Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre’s Executive Director, Mike Beauchesne
The legalization of cannabis is a hot button issue these days. If you were to offer guidance to parents and caregivers around what this may mean for them and their youth, what would that be?
It is sometimes helpful to distinguish the pending societal, legal response to cannabis from the personal one that each family must develop. Ultimately, legal or not we know that the use of cannabis, particularly in higher quantities and frequency, poses significant risks – especially for young people. For this reason it is critical that we parents and caregivers do all we can to:
1. Inform ourselves and our youth about those risks;
2. Take concrete steps to reduce potential harms (e.g., driving under the influence)
3. Gain access to treatment and/or other supports if problems arise.
As always, parents and caregivers need not be afraid or embarrassed to seek support – we are not alone!
If you’re interested in more information, Health Canada has developed a fact sheet about the health effects of cannabis.