Drug Czar Warns Parents of Dangers of Marijuana - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/9/08

Drug Czar Warns Parents of Dangers of Marijuana

A new government report indicates that teens are using marijuana to fight depression but, instead, that's adding to the problem. 

Since a review of dozens of scientific studies finds that teens who use marijuana are 40% more likely to later develop mental illnesses like schizophrenia and three times more likely to think about suicide.

The nation's Drug Czar says the real problem may start with parents who think of marijuana as a "soft" drug.  John Walters, White House Drug Czar, says, "I never hear anybody talk about methamphetamine as soft drug, or crack as a soft drug -- but I do hear that about marijuana, and it is true that sometime parents think when they discover this 'Well, at least it's marijuana.'"

Walters says that one way to stop a child before lighting up is to look for signs of depression in that child and to seek help.  In addition, he says sometimes the child at risk may be the over-achiever who is putting on a happy face to hide depression.

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