Is it Okay if Your Child Drinks a Little or Smokes a Little Marijuana?

teens smoking marijuana

As long as he (or she) is not overdoing it, are you okay with a little drug use by your kids? Does it not worry you if your child drinks as long as they do it at home or the home of someone you know? And how about marijuana? Is this fairly harmless, as far as you’re concerned? And if they smoke, is it just not worth arguing about? Just as long as they don’t move on to “hard drugs” like heroin or cocaine.

Maybe these ideas horrify you. Maybe they don’t. For many parents, they are acceptable. Should they be?

Vital Information for All Parents on the Effects of these Drugs

There’s a number of reasons why it’s a very bad idea to condone the use of these drugs. The primary one centers on the fact that tobacco, alcohol and marijuana act as gateway drugs to more serious drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and synthetics. It’s not us saying that it’s the National Center on Addiction and Drug Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) that says it.

In their report CIGARETTES, ALCOHOL, MARIJUANA: GATEWAYS TO ILLICIT DRUG USE, they reveal the actual numbers.

Based on an analysis of national drug use surveys, they came up with these relationships between tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. They learned that:

  • 89% of those individuals who used cocaine had first used all these gateway substances
  • 90% of both children and adults who used marijuana started out smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol
  • Children 12 – 17 who used marijuana were 85 times more likely to later use cocaine
  • Children who drank were 50 times more likely to later use cocaine
  • Children who smoked were 19 times more likely to later use cocaine
  • Children who used all three gateway drugs were 266 times more likely to later use cocaine compared to children who never used these gateway drugs

This study also found that the younger a child was when he started using these gateway drugs and the more he used them, the more likely it was that he would move on to other illegal drugs.

Fortunately, CASA also found that if a young person avoided the use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs until he was 21, he was virtually certain to never have a problem with these substances.

What You Can Do About it

Narconon has a wealth of information on its site to help you in this task. There, you will find guides to preventing the use of cocaine, synthetic drugs, heroin and other substances.

On this page, you’ll find many resources to help you prevent alcohol abuse.

And here, you’ll find resources to prevent the use of marijuana.

We know the job of preventing drug use, drug dependence and addiction is difficult but we have been helping kids and adults either maintain sober lives or recover from addiction for over 50 years. Our help is available to you.



Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.