Experts say marijuana use among teens is increasing - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Experts say marijuana use among teens is increasing

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Marijuana use among teens is increasing, according to drug experts, and it's a problem that can lead to bigger issues down the road.  The case bringing this subject to light is an investigation on drug distribution at John Rolfe Middle School.

There are many lessons your children will learn while at school, but how to score some drugs shouldn't be one of them. 

Lashonya Hutton, a mother of three, says her children told her, "they've been offered drugs before, one time in exchange for comic books; he said he had been offered on more than one occasion."

She says it happened at school.

"In the last six or seven years, the number of teenagers and youngsters trying marijuana has increased," said Dr. Peter Coleman, an addiction specialist with The Coleman Institute.

Dr. Coleman says starting to smoke weed at such a young age can be detrimental to a brain that's still developing.

"That's not reversible as the youngster grows up, it's actually causing some brain damage," he said. "It could make a big difference to a future career and earning potential for the rest of their life, it's scary."

The drug being sold at a middle school is unsettling, but it's happened before. Last year, a girl at John Rolfe and a boy at Salem Church Middle in Chesterfield were charged with selling weed.  Hutton's youngest child will soon start sixth grade. She says the open, honest approach about drug use will help guide her daughter.

"I don't want to shock her, but just to prepare her in stages so she'll be ready and mindful," says Hutton.

Experts say Hutton is on the right track and also recommend:

-Spend time with your children and talk to them directly

-Know who they are hanging out with

-Look for sudden changes in behavior.

Police say for now, no one else has been charged in connection to this case at John Rolfe Middle School.

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