Teen alcohol use down while marijuana use rises - AmericaNowNews.com

Alcohol use down, marijuana up

A new survey indicates that fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol, but more are using marijuana. That information is coming from a survey conducted by Monitoring the Future.

( Survey details: http://monitoringthefuture.org/data/11data.html#2011data-drugs )

"It's pretty common in high school," said Ronnie Barajas, a 14-year old high school freshman, who considers marijuana to be bad, but says many teenagers are using it these days. "A lot of kids are smoking weed because they think it's not bad, and they think it has no effect on them."

But experts say that's far from the truth.

"The adolescent brain is still developing, and marijuana alters the makeup of the brain and chemistry," explained Jamal Givens, director of prevention, training, and neighborhood services at CODAC Behavioral Health Services. "That leads to behavioral issues, emotional issues, and education issues as far as not being able to focus or study, or even graduate from high school."

Local teens also think the survey findings reflect how much easier it is to buy marijuana than it is to buy than alcohol.

"You can pretty much buy marijuana from anyone on the street," said Elise Pesqueira, a 14-year old high school freshman. "But with drinking, you have to go through this whole process of finding someone who would buy it for you, and it's harder."

Pesqueira adds that she considers marijuana use to be "disgusting," and hopes other teens think about their actions before trying it.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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