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A lure for young teens, marijuana can take over lives
    #1541203 - 05/12/03 08:47 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)


Monday, May 12, 2003
A lure for young teens,
marijuana can take over lives


By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

At age 19, Ariel Hendricks has done a lot of hard living in a lot of suburban places.

During the past five years, she has bounced from Greenhills to Loveland to Fairfield to Forest Park, living with her mother, her father, a boyfriend, and a female friend who needed a roommate.

Now, Hendricks has a few things to say to people who think marijuana is mostly harmless. After getting deep into the drug at age 14, she wants people to know it took 13 months of residential treatment - in Milford - to break her addiction.

? Marijuana is harmless
? You can't get addicted to marijuana
? Marijuana won't hurt you - it's just a plant
? Marijuana doesn't make you lose control, it just makes you mellow
? Marijuana isn't as popular as other drugs like ecstasy
? There's not much parents or others can do to stop youths from experimenting.
Source: White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

"I had a lot of problems getting along with other girls," Hendricks said. "I wanted to be with the older, cuter guys. I wanted to be the party girl who would do anything, say anything."

Experts want parents to know that Hendrick's story is common for marijuana abusers in several ways. Those who start smoking pot in their early teens are much more likely to become addicted than those who start as young adults. And in addition to connections made at school, many teens find it easy to get drugs through older co-workers they meet at their part-time jobs.

Hendricks shared her story recently at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center as part of a "Marijuana and Kids" awareness campaign sponsored by the White House Office of National Drug Control and Policy.

The $150 million campaign, which pays mostly for anti-drug advertising plus materials for outreach programs, was launched in September. Cincinnati was the 15th city to host a roundtable-style discussion of marijuana issues.

Dr. Michael Spigarelli, a substance abuse expert at Children's who consults with the Hamilton County Juvenile Justice Center, said Hendricks' experience reflects many common trends among teen drug abusers.

Overall teen marijuana use has dipped slightly in the past year, but twice as many eighth-graders are trying pot now compared to a decade ago, according to the National Household Survey of Drug Abuse. That's important because nearly 12 percent of kids who start smoking pot at age 14 become addicted, compared to about 2 percent of those try it after reaching age 18, Spigarelli said.


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Re: A lure for young teens, marijuana can take over lives [Re: motaman]
    #1541310 - 05/12/03 09:31 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

*chuckle* Well duh, kids shouldn't be doing ANY drugs (including alcohol) at 14.

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