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Thesis Statement Activity-Scenario 4- Anti-Marijuana Campaign


Research shows that marijuana is the most abused drug by teenagers and adolescents after alcohol. According to a 2022 survey in the United States, approximately 30.7% of the 12th graders are active marijuana consumers. A separate study conducted in 2019 among U.S. high school students indicated that at least 37% of the students had used marijuana in their lifetime (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d). According to Hammond et al. (2020) study, 5.8% of the U.S. 12th graders and 3.4% of the 10th graders consume marijuana daily. The use of marijuana has tremendous adverse effects among teenagers, including reduced coordination, difficulty thinking and impaired problem-solving skills, problem in maintain attention, memory loss affecting learning outcomes, and various drug abuse-related disorders (Hines et al., 2020). The behavioral changes and social interactions that influence the substance abuse behaviors and drug abuse can profoundly be explained using psychoanalytic and behavioral change theories.

Foundational Theories

Psychoanalytic is a personality theory that considers three human personality aspects to influence substance use and action. These aspects include Id, Ego, and the Superego. The theory argues that drug addiction is an imbalance between the superego, id, and ego (Costanzo et al., 2023). In this case, a teenager will consume and abuse marijuana without thinking of the adverse consequences if their id overpowers the ego and superego. The applications of Psychoanalytic theory in the anti-marijuana campaign against teenagers help in designing the psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies that profoundly explain what influences teenagers to abuse marijuana and the best approaches to recover from the addiction. The social workers and anti-marijuana campaign teams can use this theory to create better relationships with teenagers to influence and manage their emotions and help them successfully recover from drug-abusing behaviors (Costanzo et al., 2023).

The behavioral theories form the foundation of the behavioral model of addiction, which argues that substance abuse and addiction unfolds over time and it is influenced by altered behavioral processes and external reward. Different behavioral change theories, such as social control, social learning, and stress and coping theories, must form an essential part of the anti-marijuana campaign (Vuchinich et al., 2023). Combined together, these theories profoundly explain how social interaction with the environment influences the substance use behaviors, and helps in drafting the anti-marijuana campaign messages the promotes the behavioral change as the primary substance use prevention measure.

Research Method and Findings

Different social media advisements are important and implacable tools in running a successful anti-marijuana campaign to reverse the global trend of the marijuana use by teenagers. For example, Crano et al., 2017 study used systematic analysis of various anti-substance advertisement broadcasts to investigate the effectiveness of the social media commentaries about the substance use prevention messages in stimulating the behavioral change acceptance among the students. The anti-marijuana advertisement commentaries using extreme or moderate language were expected to change the students’ perceptions and attitudes towards how ads influence their behavioral change (Crano et al., 2017). The study concluded that the use of moderate persuasive language had a significant influence on student’s behavioral change from marijuana use. The interpersonal relationships between marijuana teenager users and anti-campaigns makes it easier for the teenagers to get convinced and start the recovery process.

A separate study by Alvaro et al., (2013) used a 4-year panel survey based of the secondary data collected and archived in the National Survey of Parents and Youth (NSPY) to investigate the association between the archived data in NSPY and the teenagers’ appraisals of the anti-marijuana television campaigns. The study findings were that marijuana teenager users with positive attitudes and perceptions towards the anti-marijuana television ads are likely to stop using marijuana (Alvaro et al., 2013). This means that the effectiveness and persuasiveness of the anti-marijuana campaign messages plays critical role in changing the attitude and perception of teenage users hence influencing their behavior to stop.

Mental Health and Well-Being

Marijuana use from teenage age has significant impact of their mental health and well-being. First, it affects the brain development causing impaired thinking, memory and capability. Researches have also linked marijuana use with various mental health issues such as depression and social anxieties. Most teenagers adopt the myth that marijuana has a medicinal value, and its harmless because it is natural. However, multiple researches have proven marijuana to have adverse short-term and long-term effects the mental health and well-being of teenagers. Some of the short-terms effects include school learning difficulties, increased aggression, increased risk of psychosis, increased exposure to irresponsible sexual behaviors, suicidal thoughts and memory loss and loss of concentration (Hines et al., 2020).

The regular use, as it is among teenagers in many societies, causes various long-term mental health problems. These include reduced cognitive capabilities and low intelligence, development of the cannabis use disorder, breathing difficulties and lung cancer, trouble with physical activity, decreased motivation, severe depressive and anxiety symptoms, irritability and schizophrenia (Hines et al., 2020). The anti-marijuana campaign would the marijuana teenager users refrain from that addictive behavior through behavioral change modifications. It will educate them on the mental and physical health issues associated with marijuana, and help those addicted through the recovery and rehabilitation process.


Alvaro, E. M., Crano, W. D., Siegel, J. T., Hohman, Z., Johnson, I., & Nakawaki, B. (2013). Adolescents’ attitudes toward antimarijuana ads, usage intentions, and actual marijuana usage. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(4), 1027‒1035.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (n.d). Marijuana and Public Health.

Costanzo, A., Santoro, G., & Schimmenti, A. (2023). Self-medication, traumatic reenactments, and dissociation: a psychoanalytic perspective on the relationship between childhood trauma and substance abuse. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 1-24.

Crano, W. D., Alvaro, E. M., Tan, C. N., & Siegel, J. T. (2017). Social mediation of persuasive media in adolescent substance prevention. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(4), 479–487.

Hammond, C. J., Chaney, A., Hendrickson, B., & Sharma, P. (2020). Cannabis use among US adolescents in the era of marijuana legalization: a review of changing use patterns, comorbidity, and health correlates. International review of psychiatry32(3), 221-234.

Hines, L. A., Freeman, T. P., Gage, S. H., Zammit, S., Hickman, M., Cannon, M., … & Heron, J. (2020). Association of high-potency cannabis use with mental health and substance use in adolescence. JAMA psychiatry77(10), 1044-1051.

Vuchinich, R. E., Tucker, J. A., Acuff, S. F., Reed, D. D., Buscemi, J., & Murphy, J. G. (2023). Matching, behavioral economics, and teleological behaviorism: Final cause analysis of substance use and health behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior119(1), 240-258.


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