Marijuana Essay – Time to Recognize the Problem
Marijuana (or cannabis) is one of the most widespread illegal weeds currently used in the United States and other countries of the world, including Europe. Although some states allow for medicinal use of cannabis, many people cross the boundaries set by law and use cannabis for recreational purposes. For instance, thousands of young people in the U.S. and Europe choose to smoke cannabis instead of regular tobacco cigarettes. Cannabis enjoys considerable popularity among youngsters. Peers greatly influence each others' behaviors, and if someone starts smoking cannabis, it quickly becomes a social norm. Unfortunately, these young people are also more likely than their non-smoking peers to develop serious mental health disorders.
This marijuana essay is designed to explore the present-day patterns of cannabis use among young people and provide recommendations to reduce the scope of the issue. This essay will provide recommendations on how to educate youngsters 12-18 years old on the dangers of cannabis use.
WHY IT MATTERS
Cannabis use is one of the critical aspects to be considered by nurses as they are working with younger populations. The thing about many young people is that they are simply unaware of the dangers surrounding the use of cannabis. Here we do not talk about medicinal use of cannabis, when young people with terminal conditions receive a cannabis recipe from a healthcare provider because it is the only way left to relieve their symptoms. Here we talk of the recreational cannabis use, which is becoming increasingly prevalent among youngsters. The statistics are staggering. Thousands of young people develop serious mental health disorders in response to extensive marijuana use. The more young people choose to use cannabis, the more they are likely to be admitted to mental health institutions. It is a matter of heavy financial and workforce costs in the healthcare system, as the inflow of patients with mental health problems due to cannabis use continues to increase. It is also a matter of social change: nurses assume responsibility for promoting health and preventing disease in their patients. Thus, if a young person does not have any indications for medicinal use of cannabis, it is better to explain to him and her what dangers herbal cannabis can carry in it. These include but not limited to poor health, disrupted social ties, crime and deviance, and so on.
HERBAL CANNABIS USE AMONG ADOLESCENTS
The current statistics on the use of cannabis among adolescents is incomplete. As the number of adolescents using cannabis continues to grow, it is difficult to catch up with the pace of change. Suffice it to say, thousands of adolescents have already learned the taste of smoking weed, while many others keep considering if they should join the cohort of their weed-smoking peers. Occasionally, the use of cannabis can improve adolescents' socialization patterns and communication skills. However, extensive reliance on smoking cannabis will certainly and inadvertently have negative effects on adolescents' mental and physical health. Dangerous sexual behaviors, deviance and crime, and poor family relations are just some of the logical extensions of cannabis use among youths.
WHAT GOVERNMENTS ARE DOING TO PREVENT DRUG MISUSE AMONG ADOLESCENTS
Since 2010, the national government has been investing heavy resources to minimize the risks of drug use and misuse among adolescents. Nurses, public health professionals and government representatives send a collective message of health and wellness to adolescents in an attempt to keep them from using cannabis. Besides, the government provides free nursing services to adolescents who have problems due to cannabis use.
Below are the latest strategies involved in stopping drug misuse among adolescents:
- Ensuring that all children receive enough support from their parents in the early age, so that they don't have any motivation to turn to cannabis;
- Delivering open, understandable and accurate information on the risks posed by drug and alcohol use;
- Empowering school authorities to take administrative action against the young people caught smoking weed on the school premises;
- Sponsoring local authorities to run public health programs to stop cannabis use among adolescents;
- Providing free treatment and counseling services to adolescents who have experienced problems due to cannabis use;
- Providing mentorship and guidance to those who want to improve their lives and step away from cannabis use.
The government currently has a compelling strategy for building a healthier community. Beyond mental health services, this strategy also covers social, employment, and family support opportunities for youngsters. The effects of the strategy are just now becoming visible to the society. For example, the emphasis in the healthcare system has shifted from treatment to full recovery. As a result, adolescents receive a full set of services needed to restore their capacity for education, employment, and leisure without cannabis. The strategy includes public health and mentoring resources aimed to restore young people's motivation to pursue ambitious goals in life.
WHOM THE STRATEGY TARGETS
This strategy targets the following population group:
Young people aged 12-19 years, of both genders, living across the U.S. who already smoke cannabis or simply consider trying it
The strategy targets young people who can be students or may be receiving home education
Many of these young people come from underserved and vulnerable socioeconomic backgrounds. This is why they are particularly vulnerable to the risks of drug abuse and misuse. Such youngsters often receive little support from their parents. They may have legal guardians assigned by local authorities, but these guardians will have a little say in the cannabis use decisions made by adolescents. These adolescents may have witnessed their parents using cannabis. This is why it is so difficult for nurses and public health officials to change their minds about smoking weed. Because of their vulnerable situation, they also find it difficult to refuse from cannabis, because it may give a short-term feeling of satisfaction in life. Some of these young people have already developed a cannabis addiction, which requires a systemic and coherent intervention. Some others may have already experienced the devastating mental health consequences of cannabis use.
An educational leaflet should provide enough easy-to-understand information about the use of cannabis, its risks, reasons not to smoke weed, advantages of healthy lifestyles, and strategies for preventing cannabis use and misuse in adolescents.
HOW TO DESIGN AN EFFECTIVE LEAFLET
While working on the educational leaflet, nurses should consider the levels of health literacy in the population group they are targeting. The leaflet should also contain large bold words, something like STOP SMOKING CANNABIS. They should be visible and attractive enough to young readers. They should be written in colors that are pleasant for the eye yet stand out against the rest of the text. The front page may also contain some symbols such as the red light, which symbolizes danger and requires that adolescents stop and think of their actions with regard to cannabis use.
This essay on marijuana does not provide any graphic content, but it is assumed that the leaflet will be printed on a green background that is nice for the eye. The word "Weed" or "Cannabis" should be presented in a color that corresponds to the real color of weed. It will be familiar for many young readers. As such, the leaflet will be interesting for adolescents. They will want to read through it. With the present-day computer technologies, there is no difficulty printing out hundreds of identical leaflets and distributing them among adolescents. Cartoon images or heroes can be used to build user familiarity and provide youngsters with a better understanding of the problem.
PROS AND CONS OF USING THE LEAFLET
The leaflet has positive and negative sides. On the positive side, it is cheap. Nurses will not have any difficulties printing out hundreds of interesting leaflets for young users. It is brief and concise. It provides all the information a young person may need to make informed decisions regarding cannabis use. It does not require any special skills and does not take too much time to be read. Besides, what is written in the leaflet can be further shared and discussed with peers and family members. The leaflet builds adolescent awareness and knowledge of the existing laws and risks associated with cannabis use.
Unfortunately, there are also some drawbacks. Adolescents should be interested in picking up the leaflet; without such interest, they will never read it. The leaflet is small enough and can be lost. Of particular importance are the risks posed by the leaflet: nurses cannot be sure that an adolescent who reads through it will not want to try some weed. Ultimately, adolescents who have mental health issues, who are mentally retarded or have disabilities may have difficulties managing the content of the leaflet.
Cannabis use is a highly prevalent problem nowadays. A small leaflet could provide all information an adolescent needs to reduce the risks of cannabis use, misuse, and abuse. Parents, community nurses, legal guardians, school counselors, and other stakeholders can participate in developing and implementing broader initiatives that would minimize the scope of cannabis use among adolescents. The example of the aforementioned leaflet can serve as a model for others to build adolescent awareness of the risks incurred in cannabis use.
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