Marijuana Use in Teens: What Are the Stats? It’s More Harmful Than You Think

Talking to a teen about marijuana is not always easy. But it’s one of the most important conversations you can have with your children.

There is no safe level of substance use for teens, and that includes marijuana. Call the team at Rosecrance to access prevention, education, and intervention services or to schedule an evaluation for your teen.

The Stats About Marijuana Use in Teens

Talking to your teen about substance use, early and often, normalizes the discussion. It helps to back up your conversations with facts and statistics about marijuana use in teens.

  • 45% of U.S. high school seniors have tried marijuana.
  • Only 27% of high school seniors viewed regular marijuana use as harmful in 2017, a 58% increase over 20 years.
  • More 12-24 years olds are hospitalized for marijuana use than for any other illicit drug, with symptoms including panic attacks and hallucinations.
  • 10% of marijuana users will develop a marijuana use disorder, and the risk for teens is 4-7 times higher than the risk for adults.

Legal Doesn’t Mean Harmless

In the United States, marijuana has been legalized for medical use in 33 different states and for recreational use for individuals over age 21 in 10 states. Teens may believe that, because marijuana can now be prescribed by doctors or purchased legally by adults, it is safe.

It’s important to remind teens that all drugs, including those prescribed by a doctor, have side effects. And any drug can be harmful if abused.

This is especially true for teens. Regardless of a teen’s physical maturity and appearance, the brain is still developing through adolescence and into adulthood. Because of this, marijuana is more likely to alter the function of a teen’s brain, slowing development and increasing the chances of substance abuse.

Seeking Treatment for Teen Marijuana Use

The risks of marijuana use are serious and can be severe. Early intervention can reduce the chances of marijuana use disorder and even hospitalization. But if you do suspect your teen has a problem with substance abuse, there is help available.

At Rosecrance, we take an evidence-based approach to substance use treatment. Our comprehensive treatment combines best practices with behavioral science to create a roadmap for a lifetime of recovery.

To learn more or to schedule an evaluation for your teen, call Rosecrance at 888-928-5278.

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"Teens & Weed: Still a Big Deal"

Parents, don’t be stumped for answers to the inevitable questions about marijuana, especially now, when numerous states have legalized its recreational or medicinal use. Legal doesn’t mean harmless. There is no safe level of substance use for teenagers, and that includes pot. As a parent, you’re the most powerful influence in your teenager’s life. You need the facts to keep your teen on a healthy path.