I am in the process of writing about wonderful educational tools provided by the government, at no charge, that give parents a direction to go.
Additionally, there are great resources when it comes to mental health, health and substance abuse. This is designed to educate young people, as well as parents on the various hazards that kids face in this day and age.
Perhaps a good one to start with is Marijuana. It is well-known from the 1960s and there often is an attempt to get it legalized. I saw a lot of use of it in Vietnam. Many people think it is harmless.
In the program series “Tips for Teens” put out by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) we’re introduced to marijuana.
First it is good to know the street names. Marijuana can be called “weed,” “pot,” “grass,” “reefer,” “ganja,” “Mary Jane,” “blunt,” “joint,” “roach” and “nail.” I have also heard it referred to as a “fatty.”
What are the problems with using marijuana?
The first problem is that it affects your brain and on the heels of that it can affect your self-control. You may do things you would never consider doing if you weren’t smoking it.
Marijuana, as cigarettes, can affect your lungs.
Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of smoking marijuana is a problem that comes up again and again and that is there are no controls over how illicit “drugs” or “inhalants” are made. You have no way of knowing what is in that batch of marijuana.
If you are a parent or if you are a friend how can you tell someone may be smoking marijuana?
They may seem dizzy and have trouble walking; they have bloodshot eyes; they may have a problem with their memory and/or may begin acting silly for no good reason.
In the “Question and Answer” part of every publication there is usually a salient point and the publication for marijuana is no different.
It deals with the main misconception and that is that one can’t become addicted to marijuana. A person can become addicted to marijuana.
Once again, I have linked to provided the site where you can get this publication for free. It is something that is inoffensive enough it can be shared with a child.
Why do young people try these things? They try them out of curiosity; they feel they are “beating the system”…it is a form of control; they give in to peer pressure and sometimes they are depressed and this type of thing gives them a temporary respite from bad feelings.
As parents we need to take advantage of every resource available, especially when they are free.
SAMSHA “Tips for Teens” brochure “Marijuana”