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Familial Substance Abuse Month – Parental Marijuana Use

6% of parents smoke marijuana in front of their children. To adolescent brains are far more vulnerable to the psychoactive effects of marijuana than adults; potentially leaving permanent changes in the brain. In addition, marijuana is a gateway drug to nicotine and Big Marijuana melds perfectly with Big Tobacco and Big Vaping’s strategy. 


40% of people who smoke marijuana end up smoking tobacco. With kids vaping at 3-4 times the rate of adults, we caution parents who attempt to normalize the discussion about marijuana as this also has the secondary consequence of nicotine addiction. The younger a person starts using marijuana the more likely they are to become exposed and addicted to nicotine. 


In the short term, if an adult, 25 years and older, use marijuana at the right dose to relax, reduce anxiety or sleep it is perceived as helpful. Yet longer-term use, especially in teens and young adults under the age of 25, could lead to an escalation of chronic anxiety. Anecdotally, I have heard instances where adults taking edibles develop panic attacks which recur for as long as a year after the ingestion. 


It is important to remember that medicinal marijuana’s focus use is not to get high, but rather to improve cognition and reduce pain and hence if a cancer patient uses marijuana they are less interested in the amount of THC in the plant but rather more interested in the amount and types of cannabinoids in the plant. As the THC increases in the marijuana, so do users going to the ER for panic attacks or paranoid episodes. Additionally, 6% of marijuana users become addicted and 88% of teen and adult ER psychiatric admissions have used marijuana. 


“Example is not just one way to effect change, it is the only way.” 

– Dr. Albert Schweitzer


Smart Approaches to Marijuana

National Institute Drug Abuse

Alcohol Anonymous
For people concerned about their own drinking.
(617-426-9444)Al-Anon and Alateen
For families and friends concerned with the drinking of a family or friend.

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