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05-24 Pot use during teen years can lead to drug abuse later, finds study

Posted in Marijuana

Pot use during teen years can lead to drug abuse later, finds study

Contrary to the popular notion that developing addiction takes time and does not vary among people in different age groups, a recent study by the Université de Montréal has come out with a completely different observation. The research has found that boys who start smoking marijuana before attaining the age of 15 are more likely to have a drug problem in adulthood compared to adults who don’t start until they are a few years older.

Led by doctoral student Charlie Rioux, the results of the study, published in “The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry,” are based on the data collected on the pot use behavior of 1,030 boys over a number of years, beginning early 1980s. Done in several parts, the analysis began with the responses collected from the boys belonging to the age group of 13-17 years on whether they had ever smoked pot. The same question was asked again when they attained the age of 20. But the questions asked were a bit different when the participants attained the age of 28. This time, they were also asked about their exposure to other drugs, including cocaine, hallucinogens, amphetamines, barbiturates, tranquilizers, heroin and inhalants. On analyzing the data, the researchers came up with the following conclusions:

  1. The problem of drug abuse was higher among boys who started smoking marijuana at the age of 15 to 17 years.
  2. The risk of drug abuse was almost double in people who started smoking marijuana even before attaining the age of 15 years.
  3. Boys who started smoking weed during adolescence had a 68 percent higher risk of developing drug abuse problem once they were 28 years old. This risk was reduced by 31 percent for each year of delayed onset of cannabis use in adolescence.
  4. The risk was 44 percent among the boys who did not use the drug unless they were 15 years or above.

Apart from these, the researchers also deduced a connection between an adolescent’s drug use and his/her behavior. It was found that the boys who indulged in drug use at an early age displayed more signs of bad behavior, such as theft, damaging property, consuming alcohol or getting involved in fights compared to non-drug user counterparts.

Educate children about risks of smoking pot

The findings of the study emphasized the need for educating elementary school children about the risks associated with smoking pot at an early stage. Moreover, more and more U.S. states are gearing up toward marijuana legalization, which makes it all the more important for kids to understand the dangers associated with its use. “It may be important to implement these programs by the end of elementary school to prevent early onset of cannabis use,” said Rioux.

Apart from their lack of awareness, peer influence and unruly behavior are other risk factors that may push children toward early cannabis use and eventually, drug use as adults. Therefore, targeting these risk factors in drug prevention programs is important as these can work effectively to curb the problem at an early stage.

Recovery road map

Childhood and teen years are the most vulnerable stages of life. Therefore, it is important for parents and other adults to stay extra cautious and pay attention to any change in behavior. In case you find your child abusing any form of drug, especially prescription drug, it is imperative to seek treatment for prescription drug addiction at the earliest.

Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is one of the best alcohol & drug rehab centers offering comprehensive treatment programs for teen boys and girls. Call us at our 24/7 helpline or chat with one of our online representatives to know about the affordable addiction disorder treatment offered at our facility for teen prescription drug addiction. Your recovery is our victory.

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