For some parents, the fear of marijuana and the loss of focus and concentration at school that comes with teen marijuana addiction and abuse looms large in their minds. For other parents, marijuana is far less intimidating than the idea that their teen may be abusing other drugs like heroin or crystal meth. How do you know when your teen is abusing marijuana and is it something you should be concerned about?
Signs Your Teen is Smoking Marijuana
There are a number of different changes to look for that may indicate that your teen is smoking marijuana. Among them are:
- Coming home under the influence. Your teen’s eyes may be red or bloodshot. They may have a continuous smile even if you’re upset or angry. Dry mouth, drowsiness, and “the munchies” or snack cravings are also common signs of marijuana abuse. The smell of marijuana may be in your teen’s clothes, hair, and skin as well.
- Energy changes. Marijuana drains your teen’s energy and especially if he or she is a chronic user, you may notice that your child’s energy and interest in just about everything diminishes significantly. No more sports or active entertainment. Little interest in hygiene or dressing well. Low commitment to responsibilities at work, school, and home. If these signs are new and coincide with other signs listed, they may be attributable to marijuana abuse.
- Paraphernalia. Finding marijuana, small plastic with seeds or stems in it, pipes, rolling papers, bongs, and other smoking paraphernalia can be a sign that your teen is abusing the drug and with some regularity.
- Friends and associates. The changes you see in your teen may be mirrored in their friends, either among friends that they’ve had for a period of time or in the new friends they make along with their new habit.
Should You Be Concerned If Your Teen is Smoking Marijuana?
Absolutely. Marijuana is illegal, no matter your personal feelings about the drug, and if your teen is caught smoking it or possessing it while in your home, you are liable. Even the use of marijuana occasionally can cause your teen’s grades to slip, get him or her in trouble at school, or be responsible for a loss of opportunities that could affect your child’s future.
Remember, too, that every addiction starts with experimentation and that most adults in recovery report that they began abusing drugs during their teen years, usually marijuana and alcohol. If you believe that your teen is using marijuana, take action. Find out how you can help your teen today.