The Green Monster: Teen Marijuana Abuse

The Green Monster: Teen Marijuana Abuse

If there’s one drug in the US that seems to be everywhere, it’s marijuana. Teen marijuana abuse in the US has skyrocketed in the past few years. It’s cheap and easily available, which makes it attractive to teens of all socioeconomic statuses. What teens don’t know when they’re using it, is that they are affecting their future success.

Dangers of teen marijuana abuse

Before the 1960’s, many Americans had no idea what marijuana was. Since then, it has become the number one illicit drug used in the United States. Teens abuse marijuana for a number of reasons such as peer pressure, dealing with negative emotions, wanting to get “high”, and not being aware of the negative health effects marijuana can have on teen brains.

teen marijuana abuse

Image source: Flickr user- cagrimmett

Whatever the reason, teen marijuana abuse can ruin lives. When teens start using marijuana before the age of 16, it can negatively impact:


  • Attention, Memory and Learning: Early, continued use of marijuana can negatively affect memory and a teen’s ability to think clearly. It can also lower a teen’s IQ.
  • School Performance: Teens who abuse marijuana don’t do as well in school, are frequently absent, and are more likely to drop out of school. The effects of marijuana abuse can last for days, or even weeks. Because of this, teens who use marijuana may have trouble focusing in school or paying attention.
  • Future Success: High levels of marijuana use early in life is associated with poorer educational outcomes, unemployment, higher levels of criminal behavior, lower relationship and life satisfaction, immature sexual behavior (which may result in unplanned pregnancy), and a higher risk of driving under the influence.
  • Mental Health: Teen marijuana abuse has been linked to an increased risk in developing schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis later in life. It has also been linked to an increased potential of depression and anxiety in teens and as adults.


Signs and symptoms

Being able to tell when your teen is abusing marijuana is crucially important to getting them the help they need. Symptoms of marijuana abuse include:

  • Dizziness
  • Acting odd for no reason
  • Increased irritability
  • Changes in appetite, hungrier than usual
  • Red eyes, with frequent use of eye drops
  • Reduced motivation
  • Smelling like marijuana or of incense
  • Owning clothes or posters encouraging drug use

ViewPoint Center can help

The ViewPoint Center, a teen mental health hospital for teens ages 12-17, helps treat teen marijuana abuse, as well as other substances. The program helps teens struggling with behavioral and emotional issues with a diagnostic assessment, followed by necessary treatment.


For more information about how ViewPoint Center can help your teen, please call 801-825-5222.


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