Teen marijuana use is not new. Marijuana is a substance that is used by everyone from teenagers to the elderly. That said, while marijuana use may not be as dangerous as something like heroin or cocaine, it can still lead to developmental problems if started too early in life. Let’s take a closer look at teenage marijuana use and how you can tell if your teenage daughter or son is smoking marijuana.
Signs of Marijuana Use in Teens
Marijuana is the most commonly used drug among teenagers. With the advent of social media, the use of marijuana is considered “cool” by many teens, and many teens don’t even consider it to be a drug. Changes in laws regarding medicinal marijuana and recreational use cause many teens to doubt the dangers of marijuana use.
Just because cannabis is legal in some states doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for your teen to start using it recreationally any more than it is to let them start smoking tobacco. The long-term risks and health side effects have yet to be understood by the scientific community. If you’re a parent who is involved in your child’s life, you should be easily able to see the signs your teen is using marijuana.
Signs Your Teen Is High
- Smell his or her laundry. The smell of smoked marijuana is extremely difficult to get out of clothing.
- If they have their own car, smell the inside and examine the seats for burns or paraphernalia.
- Your teen may have red, bloodshot eyes.
- Your teen could be very giddy or very tired, depending on when he got high.
- Your teen may be paranoid or anxious.
- Your teen may get the ‘munchies’ and be hungry for anything he can get his hands on.
- Does your teen wear clothes with a lot of pockets? Have you ever checked them before they go out?
The most popular times for a teen to get high are after school, often before or after playing video games, and before the parents get home for work. Other popular times are when they’re out with friends on weekends. If you don’t really know exactly where they are at any given time, you run the risk of them running with the wrong crowd and experimenting with substances. Other popular times and places are at music festivals. Most of us grew up with these and we all know what goes on there, and while it’s impossible to keep teens on lockdown, that’s not an excuse to turn a blind eye if you’ve set boundaries.
Has Your Teen’s Mood or Behavior Changed?
Have You Found Any Drug Paraphernalia?
Do You Suspect Your Teen’s Friends Smoke Weed?
Are There Signs Your Teen Trying to Hide Her Marijuana Use?
Three large studies in Australia and New Zealand found that adolescents who used marijuana regularly were significantly less likely than their non-using peers to finish high school or obtain a degree. They also had a much higher chance of developing dependence, using other drugs, and attempting suicide. I can’t think of any responsible parent who thinks the risks are worth granting teens free reign. At the first signs, your teen is using marijuana, it goes without saying that you’re already too late to have the talk about the child being responsible and making wise decisions.
It’s always shocking to treatment providers when parents knew about substance abuse and chose to do little or nothing. The sad truth is that teens who experiment with cannabis are hanging around people who are doing it often. As they watch their peers progress to harder and harder drugs, your teenager can get drawn into it. Before you know it, you have an addict on your hands. If you watch any of the videos where addicts speak about the progression of their addiction, almost all of them started with “oh, I just wanted to try it.” If you see signs your teen is using marijuana, you need to take action.
Marijuana Treatment at The District
If you or a loved one are dealing with a marijuana or other addiction problem, there are treatment options. The District Recovery Community partners with Orange County rehabs and has robust alumni and community programs in place to ensure that anyone who walks through our doors are set up for success when the leave.