Recently, a survey was conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that indicates that while teens are saying no to most drugs, their use of marijuana seems to be on the rise. Also, the survey found that the number of teens who think that marijuana is dangerous has continued to drop over the past decade. Further, the study also concluded that more teens are using marijuana than in the past several years. The study’s researchers say that relaxed attitudes about marijuana, combined with legalization in certain areas, have probably contributed to the increased use of marijuana.
“We should be extremely concerned that 12 percent of 13- to 14-year-olds are using marijuana,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The children whose experimentation leads to regular (marijuana) use are setting themselves up for declines in IQ and diminished ability for success in life.”
The survey’s poll included responses from over 41,000 eighth-, 10th- and 12th-grade teens from 389 public and private schools. When they asked about their marijuana usage over the last month, 23 percent of the high school seniors surveyed said that they had smoked marijuana at least once along Eighteen percent of 10th-graders and 12 percent of even the eighth-graders also indicated that they has smoked marijuana within the last month. According to the researchers, drug use among the youngest teen age group (8th graders) surveyed should be a wake up call and a warning for parents and public health officials alike.