Advice needed re teenagers and smoking/weed.(68 Posts)
Apparently all the friends are doing it. I guess it's commendable that the conversation is being had. The desire to try is big. And some sensible procedures are allegedly being put in place. I don't want to rant and rave and shout and say no and wreck any decent communication we have. I know alcohol/smoking/drugs are kind of inevitable. But it bothers me. Any advice?
Drum it into their heads that whatever they do, DO NOT mix it with tobacco.
I would advise him of the psychological impact of smoking weed, the data for psychiatric hospital admissions and marijuana, the fact it's a gateway drug etc
Do you have any older teens/20s who can talk to him about their experience with weed and friends that smoke it?
Is he sporty? Could you also encourage his sport participation in a bid to counter the desire to smoke?
What's the difference sue with mixing it with tobacco? I guess I could find a cousin fir a Chat. Is the Ask Frank website any good?
Don't know what "sue" is doing there.
The psychological impact of smoking weed is less than the psychological impact of alcohol (which is far far more harmful both to the user and society). The gateway drug argument is also a red herring.
If you want to minimise any harm then its important that you furnish them with the facts, not scare stories - because they WILL find out they are scare stories and then start to doubt all the bad things they have been told about the harder drugs which are genuinely dangerous.
Cannabis is not physically addictive - but tobacco is, and the most common way to take cannabis is with tobacco. They won't get hooked on the cannabis but they WILL get hooked on the tobacco very easily - and that's a hard addiction to shake.
How old is your teen Trust? If under 17 I would suggest that you discuss (as mentioned above) the long term implications it can have psychologically, particularly if smoked during a period where your brain is still physically growing. In all though, if the urge to try is there it will be very difficult to outright forbid it. I used to make brownies with my friends in university and have fond memories of that time. I can say it never led to hard drugs, it all depends on how sensible you feel your teenager is and how confident you are intheir ability to moderate if they do try it. I'd also try and establish WHY they wish to try it, understanding their reasoning may help you approach it with a counter argument your teen will be open to!
Is say avoid tobacco too as that is the addictive element. I do know a few people who smoked weed and took up smoking as they became addicted to the nicotine.
I am not meaning to be rude, but you are speaking with authority there. What qualifications do you have for this?
I know alcohol/smoking/drugs are kind of inevitable.
Are they? Alcohol seems to be, but the other two? Not always (personal opinion)
I'm with Nanny on this. I'd like Harold to provide relevant back-up for those statements so that the OP is properly aware so that if she says X she is accurate.
As for the "are kind of inevitable" comment, I always find that bizarre. "It's what teenagers do" type of thing. Some, yes. Others, no. I have still never been drunk and have never touched drugs or tobacco and I am now 40 and certainly wasn't the dull or geeky type at school and I can honestly say the vast majority of the people at was at school with didn't smoke or try drugs.
I think it's worth making a distinction between 'skunk' and alternative lower strength weed like 'Thai' and 'Rum' weed.
The latter being a lot less potent tends to be grown in the sun as opposed to being farmed under artificial lights. I think there's a different chemical compound from growing under sunlight... It's akin to having a few beers or sinking half a bottle of vodka.
I think it's worth discussing the issues of harder drugs as that is where the real danger lies.
Nobody ever died from overdosing on weed.
I was allowed to smoke cannabis as a teenager, it ended up working well, me and my siblings would occasionally smoke cannabis but it didn't go further than that, as an adult I don't take drugs or smoke.
I think there is a huge difference between the young people who smoke cannabis at parties or on a Friday evening and the young people who skip school to smoke cannabis or wake up in the morning, light up and then stay in bed all day.
I'm not sure I will be as brave as my mother was about openness and acceptance around drugs when my dc are teenagers but it can be a good way of dealing with the issue of drugs.
The children I grew up with who's parents were of the "just say no" attitude unsurprisingly didn't just say no.
I'm probably going to be the one person who says this, but I don't see a problem with it. I'm still undecided about legalization, but I think it needs to be decriminalized.
The gateway drug argument is also a red herring.
I believe this too, Harold.
