Report shows weed use among teens higher than ever

When it comes to teenage drug abuse, the San Diego health report shines a light on a problem that appears to be getting worse: more marijuana use among seventh graders. KUSI went to another source to get confirmation.
“It's really easy to bring weed to school and get away with it. And it's easy to go smoke a bowl in the bathroom and get away with it,” said recovering drug teen Brittany.
At age 16, Brittany already knows a lot about drugs, and so does 15-year-old Marisa and Bryce, and Keylee, who's 17. They're all patients at a residential rehab program at the McAlister Institute in El Cajon, working to recover from drug addiction. All of them told KUSI that they began by smoking marijuana.
“I actually got expelled for smoking (pot) on campus in middle school,” said Marisa.
None of them seemed surprised when the San Diego County's report was revealed, finding that more seventh graders are getting high on weed.
“Everybody likes smoking weed nowadays,” continued Marisa.
“A lot of kids don't think about it at the time,” said Bryce. “They don't think that 'this is going to make a big difference in my life.'”
Their stories all had one strong common thread: starting early with marijuana paved the way to other drugs.
“Some people get bored with it,” said Brittany. “Some people are just like…”

“They get tired of the high,” chimed in Bryce.

“They get bored; they want something new,” said Keylee.

Bryce started smoking pot in the 6th grade, and so did Marisa. Brittany discovered pot in the 7th grade, so did Keylee who didn't want to show her face in the interview.
“Right when middle school ended going into high school, I started experimenting with ecstasy. And I started doing cocaine. And I tried heroin. That was my Freshman year.”
When people say marijuana isn't harmful, these teens say they know that's not true.
“I just wanted to ditch school and go smoke weed,” said Brittany.
“I thought when I first started smoking that nothing was going to happen to me,” said Marisa. “But now look at me: I'm in detox, you know.”
“The younger you start, the younger you start other things,” stated Keylee. “And it doesn't lead anywhere good.”
The teens let me know that marijuana is easy to get, sold in a place where there are lots of drug-buyers every single day.
“And that's where I used to get my weed, all the time at school,” said Marisa confidently.

“That's where I picked up,” said Bryce.

“That where I got mine, if I needed a sack, at school,” said Brittany. “I think people could make younger kids more aware of how bad it is, what it could do to you and that it is harmful,” concluded 

The teenagers told KUSI that their schools all had “say not to drug” programs, yet as Brittany said, they say no – never telling why. While Tuesday's report clearly defines a problem, it also suggests a number of solutions, including education for teens and parents to help families stay vigilant. Free drug-testing is available at the McAlister Institute and at the 11 teen treatment centers funded by the county.
Categories: KUSI