Preventing Marijuana Use among School Students

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, weed, or THC, holds its place as the top illegal substance used by high school students in America. The rise in its use among youth is worrying for many reasons. It can affect the physical and mental health of adolescents, as well as their academic progress. According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the school’s role in children’s smoking weed is hard to underestimate. The update to this study emphasized a well-known fact: approximately 35% of high school seniors tried out marijuana in 2023.

The growing number of underage adolescents using marijuana is very concerning. This factor should make adults worry about the drug’s impact on their physical and psychological development in both the short and long terms. The following article focuses on the school’s role in solving this problem, the signs of marijuana use among students, and the impact of interventions at high school facilities.

How Many Teens Smoke Weed?

How Many Teens Smoke Weed?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the use of marijuana by school teenagers shows a worrying pattern, especially in U.S. high schools. A NIDA survey of 2022 revealed that about 30.7% of 12th graders admitted weed use at least once during a school year, with 6.3%  proving daily marijuana use during the previous 30 days. These numbers highlight an urgent demand for focused actions and rules to tackle the widespread problem of cannabis use among high school and college students.

It is unclear what percentage of U.S. high school students have never tried marijuana, but it is worth noting that most high school teenagers typically try smoking weed at least once before graduation. This disturbing trend should raise an alert among parents and teachers.

Why Do Students Smoke Weed?

The motives for teenagers choosing to smoke marijuana are multiple. Often, they fall under the negative influence of friends who encourage them to try this drug to fit in with particular social circles. Also, curiosity is a big factor, as young people are typically easily drawn towards understanding more about how THC affects their minds. Also, many teens choose to smoke marijuana for relaxation during stressful test periods. They try to handle signs of anxiety or stress from academic and social demands.

These are the main reasons why teenagers smoke marijuana at home and on high school property. All these causes are easy to prevent if you notice the early signs of a school teenager who is smoking illicit drugs regularly.

The Signs of Marijuana Use by Teenagers

Parents, teachers, and guardians need to know the signs because discovering marijuana use early in teenagers may allow for timely actions. Symptoms that might point towards marijuana use include uncontrolled and frequent laughs, coordination problems, poor memory, redness of the eyes, nervous twitching, etc. Additionally, they could be carrying things associated with drug use, like pipes or rolling papers (marijuana signs). Some teenagers smoke weed at school using this equipment.

Changes in behavior are another sign. This includes hidden phone chats, new suspicious friends, or increased demand for money that could imply purchasing drugs. As well as this, the scent of smoke on clothes in their room can also be a hint.

The Protocols for the Students Caught Smoking Weed in High School

For school teachers, it is very necessary to follow the protocols when there is a case of possession of marijuana on school property:

  • Quickly evaluate the background and seriousness of the situation
  • Find the students who could be in danger and require intervention
  • Provide counseling services inside or outside of school to help students in need.
  • An attempt to reach the student’s family and have a chat about the issues to collaborate as a united front
  • Concentrate on educational actions instead of punishments to assist students in comprehending the consequences of their acts

These actions can help to prevent and reveal the users of marijuana on school grounds.

Educational vs. Punitive Approaches – What Is Better To Prevent Drug Use Among Students?

Educational methods usually show better results than punishment. Even if punishment can prevent drug use by causing fear of outcomes, educational tactics focus on creating comprehension and building a healthy lifestyle free from bad habits.

The educational methods include:

  • Educating students about the negative consequences of using marijuana in school, the weed’s health risks, and legal outcomes
  • Educating students on how to reject drugs, handle stress, and choose better alternatives to cope with anxiety
  • Assisting students by offering guidance and recovery plans that tackle the causes of drug usage
  • Discussing alternative methods such as therapy sessions or meditation that can assist in reducing the addiction symptoms and cravings
  • Explaining how does marijuana affect school students, their life choices, and prospects

However, methods of punishment might sometimes make the situation worse. This could result in social disgrace, deterioration in mental health, and more possibilities for future substance misuse.

Rehabilitation and Support Services Available Through Schools

Schools are in a special position to provide students with a wide support system when it comes to tackling drug-related challenges.

Counseling Services

Schools can provide direct counseling services or collaborate with nearby mental health agencies that give professional support suitable for adolescents.

Support Groups

Students could gain benefits from support groups, where they can share their experiences and acquire knowledge in a secure and controlled setting.

Educational Programs

Programs of drug education that are part of the regular school curriculum could be a way to deal with drug use before it starts and strengthen good behaviors.

Community Collaboration

Collaborating with community resources such as healthcare professionals and groups for young people can strengthen the support system that is accessible to students, offering more diverse intervention choices.

All these rehabilitation and support approaches help students recover from drug incidents as well as prevent them in the future. If schools follow a comprehensive method that includes education, assistance, and community participation, they can establish the right environment that motivates healing and supports a healthy lifestyle without drugs.

