Back to School Stress and Marijuana Use
| Posted by: Avi Pinals. Avi is a high school student and intern in the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services
For kids, going back to school is a chance to see friends from last year, and an end to the free time they have during the summer. For parents, going back to school means buying new books and backpacks, and getting into the school routine again. For both of them, going back to school can also add stress to the end of the summer. A lot of times, when kids feel stressed they turn to marijuana as a way to relax.
Using marijuana gets in the way of getting good grades and being successful in sports and after school activities. Marijuana is illegal and can damage learning and memory areas in the developing brain. These side-effects can be long term. But marijuana use is preventable!1 Here are some steps you can take to help keep your child safer from marijuana when they go back to school:
- Talk to your child about marijuana; make sure they know how you feel about it. Set a clear “no-use” rule.
- Make sure your child knows your family’s rules and what will happen if they use marijuana, alcohol, or other drugs.
- Ask them how they feel, and who they would go to if they felt overwhelmed by the pressure of going back to school.
- Reward good grades and good behavior so that your kids will keep up the good work!
For resources for parents on how to keep youth safer from drugs and alcohol, visit DPH’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Service’s website. To learn about activities for youth in your area visit www.mass211help.org or call 2-1-1 (TTY: 508-370-4890).
If you have concerns about loved ones’ drug or alcohol use, visit www.helpline-online.com or call 1-800-327-5050 (TTY: 1-888-448-8321) 7 days a week. You can ask questions in confidence, or get information on prevention or counseling programs.