Counseling Parents and Teens on Marijuana



A new report provides guidance for pediatricians based on existing evidence and expert opinion/consensus of the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding counseling to teenagers and their parents about marijuana use. 


I believe these guidelines are useful not just for pediatricians, but for any professional interested in providing accurate information or counseling about marijuana consequences to youth and their parents.    


First, the article briefly reviews research on the health consequences of marijuana use among youth. 


The critical role parents play in protecting their youth from negative consequences of using marijuana is illustrated by this quote from the report:


Parents who use marijuana may not fully realize the problems that their own use may present for their children’s health; the effect that their modeling of recreational use may have on their child, adolescent, or young adult; or the risks of ingestion and/or secondhand smoke.


A key recommendation provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics is to use motivational techniques like screening and brief interventions for both cannabis abstaining, as well as regularly or heavily using youth. 


One such evidence-based screening and brief intervention is the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program, which has been shown to prevent and reduce marijuana, alcohol and tobacco among adolescents: http://preventionpluswellness.com/sport-prevention-plus-wellness/


Another evidence-based motivational strategy is the InShape Prevention Plus Wellness screening and brief intervention proven to prevent and reduce marijuana and alcohol use among college-aged youth adults: http://preventionpluswellness.com/inshape-prevention-plus-wellness/


Both screening and brief interventions are unique in their additional targeting of fitness and health habits, like physical activity and healthy eating, and improvement of positive self-identity among young people. 


Lastly, the report provides a useful handout of ten talking points about marijuana effects to discuss with parents and teens.      


Read the full report today: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/02/23/peds.2016-4069

Please comment below and share with others.  Thank you!



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