Weed can’t help them cope.

But you can.

Roswell’s kids are hurting.

Being a pre-teen or teenager is hard enough. But many of today’s kids are really struggling. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 1 in 5 teens has a mental health disorder, and about one third show symptoms of depression.

A recent study shows that kids in Chaves County are feeling sadness, hopelessness and anxiety at much higher rates than kids were ten years ago. Reports of suicidal thoughts, self-harm and suicide attempts have also increased significantly.

Some kids are turning to cannabis to numb the pain. But it’s actually making things worse.

What weed really does to kids.

Marijuana has serious negative effects, especially when used by people under the age of 25, when their brains are still developing.

Weed can make anxiety disorders among adolescents worse. Kids who use weed regularly are 7 times more likely to develop depression.
Marijuana affects the brain’s hippocampus, causing short-term memory loss. It also makes it difficult to learn and solve problems.
Smoking weed releases toxins and cancer-causing chemicals into the lungs. Vaping is even more damaging.
Weed depletes serotonin in the brain, a chemical that makes you feel happy. Over time, regular users need more marijuana just to feel normal again.
Marijuana is addictive. 17% of teens who use cannabis regularly become dependent.
Today’s marijuana has at least triple the amount of THC than it did in 1995. Concentrated forms (edibles, dabs, shatter) can have as high as 90% THC content. The number of calls to poison control for marijuana exposure has greatly increased over the last few years.

A little of your time can make a huge difference.

Kids need the care and support of an adult figure in their lives. Without that, children are much more likely to use marijuana. By being there for them, you can help them handle their stress and feelings of hopelessness.

Talk to your kid about the dangers of weed and vaping. You don’t have to know exactly the right words (although here are some tips).

Spend meaningful time together. Do an activity they enjoy, like shooting hoops, playing a game or going to a movie together.

Just listen. Sometimes all a kid needs is to talk and be heard.

Show you care. Send a thoughtful text, pack them a lunch, or ask them about their day or if they need help with their homework.

Healthy Coping Skills

The chemicals in marijuana temporarily increase “feel good” chemicals in the brain. But there are healthier and lasting ways to help kids manage stress and anxiety.


The Pain Killers

  • Using essential oils
  • Watching a funny movie
  • Eating dark chocolate
  • Exercising


The Reward Chemical

  • Completing a task
  • Performing self-care activities
  • Striving toward a goal
  • Eating healthy food


The Love Chemical

  • Playing with a dog/cat
  • Playing with a baby
  • Hugging a loved one
  • Giving/receiving a compliment


The Mood Stabilizer

  • Improving social behavior
  • Meditating
  • Running
  • Walking through nature
  • Getting sun exposure

Other coping activities you can encourage your kid to try:

  • Physical activity, such as sports, yoga, dancing, a bike ride or even just squeezing a stress ball
  • Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, counting backwards from 100 or listening to calming music
  • Creative outlets including painting, playing an instrument or journaling
  • Spending time with friends and family playing a game or talking
  • Shifting mindset, like practicing gratitude or thinking of a happy memory

Learn more coping strategies here

Services Available

There are community resources available that can help kids struggling with substance use, depression, or mental and emotional issues. La Casa Community Behavioral Health is a sliding-fee clinic serving the communities of Chaves County.

  • Individual, family, couples, and group mental health and substance use disorder therapy
  • Access to medication management services for eligible clients
  • Accepts Medicaid, Medicare and private insurances
  • Offers a sliding-scale fee based on family size and income for those who are uninsured