given that they are both used medically,” Mr. Wiggins concluded. “Parents need to realize how important they are in preventing substance abuse that will, for some youth, progress to addiction requiring drug rehab.”
At the Parent Center of the Narconon International website, parents can find information and resources to help them talk to their children about the problems that can result from drug abuse. Visit http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/parent-center.html.
For information on the Narconon drug rehabilitation program, call 1-800-775-8750
Narconon Commends Recent DEA Strategy – Says Vital Step to Protect Youth and Curtail Drug-Driven Violence in Mexico
The president of Narconon International, Mr. Clark Carr said today that Mexico’s future is very much tied to how effective the US is at curbing the narcotics market across their northern border. “Mexico’s deplorable drug cartel driven death rate is unlikely to abate no matter how much pressure is brought to bear in their own country until the US drug market is aggressively addressed here,” he said.
January is the month often reserved to recap events of the prior year. In the case of the Mexican people, 2011 was a devastating year that saw nearly 13,000 people die as a result of drug violence. The New York Daily News reported 47,515 have been killed since the beginning of December 2006.
“The focus in our Narconon® Rehabilitation Centers is on salvaging the lives of those who reach to us to escape the addictions that are destroying them. It is a sobering thought that perhaps dozens of innocent mothers, fathers and children a thousand miles or more away have already forfeited their lives to feed that one person’s addiction,” says Mr. Carr.
Recently the DEA has shown renewed willingness to step in to block growing adolescent access and use of marijuana is a welcome strategy. We already know that children introduced to drugs at a young age, legal or illegal, far too predictably can get caught up in a drug-using lifestyle after only a few short years. We also know that whereas some will outgrow it, others will not and therein lies the future lucrative markets the cartels covet and kill for”
The recent Monitoring the Future Survey from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) shows that the percentage of youth headed for a drug-centered lifestyle is on the rise: “Fueled by increases in marijuana use, the rate of eighth-graders saying they have used an illicit drug in the past year jumped to 16 percent, up from last year’s 14.5 percent, with daily marijuana use up in all grades surveyed.”
To combat the trend, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) has begun to exercise its federal power and is drawing the line – specifically the line that delineates a 1000 foot perimeter around schools within which there can be no marijuana sales, attempts to sell or even intent to sell and includes dispensaries. For example, in the city of Denver recently 23 dispensaries received “seizure letters” from the DEA. U.S. Attorney John Walsh feels strongly that protecting minors from Schedule I narcotics is important and says the recent letters are only a first wave and that more should be expected as the strategy takes in more territory.
“Only time will tell if the DEA’s strategy is effective, or if it serves to curb the US appetite for narcotics, but for the sake of our children and the people of Mexico, we certainly hope that it does,” says Mr. Carr.
Please visit this page for information on the Narconon drug rehabilitation program.
“Stepped up Efforts to Alert Youth to the Damage Done by Cannabis Are Long Overdue,” Says
Teddy Chambers, Executive Director of Narconon Professional Drug Prevention.
Dotted by poster-style messages, “weed or succeed,” and “faded or graduated,” the first annual Pass on 420 event was held at Lemon Grove Park and Recreation Center. The three-hour gathering offered graffiti art and street dance workshops, competitions, treats, raffles and prizes all to steer youth away from locales where pot smokers gather to observe “stoners holiday.”
The hype surrounding smoking pot on April 20th (420), has made it a forum for promotion of cannabis seeking to re-characterize it as a harmless substance that municipalities should control and tax. Permissive attitudes developed around medical marijuana have caused as much as a 7% increase in use by High School Students from 2008 – 2010. “Politics aside, pot is a big problem for parents who fear their children’s futures may go up in smoke as a result of adopting a drug dependent lifestyle even before they graduate,” says Chambers.
The fears are not groundless. Experts confirm that cannabis can be highly damaging to adolescent users and physical addiction is not uncommon. The earlier a young person starts using, the more likely he or she will gravitate toward a drug dependent life style. There is strong evidence that youth refraining from drug use, including under-aged drinking, are far less prone to develop drug habits or resort to drugs later in life. More to the point, earning potential for a young person who achieves a simple undergraduate degree averages $51,000. A son or daughter dropping out of school can reduce that figure to less than $19,000 – posing a direct threat to family stability and open invitation to drug abuse to escape a dead end existence.
“We wanted to demonstrate you can have fun without getting high,” says Sonya Jimenez, Director of the Lemon Grove Recreation Center. “I think we succeeded,” she added.
Narconon Professional Drug Prevention, one of the collaborating organizations has been working with top hip hop artists since the early 2000s to promote The Positive Art of Hip Hoptm by bringing top drug-free performing artists to promote drug-free fun. Pass on 420 featured a breaking workshop with Fresh, original B-Boy with the famed LA Breakers and Hip Hop icon, Jeckle, known for introducing popping, (a dance style incorporating precise robot like motions into street dance). Jeckle wanted youth to know that falling prey to pot can lead to a “hard life.” “We know the answer is to provide families with comprehensive drug education and life skills training, so youth are encouraged to make right choices,” said Teddy Chambers.
Also showing support for the event were the Los Angeles Police Department and City Council Office of Eric Garcetti. “I feel we got our message across,” says Jimenez. “We need to do more events like this.” Pass on 420 was a collaboration of organizations, including Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Foundation for a Drug Free World, Narconon Professional Drug Prevention, ArtStorm, Aviva Family Services, Aztec Rising, and the Van Ness Recovery House.
For information on Drug Prevention visit:http://www.narconon.org/drug-prevention/
There is so much controversy over the long term and short term effects of weed that it can be hard to get at the truth. Well-financed figures on both sides display their opposing views about the drug’s harm or safety. If a person, young or old, wanted the facts on weed, where would they turn?
Now Bobby Wiggins, a spokesperson and drug educator for Narconon International, explains one of the key problems related to the effects of weed consumption in a clear, three-minute YouTube video. Mr. Wiggins has educated hundreds of thousands of children on the dangers of drug use and recorded the video about the long-term effects of weed to continue the education about the effects of weed use on a broader scale.
In this video, Mr. Wiggins explains a key feature of the abuse of weed that inevitably results in a lower physical, mental and emotional state for the abuser. Without having this kind of analytical information available, it would be easy for young people to decide to start using weed. And that’s just what is happening.
The Monitoring the Future annual report of drug and alcohol use by high school students reports that use of marijuana continues to rise, in contrast to the prior decade when those figures fell. In 2010, nearly half of high school seniors used an illicit drug, nearly 40 percent of them using weed. One in sixteen was using marijuana daily or almost daily. The report went on to state that a growing number of teens think that marijuana effects are not dangerous at all, even when use is long term or frequent.
“The whole argument for the medical use of marijuana or legalization to relieve the burden on law enforcement or the judicial system simply obscures the real thing that people need to know,” stated Mr. Wiggins. “What are the short term effects of weed use? And the long term effects? If it creates damage, people need to focus on this fact and make sure our young people know.
“Understanding that all drug abuse has some kind of damaging effect is knowledge that could save a person’s life someday,” commented Mr. Wiggins. “That’s the process I intend to start with this video.”
Narconon is an international organization dedicated to the elimination of drug abuse and addiction through effective drug rehabilitation and drug education delivered at centers around the world.
Visit www.narconon.org for more information about marijuana use and weed effects.