But OP, it's up to the individual. I would say do what you think best, although usually, if a teenager wants to try something, they generally will anyway. The best thing to do is to make sure that if they do, they are as responsible as possible.
<Also waits for Harold's response>
I always understood that the phychological effects of marijuana stemmed from the fact that teenagers were smoking it while their brains were still growing so it caused more damage than if an adult was smoking it. As has been mentioned upthread.
My Dbro was a big weed smoker and definitely had psychological problems for many many years. I have put the latter down to the former. I do realise that this doesn't consitute a formally study though.
I'm planning to get stoned with DS when he starts asking questions (hopefully late teens) - seems to be the safest way of doing it.
Get some munchies in, a SNES with Mario and we'll be well away
I work with mental health teams and young people and it certainly DOES impact on mental health. Just because drink does as we'll doesn't make canabis safe!
It's also illegal op which is important for him to consider
'I can honestly say the vast majority of the people at was at school with didn't smoke or try drugs.'
Possible. But also maybe not true. I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say 'Well I don't know anyone who takes drugs' and had to stifle a laugh because I can think of plenty of people they know who do.
I think smoking dope is extremely prevalent in the under 55s, and the younger people are, the higher the percentage who do. That doesn't mean it's a great thing for someone to do, it doesn't mean it's a terrible thing for someone to do.
My main concerns with young people trying it would be that too much can quickly be a habit, with it effecting motivation and energy levels.
I occasionally indulged at parties etc. as a teen but I have a friend who is a psychiatrist and he told me that a very significant number of those admitted with psychosis have been smoking skink or other strong weed (he used to smoke weed too as a student but no more). I have strongly discouraged my DS's.
I'm inclined to agree with Numanoid - many many young people and kids dabble with weed with no / few consequences.
I remember getting stoned out of my tree (literally, we were in someone's little brother's tree house at a house party!) when I was about 16 and coming home and telling mum and dad all about it! They asked if they could try some
I think if your child is being this open about it, and they're interested but not out of control then it's best to let it take it's course. It's frankly tame compared to some of the stuff they could be getting up to, and for many (particularly nice middle class non-rebellious kids) a rite of passage. If I found my teenager was trying a spliff I really wouldn't be that concerned apart from wanting to know the quality of what they were smoking. I unwittingly smoked a joint laced with PCP once (was my last ever) and I have never felt so ill.
I'm sure some groups of teenagers don't take drugs or drink, my dp has never ever tried a cigarette and he has never been so drunk that he felt ill the day after.
I think if you have teenagers who have friends who are all smoking cannabis you need to react differently than if you have dc who have friends who are quite cautious about these things.
I think it is unlikely that young people will be dissuaded by their parent's opinion and possibly if you are very strict about cannabis and the teenager smokes anyway they may consider harder drugs to be no big deal as their parents were so strict about cannabis and it isn't that serious so maybe the parents are wrong about pills and ecstasy aswell.
Just to add that I would have more concern about it becoming a habit and the phase being a long one.
I don't have much advise about getting teens to then stop smoking it - as mentioning it just seems to add fuel to the fire.
Lots to be said about being honest with teens about experiences and them being able to talk to you. Mine swore blind she's never touched weed (untrue) and took moral high ground, it was the worst thing she could have done as it just reinforced my belief that she didn't understand/we had nothing in common/she's from the stone ages etc
A guy nearby smoked that much his mum thought he was taking drugs when he started to stop smoking it - seems she'd never noticed his smoking an ounce a week...
Good point about the legality, I had a friend arrested at an airport because they had forgotten they had a small amount for personal use in a pocket (numpty!) He is in the kind of profession where he could have had opportunities in America but he can't because of one stupid incident.
Kids at the very least need accurate up todate information about the actual risks ... This way they can make a risk assessment. Anecdotal stuff and oh loads of teens do it is fine but make sure they have the facts ... Including the risk of psychosis
In my experience as mother of two twenty somethings I have to agree they do pretty much all do it. My friends would say the same of their highly respectable offspring . Although I would rather they didn't smoke anything at all or take anything at all I cannot get myself worked up the occasional social use of weed and believe it should be legalised.
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