As the adult-use market begins to unfold, it's important to underscore that this market is not for youth. Sale of cannabis and cannabis products are prohibited to people under the age of 21.
The earlier people start using any substance the more likely they are to develop problematic usage.The substances that kids almost always start with are alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. Help youth delay use for as long as possible while their brains are still developing. Social norms and access to and promotion of substances can all increase underage use.
Additionally, there is data to suggest a correlation between substance use in youth (including cannabis use), and increased suicide risk. Youth with other risk factors for suicide (including a recent suicide attempt and/or a plan to commit suicide) are twice as likely to be current cannabis users when compared to the general public. This is not to say that cannabis use causes suicidal behavior, but can be used by schools and prevention programs to help identify at-risk youth and promote programs that incorporate both mental health and substance misuse information.
You can read more about the Vermont Prevention Model for supporting health and wellness here.
How can I talk with my kids about this?
It is never too early to start a conversation with kids about drug and alcohol use. When young people have supportive adults in their lives that they can talk to, they are much less likely to use drugs. Here are a few tips from the VT Department of Health:
- Start the conversation early to get ahead of the conversation.
- Be clear, direct, and specific.
- Have an ongoing, two-way dialogue.
- Focus on their goals and explain how drugs can get in the way.
- Stay positive.
I'm pregnant or trying to get pregnant - what should I know about cannabis use?
There is no known safe amount of cannabis to use during pregnancy or while breast/chest-feeding. When you smoke, vape, or otherwise consume cannabis, THC passes to your baby while you are pregnant and through your breastmilk.
Additional Prevention Resources
|LetsTalkCannabis.com Science-based information about cannabis, and how it affects our bodies, minds, and health.||ParentUpVT.org Tips for parents and caregivers on talking with their kids about cannabis and other substances.|
|1MoreConversation.com Encourages health care providers and patients to discuss substance use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.||VTHelplink.org Statewide resource connecting Vermonters with the substance use treatment and support services that they need. Connect via the link, or by phone at 802-565-LINK|
|PreventionWorksVermont.org Fostors networks of local coalitions focusing on substance misuse prevention in Vermont||HealthVermont.gov Local Health Offices provide health services and promote wellness for all Vermonters. Each office employs its own Substance Misuse Prevention Officer.|
Northern New England Poison Center 1(800)222-1222
Call 911 right away if the individual collapses, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or cannot be awakened.