KNOW THE RISKS
Some parents may not see marijuana as a harmful substance for teens. However, if your child chooses to use marijuana, they are vulnerable to several risks, including damage to the developing teen brain.
- Marijuana use is harmful to the teen brain. Teen brains are still developing until about age 25. When teens use marijuana during this “under construction” phase. marijuana can actually change how the brain develops – specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision-making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time.
- Marijuana use by adolescents has been linked to a decline of up to 8 points in IQ scores
- Marijuana use results in an increased risk for psychological health disorders, including social anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
- Marijuana results in elevated heart rate and blood pressure, increasing risk for stroke, heart disease, and other vascular diseases. When smoked, marijuana can cause damage to lung tissues as well as scarring and damage to small blood vessels.
Edibles, or food and drink products infused with marijuana, come with a greater risk of poisoning.
- Marijuana, like alcohol, negatively affects several skills required for safe driving, such as slows reaction time and decreased ability to make decisions.
MARIJUANA CAN DERAIL YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE
An underage substance use offense can appear in future employment background checks.
If your child is caught using marijuana, they can be suspended from school and dismissed from clubs and teams, which can affect their future college admissions.
Marijuana is a schedule I controlled substance under Idaho Law. Using it or selling it for any purpose is illegal.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR TEEN IS USING MARIJUANA
Certain physical and behavioral changes in your child may point to mrijuana use. It’s important to know what they are so you know what to look for. Your teen may be engaging in marijuana use if they show some of these signs:
- Red, bloodshot, or “glassy” eyes – your child may keep eye drops to conceal this effect.
- Strong odor or smell of marijuana – your teen may attempt to mask the smell with strong perfumes or incense.
- Items such as pipes, bongs, rolling papers, vapor pens, or other items commonly used with drugs.
- Unexplained use of money.
More subtle behavioral changes, such as slipping grades or relationship problems, could be typical young adult behavior or signs of mental health issues. If you notice these changes, take it as an opportunity to start the conversation.
HOW CAN I GET HELP IF MY CHILD IS USING MARIJUANA?
Try these resources to help address your child’s marijuana use.
- A school guidance counselor, school resource officer, or family physician/pediatrician can assess your child to determine treatment needs or provide referrals to counselors or treatment programs.
- Contact your local health district for multiple behavioral health resources, including substance use prevention and treatment programs.
- Connect with one of these community coalitions or agencies in your area. They include substance use prevention in their programming.
- Idaho 211 Careline lists low-cost or free health services in your community. Call 2-1-1 or visit 211.idaho.gov
- The Idaho Division of Behavioral Health’s Substance Use Disorder Services Program provides statewide treatment and recovery support services for qualifying individuals and families struggling with the disease of addiction. Individuals looking for help can call 1-800-922-3406, Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm MST for a confidential screening.
- This Idaho Department of Health & Welfare web page helps connect you with resources for children’s behavioral health, adult behavioral health, substance use disorder, suicide prevention, and more.
- The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator tool can help you find a list of local treatment providers in your area.
- If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide or otherwise struggling with depression call or text the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988.
- The Partnership to End Addiction Parent Helpline. Get one-on-one help to address your child’s substance use from trained, caring specialists. All communication and services are free and confidential. Support is available in English and Spanish. Schedule a call, email for help, or text CONNECT to 55753.
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline, (1-800-662-HELP) is a confidential, free, 24/7/365 information service available in English and Spanish for anyone with mental or substance use disorders