Several recent studies have suggested an associative link between cannabis use and psychosis stressing an increased vulnerability during adolescence. This increased risk has everything to do with stress on the developing brain. The most recent study in the “Archives of General Psychiatry”, released on-line in advance of print.
Marijuana, while sedating in some, causes an increase in anxiety levels and paranoia in others. Use of M.R.I. testing showed that heavy use of marijuana caused brain abnormalities quite similar to those seen in people with schizophrenia. In those individuals who already have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, the brain abnormalities were shown to be more pronounced. Also a major concern was that the damage occurred in areas of the brain related to auditory and language function as these areas continue to develop during adolescence.
In marijuana, the concentration of THC, the plants psychoactive compound, is relative to the development of addiction. The stronger the concentration of the THC, and the more marijuana smoked, the greater the risk of dependence. Those individuals who suffer from one of the mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, can have an exacerbation of symptoms including mania and rapid cycling.
The bottom line to all who choose to indulge, especially young people, do so with the knowledge that risks are involved. We hear a lot about pot being harmless, or not a big deal such as cocaine or heroin. However, it is a psychoactive drug changing the actions of the brain. All such drugs have risks involved in their use and caution should be taken.
Did you know that your kids can easily access drugs, even more so than when you were younger? Does this mean they should be regularly drug tested to prevent such activity? Or will this just cause them to feel like their privacy is violated? This is an important issue in parenting and must be addressed before it’s too late.
Besides sexual relations, drugs are probably one of the most awkward things to talk about with your kid. Unfortunately, even just talking about drugs might not be sufficient to curb its use. You must confront them, and the time is now. In fact, parents who have such conversations with their teenage children experience a dramatic decrease in the likelihood of their children being drawn to drugs.
But even after mustering up the strength to talk, how do you as a parent know your kid is honestly taking your advice?
The solution is testing for drugs, in the confines of your own home. If your teen is bored and is offered drugs, what will deter them more than the thought of testing positive to his/her own parents? You may lose some popularity among your kid and his/her friends, but it will all be worth it. “My parents might drug test me” stands up much better to the pressure of peers than most other responses!
With the thought of losing such newfound privileges as operating a vehicle, being able to go out on weekends, teens will end up using drugs far less and therefore spending less time with their drug abusing peers.
Luckily, in home drug tests are more affordable than you might think. You can easily start testing your child’s urine for drugs, alcohol, and even nicotine, with results coming in just a matter of minutes. In case things go bad (which they often might), sites like drugfreenetwork.org include lists of local drug shelters and addiction counseling centers to rescue your kid from the deep end. You can test your kids urine, but saliva is probably the best.
Your kit will also include a rundown of the multitude of drugs your teen might end up trying, along with side effects, reactions, and other dangers of such illicit substances. Who would you rather find your kid under the influence of drugs and alcohol: you or some police officer? Perhaps you’d want the principal of his/her school to be the first to know? I thought not. Save your child’s future, reputation, and maybe even his/her life by starting in home drug testing today.