09 Nov The motivation behind marijuana use
Below are a few reasons why people try pot or continue to use pot, followed by a few things to think about. Do you relate to any of them?
The curious person may or may not have friends who are doing it, but he or she may just feel curious about the drug: What’s it like? What’s the big deal? How does it make you feel? Is it fun? So, to satisfy that curiosity, that person may just do it. They think something like: Hey, other people have done it, why not me?
Think about it: Be curious about the dangers, too. Be curious about other ways to feel great. Be curious about how you feel about your brain and body. Be curious about how pot may change your body and brain. Curiosity is awesome, just be sure you are curious enough to seek the decisions that are best for you.
I feel peer pressure
Peer pressure is a very real reason teens try drugs. You like to be with your friends. You like the feeling of fitting in. You like the bonds that you feel when you share an experience. It’s hard to say, “No, I don’t want to do the same thing as you.”
Think about it: How much do you want to change just to fit in? Are your friends only your friends if you do everything they want? What happens when your friends turn to other behaviors you don’t like? When will you draw a line? We don’t have the answers to these questions for you. You must think about how much peer pressure will be part of your decision-making process.
I want to escape—all the time!
Some people have problems that they feel they can’t manage, so they look for an escape. Then they want to escape, uh, like, all the time. This is a contributing factor to addiction (see the addiction post to learn more). When you begin to escape too much, your brain becomes hijacked by the drug and addiction settles in.
Think about it: People ingest pot to experience the escape, then the pot wears off and, voila!, the problems are back. Only this time the problems seem, or may actually be, worse. So, the user looks for more escape and does more pot and feels better, temporarily. Do you see the cycle that is beginning?
Regardless of the pressure you face, it’s HOW you manage it that says a lot about you. You could give in to it and take drugs to escape. Or, you could meditate, or go for a run, or… you choose. You could decide not to let it get to you and lessen the stress you have. The point is that you have the choice. Try to choose something that won’t add to your pressures. Trying to quit an addiction is definitely an added pressure! (If you need some ideas on how to handle life’s pressures, check out Stress Reduction here.)
I like to escape once in a while, for fun!
Your friends and the media often make illegal drugs look fun. If your friends are pressuring you to try it, they are likely telling you it’s fun. Images in movies and on TV shows often portray drug use at a party, therefore making it seem fun. As a result, people might try it as a means of having fun, just like their friends do, or what they see in the media.
Think about it: Having a great time is a wonderful part of life. But you need to weigh the risks with the reward: is having that kind of fun worth all the potential negative downsides (addiction, brain changes, being arrested, having an accident, etc.)? Do you need something like that to have fun? Also, how much fun is something if you don’t remember it the next day? Or how much fun is something if it’s an “altered you” that is experiencing it?
Now think back to the question from the beginning of this post: Do you relate to any of these reasons why people try pot? When you “think about it”, as described above, do you begin to find alternative solutions?
What motivation for trying pot do you disagree with the most? Why?