Teen marijuana use at 15-year low, suggests NSDUH data - Sovereign Health Group
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Amidst all the mayhem caused by drug addiction and its impact on the American society, there is a small ray of hope. Marijuana use among adolescents has shown a downward trend in the United States. According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report, in 2016, 6.5 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 were current users of marijuana in the past month. The corresponding figure for 2015 was 7 percent. An analysis of the NSDUH data reveals that the cannabis use among adolescents witnessed a 15-year low in 2016. Such a welcome trend in adolescent pot use seems to defy the cautionary advice of the anti-marijuana activists and some experts who had forewarned the public that decriminalizing the drug would send wrong signals to teens.

However, the federal data indicates a rise in adult marijuana use. As per the NSDUH report, about 1 in 5 young adults aged 18 to 25 (20.8 percent) was current users of marijuana. This means that 7.2 million people belonging to the age group used marijuana in the past month. The percentage of young adults who were current marijuana users in 2016 was higher than the percentages between 2002 and 2015. The report findings also indicate that marijuana use is increasing among middle-aged and older adults.

Teens are vulnerable to marijuana addiction

Despite the declining trends in teen marijuana use, the fact remains that it is almost impossible to grow up in the U.S. and not be exposed to marijuana. American teens have always been vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction, especially marijuana, which is more seen as the coming-of-age drug. Just like alcohol and nicotine, experts say early exposure to cannabinoids, especially during adolescence, could modify the brain’s reward system by creating a dopamine rush culminating in dependence. Marijuana use disorder is attributed to delta-9-tetrahydro cannabinol (THC), the neurotoxin present in the drug.

Although many people tend to disregard the potential health hazards of smoking marijuana, users stand higher chances of getting hooked on the drug just as anyone who uses other mind-altering substances. The THC in marijuana is known to act on different areas of the brain such as basal ganglia, cerebellum, hippocampus and cerebral cortex, causing a dopamine rush in users. This feel-good-chemical dopamine compels users to indulge in frequent marijuana use to experience the same high.

Studies show that teenagers are thrice as likely to develop marijuana use disorder than adult users of the drug. Besides, being an easy-to-access drug, marijuana has the potential to push unsuspecting users to experiment with other kinds of dangerous drugs such as heroin, cocaine or designer drugs. Marijuana dependence in teens has several destructive consequences such as poor concentration, impaired short-term memory and damaged motor coordination. Adolescent marijuana users often ignore academic and recreational activities, skip classes and isolate themselves from family, friends and society.

Seeking professional help

Irrespective of the legal status or growing popularity of marijuana, it is a proven fact that cannabis is a highly addictive substance and people addicted to the drug need proper professional help from a reputed detox center to break free from its clutches. Sovereign Health is aware of the misery of teenagers struggling with marijuana use disorder. Our customized marijuana detox programs at our reputed marijuana addiction treatment centers in California are tailored to meet individual needs in order to treat the person holistically.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction to marijuana, contact Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California, which offers a variety of customized residential therapies for all ages, including troubled teens battling with a substance use disorder. Our licensed clinicians use several approaches to resolving each underlying problem. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives who are available for your queries.

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