Letter to Teens

Need Treatment?
You can find treatment programs through this Web site provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Also, you can call the SAMHSA Treatment Referral hotline at 1-800-662-HELP. Treatment can help you, a friend, or someone you love get back to the person you or they once were.

Did you know that marijuana use among U.S. teens has dropped dramatically since the late 1990s? So... if you were thinking everyone smokes pot, they don't. Statistics show that about 15 percent, or roughly 1 in 7 teens, report past-month marijuana use. In the last few years, however, the decline in marijuana use has stalled, and the reason may be that fewer of you consider marijuana to be a harmful drug.

BUT... that perception is not correct. In 2009, among marijuana users 12 and older, 4.3 million had a marijuana abuse or addiction problem, according to clinical diagnostic criteria. Look inside this booklet to see what else we know, because marijuana is not as harmless as you may think.

Our goal is to give you the straight facts, so you can make smart choices and be your best self—without drugs. And we hope you will continue the conversation and share this information with your peers, parents, teachers, and others.

Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse

This page was last updated March 2011