Mental Health & Teen Substance Use: Marijuana & Vaping
We've all been through a lot in recent years — but especially our teens, with missed graduations or proms, disrupted routines, increased isolation, and stress and anxiety about health or loved ones’ health. Oklahoma teens are facing a mental health crisis — more than 1 in 3 high school students have reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness¹.
To cope, Oklahoma teens are using marijuana and vaping more than ever. While you may know about the physical effects of vaping and smoking, did you know it's also a mental health concern?
Teens may feel like using these substances helps them manage their stress, anxiety or depression, but self-medicating can make mental health worse for underage users and have long-term effects on brain development. As parents, teachers, coaches, siblings or other mentors, we need to support teens by working with them to find healthy self-care strategies.
Oklahoma teens are vaping to destress, but vaping can actually make things worse — impacting both their physical and mental health. Youth nicotine exposure is linked with the development of mental health disorders and the vapor from e-cigarettes contains poisonous and addictive chemicals.
Mental health is important for overall health. While mental health awareness is important for all ages, teens especially need support and guidance in finding better ways to manage mental health. By opening up the space to talk, we can encourage beneficial habits to improve mental health and make it possible to reduce stress, anxiety and depression while decreasing nicotine and marijauna usage.
Let’s start a dialogue around teen substance use and mental health, and find ways together to build a support system for teens to make them feel heard and understood – along with providing the tools they need to build healthier self-care strategies and ways to manage mental health.
If you believe your teen is struggling with stress management and anxiety, there are resources to help. Explore some of the resources below or talk to a doctor about options available for you and your family.
Resources and Support
Quick Facts on Teen Vaping
OK, I'm Ready
Learn the Risks of Marijuana