Hereís what young people say about problems connected to the use of weed:
This is why some people can be really relaxed using weed and some people are totally paranoid. And this can change from one time to the next for the same person.
- the drug itself
- unique body chemistry
- reasons for using
- the chemistry of your body, not someone else's
For example, some people use weed to help them focus better in school. But then they find their marks are going down because they forget more.
Some people use weed to control their anger but their friends tell them they are actually more aggressive than ever.
Some people use weed to sleep. They feel like theyíve had a deep sleep, but Rapid Eye Movement sleep is reduced. So they wake up really wiped and become even more tired through the day.
Some people need weed to feel normal, and this need increases. So they need more and more to feel normal.
Some people say they would never have tried other drugs if they had not been high on weed at the time.
Weed is still illegal and some users have been charged either at school or in the community with possession. One consequence of being charged is that you're not allowed to cross the border to the U.S..
Young people have found ways to reduce the risks of specific situations.
1. Hot-boxing or smoking in a car or other closed up space.
- You take in more THC than you would in an open space. THC is the chemical in weed that gets you high.
- The danger for impaired driving increases.
- Open a window
- Keep the driver out of the car so he/she canít drive
- Donít mix weed and any activity like driving, where you need good reflexes and motor control
2. Different results than you expect from combining drugs (maybe weed and alcohol.)
- Youíre not prepared for the feeling of sickness or for being uncomfortable because of mixing.
- Your safety is in jeopardy because of you havenít expected what happens.
- Donít mix drugs
- Have a buddy whoíll warn you in time, or watch out for you if you do mix drug.
- Know when to call for help ó 911, a parent, a taxi.
3. Problems at home
- Fights at home all the time
- Parent donít trust you any more
- Younger brothers and sisters look up to you and do what you do.
- Loss of privileges; even being kicked out
- Reduce your use or donít use at home
- Determine a set amount of money to spend in a week and donít go over that
- Talk with your folks about ways to cut back and how they can help you
- Set up time with a counsellor who will help you talk to your parents or someone you trust (teacher, relative)
4. Problems at School
- Your grades suffer
- Your reputations suffers
- Police involvement
- Younger students look up to you.
- Donít use at school
- Donít hang-out at breaks with the same crowd
- Get a friend to support your decision not to use at school
- Find out if you can talk to someone at school or in the community ó for example school counsellors or community youth program leaders.
5. Becoming dependent ó needing weed to get through the day or night
- You canít stop or slow down
- You donít feel OK unless you have smoked weed
- You are adding more drugs because weed doesnít work as well as before
- Weed is the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing at night.
- Talk to someone you trust Ė a friend, a parent, a teacher, an older relative
- Take a break Ė just for a week or a couple of days Ė see how you feel.
- Find out whatís available in your community to help you. See Finding Someone To Talk To
6. Losing interest
- You donít have any interest in the music you used to love
- Girls or guys donít have the same appeal they used to
- You canít get excited about activities like sports, favourite TV shows or movies
- Youíre not interested in going out with your friends any more
- Get a non-using girlfriend or boyfriend.
- Ask friends for their take on how youíre acting
- Substitute one joint for one other activity per week (like playing sports or going to a restaurant with friends)
- Look around you and see who youíre affecting with your use Ė your parents, brothers and sisters, friends. Ask yourself if they matter to you.
Check out if youíre in The Circle and if it can point you in the direction you want to go.