Deviance is any act, attribute, or belief that violates a cultural norm and elicits a negative or positive reaction. peer pressure is a major contributor to the deviant behavior of marijuana use in young members of our society. Dealing with this peer pressure is a fact that most every teenager must sometime face. As teens grow older, they must face some challenging decisions, and peer pressure plays a factor when people your own age try to influence your decisions. Peer pressure is a major excuse as to why teens experiment with marijuana. smoking marijuana is deviant behavior. This drug use goes against the norms of society and its effects can be extremely negative.
Peers entice other young people to experiment with marijuana with the excuse that it is a safe drug. This is far from the truth. The Antidrug Commission published research of marijuana use on the brain. They found that “THC changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted on by the hippocampus. This is a component of the brain’s limbic system that is crucial for learning, memory and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations.” The THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main chemical in marijuana that gets you “high.” Using marijuana with its strong THC content suppresses neurons in the information-processing system of the hippocampus. When we learn behaviors, which depend on the hippocampus, they are deteriorated because of marijuana smoke. Short-term memory is needed to learn and perform tasks that call for more than one or two steps. Smoking marijuana causes some changes in the brain that are like those caused by cocaine, heroin, and alcohol.
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The effects of smoking marijuana on the respiratory system can do serious damage. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. These individuals may have daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds (www.drugabuse.gov).
It can destroy your immune system, because when you get “high”, your whole body gets “high” even your T-cells, which help to fight disease.
Regardless of the THC content, the amount of tar inhaled by marijuana smokers and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed are three to five times greater than among tobacco smokers. This may be due to marijuana users inhaling more deeply and holding the smoke in the lungs. This presents the problem of lung cancer.
There are other effects that marijuana has on ones body. It has been found to decrease sperm count in males. While intoxicated, you can get into an accident or make poor decisions like having unprotected sex. The examples of marijuana’s effects on the body are so numerous that mentioning all of them there would not be enough room on my paper. But what is interesting is that when one is offering marijuana to a peer, these negative effects are not discussed.
So why do peers have such an effect and influence on their counterparts when it comes to smoking marijuana? Often some young teens use it because they see older people in the family using it. There are even some teens that give in to the “hype” and do it because they hear songs that contain lyrics which promote a wonderful experience when using marijuana, or see it on TV as being a “cool” thing to do. Many teens feel the need to smoke marijuana and other drugs to help them get away from problems at school, home, and even with friends. There are those that use marijuana to make money. They become dealers and distribute it on a small scale or get into serious dealings and transport it from Mexico, or other countries. There is also those who profit by using marijuana by making hats, t-shirts, and even necklaces which are mode out of the hemp material. These people benefit from the popularity of marijuana by making a profit through promoting it.
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Marijuana can effect school, sports and other activities in a teen’s life. It effects judgement, memory, and alters your perception. The drug can make you do poorly in school, sports and even in your relationship with your family. The “high” feeling can make you make dumb mistakes that could hurt you and get you into some serious trouble. It has been said that if you smoke a lot, you can lose interest in sports, school and your friends. Smoking before games can effect an athlete’s performance. THC causes athletes timing to be off, movements to be slower, and coordination to be off. Marijuana can also effect one’s social life as well.
There is a common feeling among teens that you can smoke marijuana and drive an automobile but drinking alcohol is a no-no when driving. A study by Ilsa Kurtzhaler at Innsbruck University conducted a test concerning driving and the effects of marijuana use. He determined that “perceptual motor speed and accuracy, two very important parameters of driving ability, seemed to be impaired immediately.” The group that smoked marijuana exhibited a significantly higher impairment of cognitive (intellectual) functioning.
All these facts of the effects of smoking marijuana do not seem to be getting to the teen users. Marijuana is a social problem that effects these young teens that choose this drug as a means of escaping the problems in their lives. I believe that if the truth about its effects were as published as the effects of alcohol is, targeting the teen population, more teens would stay away from marijuana. If we raise our children to handle stress, become healthy individuals, and have confidence to “just say no,” it will be easier to deal with peer pressure. The best strategy is to have a healthy lifestyle of one’s own choice and friendships that fit into it. If others can make a teen feel inadequate or inferior, then they are vulnerable to peer pressure – about drugs or anything else.
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