Synthetic Marijuana Use in Teens Related to Riskier Behavior

As a parent, you probably worry about your teen smoking a lot of things, but “fake weed” probably isn’t one of them–it should be, though. “Fake weed” or synthetic marijuana use in teens has been going up and it should be troubling parents more than it has so far.

Putting the word “fake” in front of weed doesn’t make it harmless, it still poses some very real risks. According to new studies, these risks need more attention than they’re being given.

Synthetic marijuana use in teens linked to worse habits

Marijuana has been deemed the “gateway drug” for years and years now, but “fake weed” may be replacing it. A new study recently looked into synthetic marijuana use in teens and how it affects teenage behavior.

In the study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found a strong link between synthetic marijuana use in teens and a higher chance of behaving violently and using other illicit substances.

The data was pulled from a 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey that included over 15,500 students, grades 9 to 12. The survey measured behavior in four areas: violence, mental health, sexual health, and substance use.

They discovered that almost 1 in 10 high schoolers have experimented with synthetic marijuana at some point. Of those who had used synthetic marijuana, nearly 100 percent had also used marijuana. Compared to students who had only ever used marijuana, synthetic marijuana users were much more likely to start using before the age 13.

Heather Clayton, head researcher of the study and health scientist in the CDC, described the shock of these results:

“The findings indicate that students who report using synthetic marijuana are possibly on a very concerning health trajectory, which is particularly serious given that synthetic marijuana use is relatively common among adolescents.”

It’s obvious that synthetic marijuana use in teens poses a health risk to students today. Synthetic marijuana has been known to cause more than simple dizziness or confusion, it can lead to seizures, psychosis, paranoia, anxiety, aggression, or dependence in the most extreme cases. This makes it a true threat to youth.

If you believe your teen may be struggling with substance use issues, it’s incredibly essential to seek out a professional to help guide you through this difficult time.

Elevations is here for your family

Elevations RTC is a residential treatment center for struggling teens, ages 13 to 18. Our students often grapple with anxiety, defiance, trauma, depression, ADHD, synthetic marijuana use in teens, and other emotional or behavioral issues.

At Elevations, we use a combination of a focused therapeutic lens, real-world environment, secure setting, and caring staff to foster growth and success in our students. Dealing with synthetic marijuana use in teens can be difficult for a family, which is why Elevations is here to help guide you through it.

For more information about how we help with synthetic marijuana use in teens at Elevations RTC, please call .

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