Legalization of Marijuana Increases Alcohol and Other Drug Use

Marijuana is one of the most widely abused illicit drugs in the United States. However, despite its ‘illicit’ nature, twenty-three states have already legalized it especially for medical use since the late 1990s. Other states such as Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have now legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. It’s now almost five years since marijuana was legalized in Colorado and in a span of those five years, the scope of drug use, abuse and addiction has changed a great deal and spread to other states – with most of these changes being for the worse. Marijuana can have devastating effects on the lives of people by affecting their brain structure and performance, social life and other health issues such as lung cancer. Additionally, it can be used for medical purposes.

When marijuana is use for recreation purposes is legalized, reaction from the medical marijuana community is often divided. This reaction ranges from enthusiastic advocacy to strong opposition; others are left in between. Recreational marijuana contradicts its medical uses because it becomes uncontrollable implying that even teens can access and use it. Marijuana is also being taken in large quantities or overdose unlike when it is used for medical uses, and lastly, whereas the medical use of marijuana treats several ailments, its use for recreational purposes can lead to dire consequences on both the user and the community. Currently, access to marijuana even among teens has doubled.

Read the entire article: Legalization of Marijuana Increases Alcohol and Other Drug Use

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Talk to your Teen About Summer Safety

Teen summer safety (1)Summer is around the corner and with it comes numerous risks for teens. Perhaps one of the most significant risks is underage drinking; though teen drinking has always been an issue, it increasing exponentially during this period. A report by the U.S Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that more than eleven thousand teens on average use alcohol for their very first time while 5,000 start smoking cigarettes and about 4,500 try marijuana (Carise, 2012, July 11). More idle or leisure time is attributed to this steep increase in the use of drugs by teens. As the director of the administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment reports, “These months include periods when adolescents are on a break from school and have more idle time; they have fewer structured responsibilities and less adult supervision,” Therefore, there is need for parents to parents, guardians and adults, in general, to supervise their teen or talk to them about drinking.

Read the article in its entirety, written by the ESAP Alcohol Committee Chair, Julia Brownfield: Teen Drinking and Parental Supervision

 

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