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Marijuana Use: Substance Disorder in Adolescence

Marijuana Use: Substance Disorder in Adolescence


The factors that most adolescence use marijuana and the reason for substance disorder in adolescence.  In research and according to (Dolgin, 2010) alcohol, marijuana and tobacco are the most frequently used substances by adolescents.  The reason is rebellion, want to fit, see what it feels like, disdain for outdated society, family use drugs, and mental health issues.   According to another study by (Bertrand et .al 2013) which explain factor that is an association with intervention between adolescents and family (1) changes in adolescents’ substance use and parenting practices, (2) changes in parenting practices, and (3) parental use of services offered by substance abuse treatment centers.   Drug intervention with adolescents is so imperative that more successful programs should be developed and readily available to the community and the public.


Evaluate current research related to your chosen topic in adolescent development


Adolescent marijuana use: The impact on the developing brain.

There are several studies that suggest that regular marijuana use decreases IQ (Meier et al., 2012) which another researcher has challenged for not accounting for a confounding effect of socioeconomic status( Rogeberg, 2013], and another suggesting that “recreational use” causes brain abnormalities (Gilman et al., 2014).  With peer pressure and curiosity for adolescent leads most adolescents to experiment with these substances (Dolgin, 2010).  Adolescence is a crucial developmental period characterized by marked physical, emotional and intellectual changes, as well as changes in social roles, relationships, and expectations, all of which are important for the development of the individual and provide the foundation for functioning as an adult.

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The fact that mental health issues with adolescent could cause or encourage adolescents to use alcohol or drugs.  Adolescents go through a crucial stage in which their body, brain chemistry, and home life change rather drastically.  This crucial stage in an adolescent’s life can cause them to have feelings of confusion, anxiety, sadness, and even anger.  However, when adolescents have these feelings can cause a behavior problem for adolescence.

Problem or concern for adolescents that used marijuana


There are some problems with adolescent using marijuana, and reason adolescents will try marijuana and the reason is peer pressure, the family who use marijuana and wanting to be popular around others.  However, half of the United States having “legalized marijuana in some form” (Gilbert 2016).  In addition, according to (Rylander, Valdez, and Nussbaum 2014, 270) the use of marijuana if not medical marijuana use, it causes impaired-driving incidents, marijuana-related hospital admissions, etc. Pure rebellion and disdain for outdated society norms drive other adolescents to begin testing out different substances (Dolgin, 2010).  Much of the research on the long-term cognitive effects of cannabis has focused on heavy users. It’s not clear whether there’s a safe level of use and the impact marijuana has on the brain development, and whether the brain changes with marijuana use are permanent, or if the brain can recover with time (Jacobus, J., & Tapert, S. F. 2014).

Intervention Program for adolescents with Substance Abuse

According to (Dolgin, 2000) and other researcher have shown that the most effective drug treatment approaches are naturally comprehensive because has less school dropout, and family are included with treatment.  Drug intervention with adolescents is so imperative that more successful programs should be developed and readily available to the public.   Research has revealed that family-based treatments are highly effective in treating adolescent substance use (Bertrand, Richer, Brunelle, Beaudoin, Lemieux, & Ménard, 2013).

Family relationship and social relationship with adolescence substance

Both social relationships and parental influences are associated with adolescent experimentation of addictive substances (Loke & Mak, 2013).  Adolescents that have one or two heavy episodic substance abuse parents are much more likely to experiment with substances according to research.   However, when it comes to a family member who uses substance adolescents are more likely to take risks in social settings than they are when they are alone.   However, peer pressure is the biggest problem with an adolescent’s initiation of substance experimentation.  Peer pressure is the number one factor of substance use continuation and maintenance (Gopiram, & Kishore, 2014).


  • Bertrand, K., Richer, I., Brunelle, N., Beaudoin, I., Lemieux, A., & Ménard, J. (2013). Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: How are Family Factors Related to Substance Use Change? Journal of Psychoactive Drugs45(1), 28-38. doi:10.1080/02791072.2013.763560
  • Dolgin, K. G. (06/2010). The Adolescent: Development, Relationships, and Culture, 13th Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from
  • Gilman JM, Kuster JK, Lee S, Lee MJ, Kim BW, Makris N, van der Kouwe A, Blood AJ, Breiter HC (2014) Cannabis use is quantitatively associated with nucleus accumbens and amygdala abnormalities in young adult recreational users. J Neurosci 34:5529–5538, doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4745-13.2014, pmid:24741043
  • Gopiram, P., & Kishore, M. (2014). Psychosocial attributes of substance abuse among adolescents and young adults: A comparative study of users and non-users. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 36(1), 58-61.
  • Loke, A. Y., & Mak, Y. (2013). Family process and peer influences on substance use by adolescents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10(9), 3868-85. Retrieved from
  • Meier MH, Caspi A, Ambler A, Harrington H, Houts R, Keefe RS, McDonald K, Ward A, Poulton R, Moffitt TE (2012) Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109: E2657–E2664, doi:10.1073/pnas.1206820109, pmid:22927402.
  • Rogeberg O (2013) Correlations between cannabis use and IQ change in the Dunedin cohort are consistent with confounding from socioeconomic status. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:4251–4254, doi:10.1073/pnas.1215678110, pmid:23319626


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