Marijuana is addictive, it can limit your potential, increase your risks for a number of psychiatric disorders, and there is a withdrawal syndrome associated with the drug.
Marijuana today is not what it was even a couple of decades ago, and parents may be underestimating the threat that marijuana poses to today's teens.
The potency of marijuana has increased many-fold in the last couple of decades alone, and it is as much as 6 times as strong as the marijuana of the 60's and 70's. With increased potency unfortunately comes an increased risk for social and health problems and addiction, and with addiction, the inevitable need to detox off of the drug.
Addictions professionals now recognize marijuana as an addictive drug, and there is a documented syndrome of withdrawal symptoms that occur when marijuana addicts try to break free from their habit. The intensity of these marijuana withdrawal symptoms may not be as great as with drugs like heroin, and they may not be as dangerous as a detox off of alcohol; but they are real, they are unpleasant, and they do pose a threat to recovery.
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms can include insomnia, irritability, aggression, nausea, a lack of appetite, headaches and very strong cravings for the drug. So strong are the cravings and so uncomfortable are the withdrawal symptoms that many people cannot get past the initial few days of intense withdrawal, and use marijuana again if only to make the symptoms of withdrawal go away.
Marijuana abuse and addiction is the number one reason for a teen entry into drug treatment or drug rehab, and so potent is today's pot that many thousands of kids have developed addictions strong enough to require residential treatment, and untold more thousands have developed as yet untreated addictions.
Heavy marijuana use brings an increased risk of present and future psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety and psychosis, is linked to certain cancers, is linked to developmental delays, and is strongly and negatively linked to academic performance.
The reality is that an occasional joint is very unlikely to do much damage, and many people can use marijuana recreationally at this occasional level. But when recreational use becomes regular abuse, and possibly addiction, the detrimental impacts of marijuana on quality of life and potential become very evident.
Many thousands of kids (and adults) need drug treatment each year for assistance bettering an addiction to marijuana, if someone you love is having difficulty reducing their usage or quitting altogether, there are programs and therapies available, and these can be very helpful for anyone committed to quitting.
It is not unusual for anyone to need professional help when dealing with an addiction, and with marijuana addiction as with any dependency, it is unlikely to go away on its own; and the sooner it's dealt with, the better the ultimate prognosis.