September 21, 2022

Dear Supporter,

September is National Recovery Month.  We believe this is also a perfect month to focus on prevention so our kids won’t have to struggle with recovery from substance abuse and addiction.  This edition will help you stay up to date on today’s constantly changing marijuana in order to  better support the kids in your life. 

Please consider using this information as a starting point for further learning and thoughtful discussions with your family and friends.  Please share widely with those that care about kids!


Why it matters:

Our kids are our future. It takes a lot of time, work and resources from teachers, parents, lawmakers, community members and especially our children to grow into healthy adults.  We need to remove as many roadblocks as possible to allow for successful outcomes on their journey to adulthood.


What you need to know:

Marijuana is an addictive substance, just like alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.  Science shows that kids that start using marijuana early are more likely to continue use into adulthood as a developing brain is more susceptible to addiction. Early use of marijuana is twice as likely to result in a marijuana substance use disorder within 2 years of initiation when compared to use of alcohol or tobacco.


Addiction or substance use disorder (SUD) is a desire to use even when harmful physical, psychological or social consequences result. Over time, changes in the brain governing self control make it difficult for the user to control the act of their addiction. The addiction puts the drug first before other things that were previously important in a person’s life.  Warning signs include ignoring commitments, abandoning relationships and disregarding risks. 


Dependence is the physical need for a substance. Those who use marijuana frequently report withdrawal symptoms when use ceases. Symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, inability to sleep, restlessness and various levels of physical discomfort that can last from a few days to a few weeks. 


People of any age, race, sex or economic status can become addicted or dependent on a substance. Risk factors affect the possibility and the length of time it takes for a person to develop an addiction or dependence.

Risk factors include:

  • Genetic makeup or family history of addiction
  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression
  • Stressful home, work or school situations  
  • Lack of family involvement or supervision 
  • Peer pressure 
  • Lack of education about substances
  • Ease of access to substances
  • Amount and extent of use
  • Age of beginning use 


The recently released Rise Above CO 2022 report  states ”Participants who said they’ve had no poor mental health days recently were significantly less likely to report having recently used marijuana, prescription stimulants, alcohol and vaping products. However, those who reported having six or more poor mental health days a month were significantly more likely to have used marijuana”.  


Suicide is a leading cause of death among people who misuse alcohol and drugs (SAMHSA).   Marijuana is the # 1 drug in Colorado suicide toxicology for those under 24 years of age.  Don’t ignore this risk and seek help from a professional, if concerned with the possibility. 




An official State of Colorado warning about marijuana concentrates offers essential information for parents but many aren’t aware of the resource.


The One Chance to Grow Up awareness campaign includes digital advertisements that highlight excerpts from the State warning and direct people to the full State resource, which is provided at -


What you can do:


  • Keep talking and listening whenever the opportunity arises - One conversation is not enough.  Youth who know their parents think underage use is wrong are 72% LESS likely to use. (2017 HKCS)
  • As a parent led organization, we know that teenagers are sometimes outlandish and unpredictable but don’t ignore red flags such as dropping grades or an unexplained change in friends or behavior.  A conversation about whatever might be going on is always advisable.
  • Offer options such as talking to another trusted adult or professional.
  • Teach them to weigh the consequences and make a decision based on facts not anecdotes from users, their peers and social media.
  • When they say everyone is doing it - remind them that their perception may be skewed.  2 in 5 kids overestimate the number of classmates who are using. Only 13.3% of high school students reported they used in the last 30 days (2021 HKCS).
  • Put the blame on social media and advertisers.  Our kids are being targeted by enticing and deceptive marijuana products.   Teens value the truth and will listen to facts.
  • Recovery works. Treatment for marijuana addiction can reduce use and dependence.  Marijuana users who quit have lower risks of cognitive and mental health outcomes than those who continue to use (CDPHE).
  • Advocate for recovery programs and schools where kids can be with other people their own age that are having the same experiences.  
  • Lead by example.  Show them alternate options for reducing stress and anxiety such as  exercise, yoga, meditation, hobbies, and “me time”. Watch our YouTube video, Modeling Healthy ways to cope, with Dr. Steven Solomon, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow and Bazi Kanani.


Be mindful that the marijuana industry and products are evolving very rapidly. Information, recovery assistance and legislation need to keep pace with developments and the many new, radically different and often kid-friendly products constantly being introduced and aggressively marketed.  

Check out for current updates of today’s available products in states where THC is commercially available. Please visit our website if you would like more information and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Thank you for your care and support in better protecting our kids. 

The One Chance Team


Additional Resources:

One Chance to Grow Up -Get the facts

We are grateful for the work of Rise Above Colorado by keeping a strong pulse on the state of Colorado kids by asking the tough but important questions. Rise Above 2022 Report

Talk To Your Child About Vaping | American Lung Association


One Chance to Grow Up protects kids from today’s marijuana through transparency, education, empowerment and policy.  We don’t take sides on the politics of legalization for adults but instead serve as a reliable resource for parents, media, policymakers, and all those who care about kids. 

Started by concerned parents and supported entirely by charitable contributions, One Chance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center.


One Chance to Grow Up
789 Sherman Street Suite 250 | Denver, Colorado 80203

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