Keeping our Teens Drug and Alcohol Free

Celebrate Drug-Free Choices on 4/20

4/20 is often code for using marijuana. It is also a day that the marijuana industry offers discounts and organizes festivals. You might even see local bakeries and restaurants offering THC and CBD infused specials.

This can be tempting for our teens, but the real cause for celebration is that most DHS & HPHS students choose to be drug-free.

  • 88% think their parents would disapprove of them using marijuana
  • 86% do not use marijuana
  • 63% think marijuana use is harmful to their health

With 4/20 approaching, it is a good idea to have an open dialogue with your teen about ways to navigate their curiosity and the peer pressure they may face due to this “holiday” celebrated by some people who use marijuana. Helping your teen establish strategies for these situations help better prepare them for this day.

– Lauren Maldonado, Deerfield Public Schools District 109 School Resource Officer

It’s important to talk about marijuana with your child as much as you talk to them about alcohol. Data now shows that youth are actually more likely to try marijuana before they try alcohol or tobacco. And that risk is higher in states that legalized retail marijuana.

Youth most likely to use marijuana:

  • live in neighborhoods with marijuana retailers
  • are exposed to marijuana advertising
  • like or follow a cannabis business on a social media platform
  • have positive beliefs about marijuana
  • believe people important to them would approve of their use

Sadly, marijuana use is associated with depression, poor memory and attention issues. And high potency THC is linked to increased risk for anxiety disorder, addiction and the reported use of tobacco and other drugs.

This Marijuana Talk Kit has guidance on what to say, what words to avoid and how to handle tough questions. Local data, Illinois law and more can be found on CTAD’s Marijuana Parent Guide and Marijuana Fact Sheet.

Sources: Frontiers in Psychiatry, March 2021; JAMA Psychiatry, Nov 2019; The Lancet, July 2022; Addiction, Nov 2020; Journal of Health Communication, 2020; Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2019; J Stud Alcohol Drugs, 2022; Chicago Tribune, 2022; DHS & HPHS Illinois Youth Survey March 2022