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The original item was published from 9/21/2023 5:44:00 PM to 9/21/2023 5:48:55 PM.

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Mental Health Support Services - Prevention Services

Posted on: September 21, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Help Prevent Underage Marijuana and Cannabis Use

Underage marijuana use awareness. Know the risks. Have a conversation.

Teen users are at significantly higher risk of developing an addictive disorder compared to adults, and the earlier they began using, the higher their risk. People who begin using any addictive substance before age 15 are six-and-a-half times as likely to develop a substance use disorder as those who delay use until age 21 or older (28.1% vs. 4.3%).

Know the Risks

Learn the risks and impacts of underage marijuana use, including:

  • Problems with attention, learning, concentration, memory and problem-solving
  • Decreased life satisfaction
  • Increased risk of mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis
  • Poor academic and job performance
  • Relationship issues
  • Poor judgement and decision-making
  • Lack of balance and coordination
  • Potential overdose from smoking too much cannabis or consuming too many edibles
  • Today’s cannabis has three times the THC that it had back in the 1990’s, which increases the impact on the brain

Know the Signs

Recognize the signs of marijuana use, including:

  • Drug-themed clothing, jewelry or decorations
  • Bloodshot eyes or ongoing use of eye drops
  • Unusual laughing, forgetfulness or coordination issues
  • Strange smelling clothes or bedroom
  • Unexplained lack of money or ongoing requests for money
  • Frequent use of incense and other deodorizers
  • Presence of drug paraphernalia

How to Start a Conversation with Youth

Safe Storage

Increasing number of youth have been to an emergency room or hospitalized after accidentally consuming marijuana. Help prevent both accidental and intentional use by youth by storing your marijuana and cannabis products safely and securely. Residents in Chesterfield County can pick up free medication disposal pouches and locking bags on a first-come, first-served basis at any Chesterfield County Public Library location.

How to Get Help

Chesterfield County Mental Health Support Services offers a variety of available services, including:

There are a variety of substance use treatment providers available in our community. Visit to search for a provider in your area.

Additional Info...
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