Teenagers and Marijuana – The Importance of Accurate Information About

The purpose of these education programs is to make sure young individuals receive precise and complete details about the dangers related to smoking marijuana. Although the laws regarding cannabis are changing, they need to comprehend the particular hazards this drug presents to their progress. These risks could potentially affect cognitive ability, memory retention, and mental health, raising the chances of psychiatric disorders.

Schools play an important part in clearing up false ideas and misunderstandings about marijuana, which are frequently spread by the media and popular beliefs. When schools give students the facts and research studies, they assist in developing a deeper comprehension of marijuana’s effects on the human body.

Also, good drug education programs attempt to deal with the psychological and emotional reasons that might make someone use drugs. These can include stress, pressure from friends, or mental health problems. They teach students how to deal with difficulties and become stronger mentally, so they don’t turn to substances for stress relief.

How to Talk to Teenagers about Weed to Prevent Drug Use?

A good school atmosphere is very important to prevent drug use in teenagers. When schools create a supportive and interesting environment, they help encourage a healthy life without drugs while also improving student involvement and ability to handle difficulties. This kind of setting is easy to build thanks to social activities, clubs, and seminars where teachers should communicate with students about the dangers of drug use.


Schools can help students build a lifestyle free from drugs in many ways. Workshops, assemblies, and seminars can educate students about the dangers linked to the use of weed at school. Students and teachers can talk about how to resist the pressure from friends or family who happen to be drug users.


Building environments that foster good physical health, like wellness centers or fitness activities, also helps. These actions motivate students to look after their body’s well-being, which is frequently related to psychological health. Sports can help to cope with stress and depression, as well as prevent the need for drug use.

Arts and Music Clubs

Arts and music clubs offer important substitutes for drug use for students. They provide chances for emotional expression, stress reduction, and socializing which could help in dealing with other issues like boredom or loneliness that might push towards drug usage.

Techniques and Programs that Help Develop Resistance Skills

Many educational programs aim to improve teenagers’ strength against peer pressure, especially when it comes to using substances. The well-known program “Life Skills Training (LST)” stands out with its complete method of education: it teaches students important abilities like self-control and resisting techniques alongside good communication skills. LST, by focusing on these main areas, assists students in not only saying no to drugs but also establishing a base for persistent decision-making and individual achievements.

Role-Playing Scenarios and Other Interactive Methods

Methods like role-playing scenarios are very important for practicing and strengthening these skills. In the situation of role-play, students can act out real-life situations where they may encounter pressure to use drugs from their peers. Through acting in different roles, they can feel both the stress and try strategies to say no in an effective way. These activities are crucial for students because they create a secure space where they can build up their courage and handle difficult social situations without giving in to peer pressure.

Case Studies or Success Stories from Real U.S. Schools

The case studies from schools around the country show the effectiveness of resistance training programs. For instance, when Oklahoma’s middle schools started using the LST program, there was a clear drop in marijuana use among participating students. The studies showed that those who went through this LST program had notably lower chances of using marijuana compared to those teenagers who didn’t take part in it.

Another program that has a big effect is the “keepin’ it REAL” (kiR) curriculum. This program stands out for its inventive method of teaching 4 specific drug resistance strategies: refuse, explain, avoid, and leave. These methods form a toolkit for students to handle and deflect drug-related pressures effectively. The studies that have followed up on the kiR’s efficiency show encouraging outcomes, such as decreased drug usage and improved abilities in communication for students.

Understanding health issues, social consequences, and punishment policy helps students get a full picture of all the potential dangers of smoking weed in high school.

The Role of Parents In High School Drug Prevention Programs

If you are a parent or guardian who wonders how to punish your kid for smoking, do not hurry to use traditional punishment methods. Cooperate with schools to learn more about the motivation of teenagers who decide to smoke weed, how to prevent the escalation of this bad habit, how to talk to teenagers about smoking weed, and how to save an underage adolescent from this negative lifestyle.

To create a united front in drug education and prevention, it is crucial that schools and parents maintain effective communication:

  • Teachers should share the information with parents via newsletters, emails, and parent-teacher meetings about anti-drug strategies and useful resources (such as brochures, website links, or counseling service contacts)
  • Discuss the problem at workshops and meetings. Parents can learn about drug use and prevention details, which will give them the necessary understanding to help their children in the right way
  • Schools need to encourage a culture where parents can freely express their worries and ask for guidance in dealing with drug-related problems concerning their teenagers
  • Providing role-play situations can help parents practice talking about drug use. This allows them to approach their teenagers with understanding and honesty, knowing how to react in different scenarios

Starting programs that teach parents about good communication, creating boundaries, and building trust can help them handle and stop the drug use in their homes.


The school’s role in children’s smoking is a very important part of stopping teenagers from using marijuana. The plans and programs used in education settings play a crucial role that ranges from full drug education to helpful counseling services, as well as the creative use of technology. However, the effectiveness of these actions is not limited only to classrooms; they become much more powerful when collaborating with families and the community.

Schools are not only for studying, they are also important social places where young individuals form habits and values that last a lifetime. When schools include good marijuana prevention programs, they contribute to instilling responsibility and consciousness in students.