Teens At Risk Of Marijuana Dependency

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Because individual motivations to use drugs can vary greatly, it can be difficult to know which teens will experiment with marijuana and then stop and which teens will develop a dependency on marijuana. Although any adolescent can develop a marijuana dependency, some are at higher risk than others.

Some of those high-risk individuals may have one or more of the characteristics as follows:

• Family conflict and discord: Adolescents whose parents are often in conflict, frequently absent, or inconsistent in setting boundaries and guidance are more likely to use illegal drugs such as marijuana. Teens may use marijuana to cope with family stress, low self-esteem, depression, anger, and anxiety.

• Detachment from peers: Some adolescents, particularly girls who mature physically much sooner than others, may feel out of place.

• Cognitive differences: Adolescents with cognitive differences like attention deficit disorder or extraordinary intelligence may feel excluded from the mainstream, and find that drug use means ready acceptance among a group of new friends.

• Drug-using friends: Adolescents with friends who use marijuana are more likely to use marijuana themselves.

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