The longer a young person waits to start using marijuana, the fewer consequences they are likely to suffer, according to research.  So, even if you think it is inevitable that your teen will someday try marijuana, postponing first use is still a good idea.

Consider these facts (from a NY Times article on 1/7/13):

  1. According to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “teenagers may be more vulnerable to addiction.  Those who start smoking at a younger age are at higher risk.  Approximately one in six will become addicted.”
  2. “Young adults who started smoking pot regularly before they were 16 performed worse on cognitive tests of brain function than those who started smoking later. They performed particularly poorly on tests assessing executive function, which is responsible for planning and abstract thinking, as well as understanding rules and inhibiting inappropriate responses”
  3. “Early exposure [to marijuana] perhaps changes the trajectory of brain development, such that ability to perform complex executive function tasks is compromised,” according to Dr. Staci Gruber, director of the cognitive and clinical neuroimaging core at the imaging center at McLean Hospital in Boston.

 

With these facts in mind, remember – delay, delay, delay – it is good prevention for your teens.