A study was recently completed in Australia and New Zealand which agrees with articles and studies we have previously written about. Here is a quick review of the study published in the medical journal The Lancet in September 2014.
The Outlook for Young Marijuana Users
The study took a look at people who had used marijuana before they turned 17. What they found was alarming.
Teens who smoked daily were over 60% LESS likely to complete high school than kids who don’t use. These teens are also 60% less likely to graduate college.
The most shocking result of this study was that teens who used marijuana before the age of 17 were 7 times more likely than other kids to commit suicide.
So, not only are the very real opportunities provided by high school and college almost completely removed from these teenagers – they are sunk into a life they consider not worth living.
This study talked to people who used at least once a month in their teen years. This means the people talked to are not “potheads” by the traditional sense. They are people who succumbed to peer pressure enough to take a puff once a month.
How does this study affect American kids? Well, 30% of American 10th graders smoked pot last year. About 13% of American 8th graders lit up as well. This means almost half of our young people across the nation are less likely to finish high school or college and are more likely to commit suicide.
A Deeper Look
This study can only lead one to conclude that smoking pot can sink a person into using more and more drugs.
Think about it: as a teenage pot smoker you have fewer opportunities. You are unable to complete high school or college. Your income level is lower than it could have been. The drugs you took as a teenager have created a depressed, possibly suicidal version of you.
These life conditions could lead one to self-medicate with other drugs or to seek an addictive prescription to fight the depression. Additionally, marijuana is addictive in itself. At current measure, around 10-12% of pot smokers will become addicted.
So, about 43% of our youth as of 2013 have fewer opportunities in life and are more likely to commit suicide. They are also at risk for addiction to marijuana or other drugs.
The above situations show a pretty grim future for our children. We can reverse these problems by doing a few things:
- Educate youth on the consequences of drugs. Young people are extremely smart and bright. You can help them keep that spark of brilliance so many kids share by educating them and having lively discussions about drug use and the very real problems drug use presents.
- Drug education does not have to be limited to youth. Talk to your boss about providing drug education to you and your coworkers. The company you work for will function better when those you work with understand the consequences of drug use. Additionally, your coworkers may go and have healthy and educational discussions with their kids.
- Get well informed and be thoughtful about the marijuana legislation in your state. Does it work to educate young people about drug dangers and prevent them from laying their hands on drugs? You can change the laws in your state and this country by researching the topics involved, getting in touch with your congress person, and voting.
- If you are suffering from addiction, get help right away. You can contact us at (877) 850-7355. Call now.
Refs: TheLancet.com, DrugAbuse.gov, Brown.edu, WashingtonPost.com