UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN
P.O. BOX 175, PORT OF SPAIN
Overview of Final Paper
Presented in Partial Fulfilment
Of the Requirements of the Course
BHSC440-01 – Topics In
INSTRUCTOR: Narsha Modeste
15th October 2018
Adolescent Marijuana Use and the Associated Risk Factors.
Marijuana use has become an increasingly prevalent issue among adolescents, teens and young adults. More and more adolescents have begun to state that they use marijuana in different forms regularly, even seeing it as normal. Factors such as socioeconomic status, parental monitoring, family structure and environmental factors also have been suspected to be linked to adolescent marijuana use. The purpose of this paper is to explore the issue of marijuana use among adolescents and discuss the different factors that may influence its use.
Forms of Marijuana Used
Marijuana can be ingested in many different forms. According to research done by Friese, Slater, & Battle (Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017), marijuana infused food products also known as edibles are consumed by many adolescents. The most popular form of edible is the brownie but other forms of edibles include cookies, candies and cupcakes CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017). This form of marijuana can be easily accessed in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. Friese, Slater, Annechino, & Battle (2016) found that youth obtained edibles from other students who either made them at home or who resold the ones the obtained from dispensaries. The accessibility of these edibles may be connected to the high use of marijuana among adolescents. Of the participants surveyed by Friese, Slater & Battle (2017), results showes that edible users were heavier marijuana useres than non edible users as well as more likely to have used marijuana both within the last month and on school property. Frequent use of marijuana has thus been linked to the use of edibles as opposed to other means such as smoking CITATION Bet17 l 1033 (Friese, Slater, & Battle, Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California, 2017).
Risk Factors within Peer Groups, Families and Neighborhoods
It is common knowledge that peers have a strong influence on adolescent behaviour. Research has shown that in relation to adolescent substance abuse peer groups have a strong relationship with adolescent behaviour CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, & Dwyer, 2011). The research showed that “an increase in the proportion of close friends and classmates who uses marijuana by ten percent will increase the likelihood of individual marijuana use by approximately five percent…” CITATION Mir11 l 1033 (Ali, Amialchuk, & Dwyer, 2011). In addition to this, the study showed that both close friends and acquainted classmates can have a similar influence on adolescent marijuana use. Interestingly, adolescent marijuana use was found to be common regardless of their socioeconomic status CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, & Johnson, 2017). There are also that both school level and neighborhood level socioeconomic status factors were linked to marijuana use CITATION Car171 l 1033 (Milliren, Richmond, Evans, Dunn, & Johnson, 2017). However, According to Oshi, et al. (2017), “parental monitoring of adolescents’ school activities did significantly protect against the lifetime use of marijuana according to the researchers”
The research on this topic provides insight into the global issue of adolescent marijuana use. Edible forms of marijuana have a higher rate of intake than simply smoking the drug and can lead to frequent or excessive marijuana ingestion. Peer groups of both close friends and lesser acquainted classmates can both have an influence on marijuana use in adolescents. Family structure is linked to lifetime use of marijuana but not from the single parent vs two parent family as usually assumed. All in all, it is clear to see that not only is adolescent marijuana use present both in the Caribbean and the United States, but that many environmental factors can contribute or be possible risk factors toward marijuana use in these adolescents.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Ali, M. M., Amialchuk, A., & Dwyer, D. S. (2011). The Social Contagion Effect of Marijuana Use among. PLosONE.
Friese, B., Slater, M. D., & Battle, R. S. (2017). Use of Marijuana Edibles by Adolescents in California. Journal of Primary Prevention, 279-294.
Friese, B., Slater, M. D., Annechino, R., & Battle, R. S. (2016). Teen Use of Marijuana Edibles: A Focus Group Study of an Emerging Issue. Journal of Primary Prevention, 303-309.
Milliren, C. E., Richmond, T. K., Evans, C. R., Dunn, E. C., & Johnson, R. M. (2017). Contextual Effects of Neighborhoods and Schools on Adolescent and Young Adult Marijuana Use in the United States. Substance Abuse Reseaerch and Treatment, 1-10.
Oshi, D. C., Abel, W. D., Ricketts-Roomes, T., Agu, C. F., Oshi, S., Harrison, J., . . . Ukwaja, K. N. (2017). Family Structure, Parental Monitoring and Marijuana Use among Adolescents. West Indian Medical Journal, 536-545.