Manitoba Daily

Saturday, December 9, 2023

A Winnipeg organisation blames cannabis as the major cause of youth addiction

Cannabis, according to a Winnipeg nonprofit, is a major cause of juvenile addiction.

Key Takeaways:

  • The primary contributor to addiction among young people, according to the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM), is cannabis.
  • According to countrywide data, the average age at which persons experiment with alcohol and cannabis is 13, and the average age at which they do so is 14.
  • On the website of Drug Free Kids Canada, there is also a parent support section that might help in tackling potential teen addictions.

Cannabis is cited by the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) as the main cause of addiction among young people.

Cannabis is widely considered the drug of choice for young people seeking treatment for addiction because it is legal and simple.

Kate Evans, prevention and education specialist, Addictions Foundation Manitoba, claimed that 64% of the young people that come to the center are there because of cannabis.

The brain does not fully mature until age 25 is crucial, and any alcohol or cannabis exposure can be detrimental to that development.

Cannabis usage isn’t the only issue; alcohol abuse and dependence continue to be problems.

Also read: Due to the labour scarcity, employers are trying to entice new hires

According to AFM, more than a quarter of its youth are receiving assistance due to alcoholism or dependency.

According to Evans, the issue with alcohol and cannabis is the widespread availability and acceptance of items.

“But mainstream culture doesn’t take it as seriously as it should. You know, drinking is accepted,” added Evans.

“Now that cannabis is legal in our province and has been so for a few years, both are normalized somehow.”

Drug Free Kids Canada’s numbers are startling and a departure from what has typically been observed.

“We were constantly exposed to statistics that indicated young children experimented with alcohol, but alcohol was the preferred substance, followed by cannabis. However, according to Chantal Vallerand, executive director of Drug-Free Kids Canada, this is a shockingly high number.

Data nationwide show that 13 and 14 are the typical ages at which people experiment with alcohol and cannabis, respectively. The more time it is postponed, the better.

“The less likely it is that addiction will form. According to Vallerand, 90% of those who struggle with addiction as adults first used drugs or alcohol when they were teenagers.

Parents who don’t support the behavior can help loved ones who might be abusing drugs.

Allow them to suffer the repercussions of their poor decisions, Evans urged.

“Letting kids experience those bad repercussions can encourage children to have greater responsibility for themselves,” the author says. “Whether it’s cleaning up their vomit, perhaps the following day, or having to explain a late project at school.”

Cannabis, according to a Winnipeg nonprofit, is a major cause of juvenile addiction.
Cannabis, according to a Winnipeg nonprofit, is a major cause of juvenile addiction. Image from Providence Treatment

According to both groups, many people utilize substance used as a coping method.

According to Vallerand, “kids at a younger age don’t have the mental capacity to make those rational choices, these informed choices about their health and then all of a sudden the wiring in their brain about is being able to cope, reduce anxiety and also experimenting joy and happiness… all of a sudden these wires are coated with cannabis use.”

Parents, according to her, may assist by setting a good example and having frank discussions with their children.

“To tell your kids, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t notice, but I’ve had a glass of wine to unwind for the past four days. There may be alternate options. Would you like to accompany me on a walk? Would you like to play chess with me? She stated

Drug Free Kids Canada’s website also features a parent support center that assists in addressing potential teen addictions.

So, Vallerand explained, “parents have access to a social worker who can assist them and point them to certain tools we have on our website, which is available to chat with them around the clock.

Source: Global News

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