The latest information gathered by the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Survey indicates that marijuana use is on the rise, both in Oklahoma and across the country. Each year, Monitoring the Future collects data from tens of thousands of school-aged teens and pre-teens to place a finger on the pulse of drug and alcohol use and abuse by our nation’s children. Students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades are surveyed at public and private schools from coast to coast. The newest collection of data, for 2011, shows an increase in marijuana use among 10th and 12th graders with a slight decline in 8th graders nationwide.
Marijuana Use in Oklahoma Teens
Marijuana has long been a topic of debate among many individuals. As recently as July of this year, Oklahoma’s NewsOn6, the local CW affiliate for the state, reported that the state senate approved a study into the legalization of medical marijuana. With so much attention being paid to using what has until recently been considered a drug of choice for getting high for health benefits and structured, legalized uses, the experts at Monitoring the Future have noted that the disapproval rate for marijuana among teens has gone down. As the disapproval rates have gone down, so have the rates of perceived risk for the drug. After all, if medical marijuana is “good” for you, how can smoking marijuana be bad?
Declines in the disapproval ratings among teens, both in Oklahoma and across the US, concerning drug use do not stop with marijuana. Additional declines were found in the disapproval rates of:
Other studies, however, do show a significant problem with the use of marijuana — specifically by teens. Because the brain of an adolescent has not yet reached full maturity, the use of marijuana has been shown to have permanent, lasting effects on cognitive abilities, as reported by USA Today. The study showed that those participants who smoke marijuana during their formative teenage years, prior to the age of 16, were less capable of learning from their mistakes as they completed repetitive tasks.
What Other Issues of the Brain Should Oklahoma Parents Consider?
Another aspect to consider in the treatment of your teen is the concept of gender-specific programs. Information released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that boys and girls tend to think and react differently not only to the world around them, but to the drugs they ingest in general. Addressing these differences by segregating boys from girls can allow the treatment process to delve more deeply into appropriate issues while providing the students the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings in an environment where they feel more at ease.
In the event that your teen is in need of a treatment program for marijuana or any other drug or alcohol addiction, our experts here at Teen Rehab are ready to help you. Our specialists can provide services for co-occurring mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety. We offer a curriculum that includes recovery education, relapse prevention and complementary alternative services conducted on two campuses – one for boys and one for girls. For instance, our students engage in yoga several times each week, participate in group spirituality sessions and work with horses through our equine-assisted therapy program.
Obtaining the help that you need for your Oklahoma teen can be overwhelming. Please feel free to contact us here at Teen Rehab at any time to discuss your teen’s behavioral or addiction issues. Our staff of trained, compassionate professionals can help you and your family to make the changes needed to overcome these very difficult issues.
This help line is for anyone who is looking for treatment for a loved one or themselves. Advisors are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide private and convenient solutions to your questions.
Calls to this help line will be answered by Newport Academy, a sponsor of Teen Rehab.org.