Does My Child Smoke Pot?
Marijuana or as it is more commonly known as “pot” is the most commonly used drugs by teens. An estimated 23% of high school seniors have used marijuana and while alcohol and cigarette use among teenagers is decreasing marijuana use is increasing. Some of the telltale signs of a high teenager include bloodshot eyes, paranoia, excessive appetite, extreme mood changes, or anxiousness. If you have asked your teen about smoking pot and they deny doing it, but you are still suspicious listed below are some indicators that your teen is using pot:
- Change In Behavior
One of the most significant signs of marijuana use among teens is behavioral changes. The effects of marijuana use vary among individuals but can lead to a more laid-back demeanor that can affect school attendance, work attendance, ability to do chores or to neglect other activities. You may see a drop in their school grades or they may not seem interested in activities they used to enjoy. It is essential to address these behavior changes to see if marijuana is the cause.
- Drug Paraphernalia
While allowing your teen to have privacy is important, if you suspect they are using marijuana it is your right and responsibility to find out if they are. If your teen lives in your house, then it is well within your rights to investigate their room to see if you find any marijuana or drug paraphernalia. You should check to see if you find any rolling papers, pipes, or bags with marijuana residue. Your teen will often try to hide these items in books, bottles, or canisters so you may have to do some digging around. While you may not feel completely comfortable doing this, your priority is to keep your teen safe.
- Their Friends Use Marijuana
A strong indicator that your teen is using marijuana is if you know their friend or friends are using marijuana. While this is not always the case, it is a strong indicator as your teen has chosen this person to be a friend and if they spend a lot of time with them, they may be tempted to use marijuana as well.
- Drug Test
When in doubt have your teen tested. If you suspect your teen is using marijuana and they are lying to you and trying to hide it, then you have a responsibility to find out the truth, and one surefire way to do this is by having them drug tested. Drug testing should be your last resort as it may cause conflict with your teen, but if you are right they are using marijuana you will know for sure and can find the most effective way to get them help. As a parent, your teen’s health and well-being are your priority, so if you feel strong enough that your teen is using marijuana to have them drug tested, then you should do so and not worry about how it may affect your relationship.
Talking to your teen about using marijuana can be uncomfortable, but it is important to find out so you can get them to help if they need it. Many individuals view marijuana as a socially acceptable drug, but marijuana is, in fact, a drug and can impact the brain especially that of a developing teenager. Difficult conversations are part of life, and you should not be afraid to talk to your teen about any subject including marijuana use.