Across the U.S., marijuana use is becoming more common—for medical reasons and for recreational use. However, just as tobacco and alcohol are legal but not necessarily safe, the same is true of marijuana.
Ironically, the recent huge push by the FDA to promote the dangers of vaping has made an impact on our youth—they increasingly associate risk with vaping. But the same is not holding true for marijuana. In the flurry of media publicizing the legalization of marijuana, the messages of its health risks are being lost. As a result, our children think that marijuana is safer than vaping, when in fact neither is good for their health and the future.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
Remember that saying from when we were young? It was something our parents often said to us. Some of truly believed that words cannot hurt us, but now we know differently. We know that words build up and tear down. They create bullies and contribute to mental health disorders. They can inspire and encourage us.

When we learn that someone has a substance use disorder, the words that come to mind reveal our biases. We quickly realize that describing someone as a junkie is hurtful, but what about addict or substance abuser? Do we recognize that they are just as harmful?

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