There is help for teens who use marijuana

May 12, 2023

I appreciated the May 11 Well+Being “The Weed Report” special section article about the risks for adolescents who use marijuana, “Parents are not ready for the new reality of teen cannabis use.” There has been too little attention paid to this issue. I have personal and professional experience with young people who have struggled with substance use and also know of adolescents who have suffered cannabis-induced psychosis (including some instances where there was not a significant amount of use). The effects can be long-lasting and tragic, as the article pointed out. It’s one of the reasons I support decriminalization but not legalization, although that ship has mostly sailed. The need for more regulation by independent bodies is paramount.

One hopeful thing to add: Sober college programs across the country give teens who have struggled with addiction the support they need to navigate college. The most comprehensive one I have seen is the StepUP program at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. It has been a game changer for many young people.

Opinion | There is help for teens who use marijuana

Sober college programs across the country give teens who have struggled with addiction the support they need to navigate college.

Second Opinion: Bridging the Divide Between Mental Health Care and Addiction Treatment

Op-Ed: Bridging the divide between mental health care and addiction treatment

One diagnosis can eclipse another, leading to a skewed approach. Integrating care and cross-training professionals shows promise.

Concerned Mom’s Reaction to the above LA Times Opinion

It’s frustrating for parents if we can’t get conservatorship of our loved ones if they are mentally ill and homeless. The lawyers say, they are adult, they are well dressed, they can make their own decisions, even if they are living on a dirty mattress in a van and using their SSI money to buy marijuana, which every day makes them more mentally ill.

Frustrated parents like this feel that their technically adult children have been “stolen” from them by modern American pot culture, and once this happens, doctors, lawyers, police and social workers all cite that modern culture, saying that it is freedom, the American ideal.

Now that we know that marijuana CAUSES psychosis in under 25s, through the undeniable research work of biologists such as Sir Robin Murray (Kings College 2015), and brain scans from the Amen Clinic, this evidence should be acceptable to present to conservatorship lawyers, so that parents can reclaim their adult children into health, by having control of their disability money, so that their loved ones cannot buy marijuana.

This is the only way to reverse the damage already done by under 25 marijuana use. Psychiatric holds, SSRIs, antipsychotics and locked mental wards are only temporary cures, which are negated as soon as the person goes back into American society and resumes taking what is now a legal substance. ABSTINENCE, enforced if necessary, by their family, until they are able to eliminate marijuana residues and begin to adapt to a sober reality, is the only cure. This might take about a year, which is the normal length of time for a conservatorship before it has to be legally reconsidered.

I was originally granted the status of Representative Payee for my son’s SSI disability payments, and he was unable to buy drugs. He lived with me for a year and got better, returning to college and pursuing his future. But then he started smoking pot again.

I was unable to obtain Representative Payee status again as my son had wizened up to the legal rules, and was uncooperative in letting me have control of his money. Social Security will not make me his Representative Payee unless I can gain conservatorship of my son.

I wish we could get the current scientific research (marijuana causes psychosis and mental illness in under 25s) as presentable evidence and grounds for being granted conservatorship of our children. Are there any lawyers who would be willing to take this on?

–A Concerned Parent

Editors Note: Here’s the 28 page PDF document of the new California Health Care Foundation report which outlines why dual-diagnosis disorders create too much red tape and clinicians are forced to treat only one disorder, not dual, in order to get reimbursed. Unfortunately, it only mentions marijuana once.