Monday, November 8, 2010

Its National Drug Facts Week

Making things Worse… Depressed Teens use Marijuana to Self Medicate

This week is National Drug Facts Week, a week dedicated to giving students the opportunity to ask questions and get real answers about the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. There are many events happening at Van Buren High School this week where students can talk. Videos are being shown, quizzes are being given and fact walls are going up around the school. A different drug is being highlighted each day. On Monday the drug was Marijuana so the SAFE coalition wanted to share some information with the community about Marijuana…….

Millions of teens report feeling hopeless and losing interest in everyday activities for weeks at a time. Many of these teens are making a bad situation worse by using marijuana and other drugs in an effort to make themselves feel better.

· Over the course of a year, two million teens report feeling depressed.1

· Depressed teens are more than twice as likely to use marijuana as non-depressed teens. Twenty-five percent of depressed teens used marijuana during the same period they report feeling depressed.

· Depressed teens are more than twice as likely as their peers to use or become dependent on marijuana.

· The odds of developing symptoms of depression are more than five times higher for girls who smoke marijuana daily than for girls who do not.

Research shows that using marijuana can worsen depression and lead to more serious mental health problems. In fact, teens who used marijuana at least once a month in the past year are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than teens who don’t use marijuana.

If you see a change in your teen’s behavior, do not dismiss it as a “phase.” Your teen could be depressed, using drugs – or both. Now is the time to take action:

· Talk to your teen. Young people who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to try drugs than those who don’t hear from their parents.

· Set clear rules and consequences for breaking them.

· Recognize signs and symptoms of marijuana use, including depression, withdrawal, and hostility.

· Get help. Depression is one of the most common emotional problems for teens and the most treatable.

· Find out more about how to keep your teen healthy and drug-free at

To join the National Drug Facts week event you may check it out on Facebook or Google! You may reach out to the SAFE coalition as a local resource if you know someone who may be experiencing a problem with drugs alcohol or tobacco. Their number is 319-293-6412 or via email at

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