Radio Show Notes: What Do Today’s Teens Use Most? Marijuana or Cigarettes?

Every generation faces new challenges to keep their kids safe. We’ve done a great job educating ourselves and our kids about the hazards of cigarettes. But now, it seems they’ve traded that vice in for another. 

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(I’m talking about these in the first 10 minutes of the show today)

VIDEO location:

Cigarette usage is down, but they’ve traded the ciggies in for marijuana in stead.

Here are the data:
A survey of 46,482 students from 396 schools found that 16 percent of eighth-graders, typically 13 and 14 years old, admitted to using marijuana, up from 14.5 percent in 2009.

More than 21 percent of high school seniors, aged 17 and 18, said they had used marijuana in the past 30 days, while 19.2 percent said they smoked cigarettes. This is the first time marijuana use has passed cigarette use in the survey.
The survey found more than 6 percent of high school seniors use marijuana every day, up from 5 percent last year. More than 3 percent of 10th graders and 1 percent of eighth graders said they used marijuana daily, all increases over 2009.

What’s the problem? 
These high rates of marijuana use during the teen and pre-teen years, when the brain continues to develop, place our young people at particular risk,” National Institute for Drug Abuse director Dr. Nora Volkow said in a statement.

Not only does marijuana affect learning, judgment, and motor skills, but research tells us that about one in six people who start using it as adolescents become addicted.
Much has been made, of late, about the legalization of pot; about the fact that it is not physically addictive like the nicotine in cigarettes; about “boutique” brands of weed; about the mini-series WEEDS … and all this may be the reason why kids more frequently smoke pot. 

What can/should we do about it?
Education. Regardless of what you think about the consumption of marijuana for adults (or alcohol or adults, or tobacco for adults), our kids need to be educated about the impact of this drug on their mental state and performance. 

The world always changes, and we are called to continually step up to those challenging situations. It doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong in the world (today’s pot was yesterday’s LSD, and before that it was alcohol, and before that it was actually opium!!). It simply means that, now that it is our turn at the wheel, we’ve got to do our part to steer the ship in the right direction. When we’re done with our turn, we’ll pass it off to the next generation, who will have new challenges to navigate.  

Oh, by the way. What about Binge-Drinking?
The survey found binge drinking, defined as having five drinks or more in a row, was down. Just over 23 percent of high school seniors admitted to binge drinking in the past two weeks, compared to 25 percent in 2009 and 31.5 percent in 1998.

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower’s website.

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