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A New Drug is Posing a Threat to Teens

By: Amy Liu

14-year-old Elysse was your average teenager, not really thriving in her studies, but certainly

having the time of her life. But, when she started vaping cannabis, she was hooked.

It has been easy to keep her vaping a secret, because the weed didn’t smell, and it was

convenient too. All she needed to do was to press and inhale.

It was “insane. Insane euphoria,”, Elysse said, now 18 years old. She claimed that everything

was moving slowly, she got hungry easily, and everything was funny.

But then, the tiny side effects began to show their ugly faces. Elysse would sometimes feel

anxious or sad. One time, she fell asleep in the shower only to wake up one hour later.

It turned out that this wasn’t normal vaping. This drug actually contains 90 percent THC, the

psychoactive component in marijuana. Because everybody around her was using the drug, she felt that it was safe to use and completely normal. She began using it more and more often, until` her parents found out.

Her parents tried a lot of things to help her, but none of them seemed to be working, as said in an interview.

“We got her in a program to help her with it. We tried tough love, we tried everything, to be

honest with you,” said her parents.

Then, she began throwing up more and more often. In fact, one time, she threw up for one hour straight in the mall bathroom. She threw up about ten times in the time span of only one hour.

Doctors couldn’t find the problem, until 2021 rolled around, when they diagnosed her with

cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a disease common amongst cannabis users

Cannabis is technically illegal in the US, but over time, it has slowly become more accessible to younger people. Now, scientists and doctors say that it may lead to poisoning.

Even though cannabis isn’t as dangerous as other drugs, it can still have some astonishing side effects. It can lead to extreme vomiting and dizziness, as well as psychosis that can cause long-term effects, and possibly permanent damage to a person’s mental health.

However, some things have been done to prevent teens like Elysse from being addicted to this harmful substance. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established warnings for

cannabis products. California lawmakers are also considering adding a mental health label to all products containing cannabis.

Dr. Mc Donnell, a drug scientist, says “I think that’s something we’re all struggling with as a

community,” he added. “How do we get this information to parents and kids fast enough?”

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