Teen marijuana use has many common substance abuse concerns. Marijuana is the drug that is tried most often by adolescents and young adults, and many believe that this drug is a gateway drug which can cause the user to view all substance abuse as harmless. Adolescents may move from this beginner substance to harder drugs and alcohol. Teen marijuana use has been shown to cause numerous problems, especially when used during the formative years. The brain is still developing, and substance abuse concerns over how this drug impacts brain development are valid. This is the substance that is most likely to be used by teenagers, and it can affect every area of their lives. Between one fourth and one half of all high school students report having used marijuana within the past month, depending on the grade level surveyed. Older teens were far more likely to report teen marijuana use than younger grades.
The substance abuse concerns with teen marijuana use are numerous. Since this drug impairs the normal inhibitions that the user has the teenager under the influence may engage in risky behaviors and unsafe sexual practices. This can lead to teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and even serious injury or permanent impairment. Teen marijuana use can affect how well a teen does at school and on the job. The drug can interfere with motivation, and the user may feel like they have little energy. This substance can impact memory, learning, and attention, something that all adolescents need in order to succeed in life and even just to finish school and graduate.