Teen Marijuana and Alcohol Use

Forks Young Life is working with State Farm and the Washington Traffic Safety Coalition on bringing awareness on teen .......

Dear Editor,

Forks Young Life is working with State Farm and the Washington Traffic Safety Coalition on bringing awareness on teen marijuana and alcohol use. As part of the grant, Young Life is doing a variety of projects such as hanging posters, presenting a breakout session at the school’s MVP event, and holding up signs to traffic in Forks to bring awareness of the issue.

Drug and alcohol use is a huge problem in the U.S. and according to HIDTA, 9 percent of Washington’s eighth-graders, 20 percent of 10th-graders and 26 percent of 12th-graders use marijuana.

When marijuana smoke is inhaled into the lungs it doesn’t take long for the THC to enter the bloodstream. From there it is quickly transported to the brain and the rest of your organs. THC triggers the brain to release large amounts of dopamine, a natural occurring “feel good” chemical. THC changes the way you process information, so judgment may be impaired.

It also can cause mood swings, anxiety and depression. It also may be difficult to form new memories when someone is high. Changes also take place in the cerebellum and basal ganglia upsetting one’s balance, coordination and reflex response. All those changes mean it’s not safe to drive while under the influence!

Teen alcohol use is an issue in our community and alcohol related crashes have taken lives from our town. From ages 12 to 20, 22.7 percent of teens engage in underage drinking. A total of 4,358 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides and other injuries. Alcohol effects all organs of the body, but most profound effect on the liver and can cause problems with brain development in teens.

Some teens who drink alcohol regularly may not learn how to handle stressful situations without drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a sedative, so drinking alcohol makes it harder for a person to think and act quickly. It slows down thinking and moving, and it makes a person less alert.

Teen drinking and marijuana use is a major problem that is only increasing each year. The opinions of others and small unimportant wants related to drugs and alcohol are not worth the consequences and deaths of thousands of people. People have to be wise about what they subject their bodies to.

Forks Young Life