Most Teenagers Believe Legalization of Marijuana Encourages Experimentation

Teens also believe their peers may be more likely to experiment with other drugs, as well

/ PR Newswire / — The legalization of marijuana in many states may be changing the way teens think about marijuana and other harmful substances like heroin. A new study commissioned by Rosecrance shows that the legalization of marijuana may encourage teenagers to experiment with the drug, along with other substances.
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The online study, conducted by Wakefield Research among 400 US teenagers ages 13-17, found that:

  • Seventy-six (76) percent of teens believe that with the legalization of marijuana, teenagers may be more likely to experiment with the drug
  • Seventy-three (73) percent of teenagers believe having easier access to marijuana may accelerate teens in trying other drugs
  • Sixty-one (61) percent of teens said that teenagers who use marijuana are more likely to try heroin, a potentially fatal drug

“There is a common misconception that marijuana is not an addictive substance,” said Thomas Wright, MD, the Chief Medical Officer at Rosecrance, one of the country’s leading teen substance abuse treatment centers. “Marijuana is addictive, and teenagers become addicted to substances more quickly than adults and therefore are the most vulnerable. There is no safe level of substance use among teenagers. Their brains are still developing, and substances can cause permanent damage.”

Teenagers need to be reminded of the danger that comes with even occasional substance use. In fact, new research published in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that casual use of marijuana can cause structural damage to the brain.

“Through decades of experience working with teens, we understand that teenagers don’t want to become addicted to substances; they want to live a healthy life,” said Dr. Wright. “Teenagers want their parents to actively parent and give them the guidance and support they need, and that includes how to navigate what is happening around substances today. Parents should ask what their teens are doing, address the pressures they are facing, act immediately when they suspect their teen is in trouble, and advocate for help if their teen needs it.”

Rosecrance is a leading national provider of substance abuse treatment for teens, adults and families. Rosecrance offers inpatient and outpatient programs, prevention, education and intervention services and recovery homes for teens and adults. The organization was founded in 1916.

Media contact:
Stephanie Kochs
Zeno Group
[email protected]

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