Teens who use cannabis to try to do by fascination or curiosity, or to try new things. Peer pressure may also play a role - or the impression that "all" have already taken.
"I smoke a joint from time to time over the weekend."
Teens who use it occasionally for leisure by the desire to do as the others, or experience the thrill of being able to let go.
"I smoke joints regularly, even during the week."
Young people often consume cannabis rather seek relief, they want to forget or to escape reality. Tension, depressed mood, lack of affection, etc.. are all problems that can lead adolescents often consume cannabis.
"I smoke every day and I can not do without."
When you are dependent, we no longer control its consumption. We consume because we can not live without it. About a fifth of 14 to 16 years who use cannabis does twenty times a month or more (ESPAD, ISPA 2004). A
Such frequency of consumption is a sign of probable dependence.
Someone who starts smoking joints does not necessarily smoking ever! Many are sticking to a simple test. Most are content with occasional consumption. But often consume some and some become addicted.
"All young people smoke joints!"
This is a false impression (see figures above). If a relatively large number of teenagers have tried cannabis, with boys more than girls, the fact remains that there is still much ever tasted. Among those who have already made, much more there retouch after a relatively short time or rarely consume. Only a small proportion of adolescents often consume cannabis.
"I can not sleep without smoking a joint!"
Both because of the frequency of the pattern of consumption, this indicates dependence. It is then important to consider a change in depth.
It is, on one side, to moderate or stop consumption and, on the other, to understand where the difficulty falling asleep and learn to sleep without smoking.
How can parents evaluate if their children use drugs?
When a young person takes cannabis, it is important to try to learn more and take into account the whole situation:
What life does he/she lead (at school, family, hobbies, relationships ...)?
How old is he/she?
When and why does he/she smoke, how much and how often?
Which place does this consumption occupy in the lives of the young person?
All this allows parents to assess better the situation and decide how they should react.
The overall context should be taken into account: it is not the same thing if a 17 year old person who studies well occasionally uses cannabis or if a young person of the same age feels not good and have trouble in learning. Smoking is then sometimes vain attempt to feel better when in reality it only increases difficulties.
This does not mean you have the right to start using cannabis: smoking joints always involves a great risk for our health.
When you are 18 you become an adult and you are wholly responsible for yourself. However, it does not mean that the parents have nothing to say when their adult children start smoking cannabis. They must deal with them situations that make them worry. We must also work out the rules applicable to the common life!
To properly know if a person s cannabis or other drugs, we must also take into account the age and adolescent development. Plus the younger person is the higher is the risk to become addictive because younger children are more sensitive to the effects of cannabis. This is not the same thing if it is a 17 year old or a child aged 13-14 start smoking.
A typical feature of the occasional use of cannabis:
Teens who smoke cannabis occasionally undergo drunkenness that gives them a special feeling of communion with others or allow them to experience something extraordinary.
But more often a person uses cannabis feel that there are lots of unsolved problems. When teenagers smoke to escape the stress, there is the risk to consume more and more frequently and in increasing amounts. That is why we must take a look particularly careful about the general situation when consumption becomes frequent.