Youth Medical Marijuana Use and Reasons for Self-Medication
"Underlying problems related to youth health concerns also need to be addressed. In many situations, the participants' symptoms appeared to be directly related to their life circumstances. Along with the challenges inherent in being an adolescent in today's complex world, some teens were also trying to deal with significant losses (death of a close friend or family member), extremely difficult family relationships, disappointments with friends, school and sports, and a fragile family and peer support network. The risk of substance use increases substantially when youth are attempting to deal with these kinds of situations in isolation. Although marijuana provided the youth with temporary relief, the underlying situation often went unattended – leading the teens into a regular pattern of use. Appropriate guidance and targeted support from counselors and health care providers must be sensitive to meeting the needs of youth as they work through such situations and life altering events. In addition, adults working with youth must find better ways to talk with young people about how they are coping with their health issues, including their marijuana use. Based on the experiences of youth in this study, there is a wide range of support that may benefit youth including counseling, stress management, social skills training, anger management, study skills, pain management, and sleep hygiene. The youth in this study had minimal access to these types of resources."
Bottorff, Joan L , Johnson, Joy L, Moffat, Barbara M, and Mulvogue, Tamsin, "Relief-oriented use of marijuana by teens," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy (Vancouver, BC: April 2009), doi:10.1186/1747-597X-4-7.