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03-23 Depression, alcohol and marijuana can push adolescents toward synthetic marijuana

Depression, alcohol and marijuana can push adolescents toward synthetic marijuana

The percentage of high school and college students smoking marijuana in the United States is on the rise, say various reports. Studies say that consuming weed at this age can lead to various mental and behavioral problems like depression and schizophrenia. Looking at the situation, a recent study titled “Longitudinal Predictors of Synthetic Cannabinoid Use in Adolescents” suggested how signs of depression, consuming alcohol or using marijuana can increase the probability of abusing synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) a year later.

The study, published online in the journal Pediatrics in March 2017, tried to examine if adolescent marijuana abuse can predict misuse of SCs over a period or vice versa. SCs are a large group of chemicals similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana

The researchers observed 964 high school students and collected data about their SC and marijuana use, alcohol and other drug use, signs of depression and their tendency to be impulsive along with demographic details. The high school students were required to provide details to the same questions a year later as well.

The researchers found that with reference to mental health conditions, depression symptoms helped predict later SC use. The same was not suggestive of symptoms pertaining to anxiousness and impulsive behavior. The findings indicated that though depression symptoms increased the likelihood to use SCs, their presence did not make the user more inclined to use marijuana.

Elucidating the observations, senior author of the study Jeff R. Temple, a clinical psychologist at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said, “The potentially substantial risk associated with using synthetic cannabinoids even once highlights the critical importance of identifying and targeting potential risk factors. Our findings suggest that prevention and intervention efforts may benefit from targeting depressive symptoms and alcohol and marijuana use to potentially reduce adolescent use of SCs.”

Why do teenagers prefer SCs?

An understanding of why adolescents love to exploit SCs indicated how accessibility, misconception of their legal status, affordability, attractive labeling and missing out during the screening process made SCs a preferable option compared with other drugs.

The observations of the study are important considering the fact that the findings would help in formulating and implementing necessary and effective drug prevention strategies or executing drug intervention programs.

Teenage alcohol abuse or misusing the easily accessible weed can lead to various problems. More detrimental is the fact that when these addictive habits become worse and manifest themselves as dependence on more harmful substances or alternative illicit drugs, treatment can become difficult. The associated signs of depression or anxiety disorder can make it difficult for clinicians to diagnose if mental health conditions are the cause or the result of addictions.

It is necessary to consider timely treatment to help adolescents get away from substances and improve the related symptoms for a happy and healthy life. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego offers substance abuse treatment to adolescents aged between 12 and 17 years. A host of biophysical and medical assessments helps evaluate the root cause of problems and understand the severity of the addictive habit. In addition to this, certified medical practitioners screen patients for any possibility of comorbidity of emotional disorders and dependent behaviors.

Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-615-7266 or chat online for necessary information about treatment of marijuana abuse in teens or to get expert advice about relief from teen alcohol addiction . The experts help instill in their patients’ reasons to look forward to their lives while dreaming of a better future bereft of any form of dependence on illicit substances.

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