02 March, 2017
Government numbers show marijuana use is a "thing" with teens with 40 percent having tried it and 20 percent actively using it. It's now more concentrated, increasing the risk, the academy says, of overdose and addiction. The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks so, and they've issued new guidelines this week for doctors and parents to talk with teens about the risks associated with using marijuana. But as dispensaries pop up in cities and towns across the country and reefer madness-style hysteria has largely died down, doctors are anxious that attitudes towards teenage marijuana use aren't serious enough.
"Parents will say, 'I use it moderately and I'm fine with it, so it's really benign and not a problem if my kid uses it, '" Dr. Seth Ammerman, one of the co-authors of the report, told NBC News. But, says Dr. Ryan, today's marijuana is much more potent and potentially more risky.
The experts said that parents should discuss it with their children as the parents are the role model for their kids and it is their duty to make them realize that it can lead them to abnormal brain development and impact memory.
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Recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that 77% of USA adolescents aged 12 to 17 thought there was "no great risk" associated with smoking marijuana once a month.
The study states a growing number of teens see marijuana as acceptable and safe.
The report appears in the February 27 online issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Research also suggests that the sooner a young person begins using a substance, the more likely it becomes that they will develop an unhealthy dependence or addiction to it. The brain continues to develop through a person's early 20s.