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Cannabis & Youth

Concerned about your teen using cannabis?

As a parent or someone who cares for and is involved in the lives of teenagers, you probably have many questions and concerns about your teen using cannabis.

In Simcoe Muskoka about 1/3 of high school students report using cannabis in the past year and 1 in 10 report using it at least once per week. Most high school students say that it is easy to get cannabis if they want to and that they usually get it from a friend.  In addition, 1/3 of high school students feel that regular use of cannabis poses little risk to their health.

Young people tend to see cannabis as a natural, harmless substance and think “everyone is using it”. They also often believe that it won’t affect their abilities and even that it can make them better drivers. There is also a widely held belief among youth that cannabis is not addictive.

Regular and early use of cannabis in adolescence can cause harm to the developing brain and is linked with behavioral and mental health issues. While it is best not to use cannabis at all, young people can reduce their risks by waiting as long as possible before beginning use – ideally until their mid-twenties when the brain is fully developed.

Despite what many teens believe, the fact is that one out of every six youth who use cannabis during adolescence will develop dependence. Whether a person develops a cannabis use disorder depends on many factors such as other drug use, recent life events, gender and, importantly, their relationship with their parents.

Want to know more?

Need help?

If you or somebody you care about experiences difficulty controlling their use seek professional help.  For resources in your community contact: Connex Drug and Alcohol Helpline.


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