You may not have thought in your wildest dreams that your teenager thinks about drugs such as marijuana, but the fact remains. A majority of youngsters (even the ones who don’t use drugs) believe that marijuana is not a big deal. This erroneous belief about a drug opens the door for other drugs in the form of experimentation and then serious troubles.

Nadeem Noor
Nadeem Noor

Contrary to the belief propogated by youngsters “experimentation” even with marijuana leads to addiction and other serious problems in life such as dropping out of education, relationship problems, psychosocial problems and untimately addiction. This is a fact of life that is not known to many.

Although not everyone progresses from drug use to addiction, but that road is dangerous and there is no way to ascertain as to who will develop addiction and who wont. An important question arises; how to tell if your loved one is using drugs. It remains a difficult question since attitudinal, behavioral, sleeping, temper and other changes are also common in otherwise healthy youngsters. These changes may also signify that something troubling regarding drugs and alcohol is going on.

The following list is of particular importance in such instances

  • Financial problems such as constant complaints of lack of money, recurrent borrowing, stealing from home and parents etc.
  • Excessive use of air freshners and room deodorants to hide smoke and marijuana odors.
  • Excessive and new found use of mouthwash or mints to cover up for smell of Cigarette and/or alcohol.
  • Secrecy to the extent of paranoaia about possessions or activities such as locking one’s room and insisting on it and so forth.
  • Academic problems such as negative changes in school work and performance, bunking classes or altogether missing school.
  • Missing sleeping or pain medictaion from parents prescribed medication or persuading parents to share their sleep medication.
  • Eyedrops to mask bloodshot eyes resulting from marijuana or alcohol use.
  • Lack of interest in personal hygeine and appearance.
  • Changes in clothing choices with new found fascination for “junkies” type clothing and fashion accessories.

Drugs and alcohol use in youngsters is something that is not to be taken lightly. Infact marijuana addiction is so rampant that there are more marijuana addicts in treatment for marijuana addiction than for all the other drugs combined.

The risk by which a person can fall for drug addiction after drug use is 10% but this is not the case with youngsters starting early. A research in 1998 asserted once and for all that if a teen starts using drugs and alcohol at the early age of 15, he or she has 40% chance of becoming an addict/ alcoholic as an adult.

Marijuana users are also seen to be engaging more in risky behaviors resulting in road accidents, physical fist fights and trouble with the law. This is due to the regular use of marijuana and it leads to changes in the brain which resemble those caused by cocaine, heroin and alcohol.