While the 2012 Monitoring the Future survey, an annual report sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, revealed that underage drinking and tobacco use has decreased among teenagers, marijuana use, by comparison, is still fairly widespread. Though marijuana statistics have stayed steady from 2011 to 2012, this stall came at the end of a three year rise in usage rates among teens. And, though many may see this substance as a fairly harmless habit, one recovering heroin addict warns that, for some teens, that may not be the case.
According to a piece by The Pacer, a University of Tennessee at Martin publication, local resident and former addict Curtis Sommerville recently spoke on the subject of substance abuse at a Teen Center in the state.
“Smoking weed and drinking alcohol will lead you to asking the drug dealer, what else do you have to make me feel better?” Sommerville warned the high school students in attendance.
Sommerville had reportedly received a full academic scholarship to the University of Kentucky before his drug use caused him to abandon those aspirations and focus solely on his addiction. The source reports that Sommerville “didn’t learn until later that marijuana and alcohol were the two worst dangerous drugs to use,” because they ultimately led him to seek out heroin.
Though marijuana use among teens did not rise this year, an NIDA press release notes that the Monitoring the Future survey did reveal a drop in the perceived risks that participants associated with marijuana. This fact – paired with the number of states moving toward legalization – may result in a surge in use within the next few years.
If you are concerned about your child’s drug or alcohol abuse, reach out to a professional interventionist for advice. We offer youth interventionist services designed to help teens get back on their feet.