It is abundantly clear teens are smoking more pot than they are cigarettes these days. Though it is encouraging to see cigarette use diminishing, have teens simply replaced one bad habit with another?
Recent changes in state laws have allowed Colorado, Washington State, and Oregon to legalize marijuana use. With this growing trend, it appears other states will soon follow suit, making marijuana no longer an illegal drug.
This begs the question, just because a drug is legal does that make it any less of a risk? Many parents are rightfully alarmed over the growing social acceptance of this drug. Could teens with a history of drug addiction and substance abuse be further encouraged to use marijuana?
Do Teens Really Prefer Marijuana To Tobacco?
According to the CDC, smoking by teens fell from 20.5% to 7.4% from 1997 to 2013.  Though these numbers look promising, marijuana use among teens more than doubled rising from 4.2% to 10.2%.
Now that marijuana is being legalized, many parents are concerned about the implications this will have on their children, especially for troubled teens who may have already begun experimenting with drugs or who have a history of addiction. Will legalized marijuana make it easier for teens to use?
Unfortunately, many people believe legal drugs are safe. Just because a drug is legal does not mean it cannot harm a person, especially a teen whose brain is still developing. Though people often tout marijuana as being safe, a recent study proves just how much damage this drug can do to the brain. In the study, participants ages 13 to 38 who heavily smoked marijuana were followed. It was found they experienced as much as an 8 point drop in their IQ. 
Regrettably, teens are more likely than adults to become addicted to marijuana within the first two years of use.  Addicts often end up failing in school, experimenting with risky behaviors, and further complicating any mental health concerns they may have.
Parents who fear for their troubled teens can receive help and understanding through WinGate. We are a wilderness therapy program that offers treatment that goes beyond rehab so young people can learn the skills they need for sobriety and living a self-sufficient life. We help teens with addictions, mental health conditions, and behavioral problems.
Parents do not have to feel alone in the fight for saving their child from destruction.