Marijuana Facts for Teens (NIDA)

Did you know that teen marijuana use has dropped dramatically since the late 1990s? So, if you were thinking everyone smokes marijuana, they don’t. Statistics show that about 7 percent, or roughly 1 in 14 teens, report using marijuana in the past month. However, many teens do not consider marijuana to be a harmful drug. Some believe it cannot be harmful because it is “natural.” But not all natural plants are good for you—take tobacco, for example.

One serious risk is addiction. In 2013, around 4.2 million people 12 and older had a marijuana abuse or addiction problem. It is not as harmless as you may think. Look inside this booklet to find out more.

Our goal is to give you the straight facts so you can make smart choices and be your best self—without drugs. And we hope you will continue the conversation and share this information with your friends, parents, teachers, and others.

Not everyone who smokes marijuana will become addicted—that depends on a whole bunch of factors, including your genes, the age you start using, whether you also use other drugs, your relationships with family and friends, success in school, and so on. Repeated use can lead to addiction, which means that people have trouble controlling their drug use and often cannot stop even though they want to. Research shows that about 9 percent, or about 1 in 11, of those who use marijuana will become addicted. This rate increases to 17 percent, or about 1 in 6, in people who start in their teens, and goes up to 25 to 50 percent among daily users.

A publication from the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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