Parent Alert February 2024

Why Marijuana is Harmful

Ohio became the 24th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana when voters passed Issue 2 in November 2023. Some people will be trying marijuana for the first time as a result of this new law, and they may not be aware of the risks that marijuana poses to their physical and mental health. Please help Wayne County Coalitions in their effort to prevent substance use by sharing this information with anyone who is considering or already using marijuana.

Marijuana has multiple effects on physical health. Most of them impact the brain, but additional health concerns include effects on the heart and lungs. Recent marijuana use (use within 24 hours) can result in altered senses, changes in mood, impaired memory, and hallucinations (if taken in high doses). Long-term use of marijuana has been shown to impact brain development, especially if the user is under the age of 18. The areas of the brain that are impacted the most by long-term use are those responsible for attention, memory, and learning. Multiple studies have shown that smoking marijuana hurts the lungs and leads to symptoms such as lung tissue damage and an increased risk of bronchitis, cough, and mucus production.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), long-term marijuana use has been linked to mental health concerns such as temporary hallucinations, temporary paranoia, depression, anxiety, and worsening symptoms in people suffering schizophrenia. There is additional research being done to look at the connection between marijuana-use and psychosis, but there have not been any concrete findings yet. Adolescent use of marijuana has an increased chance of impacting mental health outcomes because of how brain development works.

Additional concerns with marijuana use include addiction, secondhand smoke, increased risk of experimenting with other substances, accidental poisonings, and the potential for negative social outcomes such as poor job performance and lower life satisfaction. Please visit the links below for more information about the risks associated with marijuana use.


Cannabis (Marijuana) DrugFacts
Cannabis and Psychosis: Recent Epidemiological Findings Continuing the “Causality Debate”
Health Effects of Marijuana
How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?
The Science – Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Teen Dating Violence Awareness month is an opportunity for teens, and those who support them, to work together on advocacy and education efforts to stop dating violence before it begins. According to, “1 in 3 U.S. teens will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from someone they’re in a relationship with before becoming adults.” This year’s theme is “Love Like That” which highlights the importance of showing love in healthy ways. Every relationship is different, and teens should understand that individuals show love in different ways. These differences are okay as long as they are healthy and respectful. Find out how you can advocate for healthy teen relationships by checking out the links below.


Parent Discussion Guide
Relationship Check In
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Black History Month

Black History Month has been recognized by every president since 1976. explains, “Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.” This year’s theme is “African Americans and the Arts”. The National Museum of African American History & Culture highlights this theme by saying, “African American artists — poets, writers, visual artists, and dancers — have historically served as change agents through their crafts.” Museums and art exhibits across the nation are bringing attention to the amazing contributions African Americans have made to the arts. Check out the links below to see some of the artists and be sure to click on the link about Ohio’s black artists to read about some of the great artists from our state.


Building a Strong Parent-Youth Relationship

Having a strong relationship with your children is a key factor for positive development in multiple areas of their lives. The Search Institute highlights a few of these developments as increased academic motivation, increased social-emotional growth and learning, increased sense of personal responsibility, and reduced engagement in a variety of high-risk behaviors. The Search Institute found that youth view their relationships with their parents as being the strongest. The above infographic shows five key elements to developing that relationship.

The Search Institute created The Developmental Assets Framework which identified 40 supports and strengths youth need to succeed. Half of these focus on relationships and opportunities that can be provided by families, schools, and communities. Here are a few that they highlight:

  • Family Support
  • Positive Family Communication
  • Parental Involvement in Schooling
  • Being a Role Model
These are just a few of the assets that require direct parental involvement. There are various ways that you can develop a strong developmental relationship with your child. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Use the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets
  • Regularly do things with your child. These things can include home projects or recreational activities.
  • Talk about your values and priorities and live your life in a way that models those things.
  • Be an asset builder for other young people you know.
  • Take advantage of other asset-building relationships in your children’s lives including coaches, teachers, and neighbors.
Check out the links below for more information on how you can help your child grow up to make healthy choices.




Thank you for being a vital part of our community!


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Copyright © 2024 Rittman SALT Coalition. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Rittman SALT Coalition
c/o 104 Spink St.
Wooster, OH 44691

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