The biggest problem when it comes to marijuana and children or teens is that many people think marijuana is not a big deal. Because it has been legalized in some areas, children and teens are being pressured into thinking that it is harmless and even healthy. Regardless of what the truth is about marijuana, what we do know is that it can impair judgment, and it is illegal to own and use. If your child or teen is having issues pertaining to marijuana, then you need to know how to spot these issues and how to get help for them sooner rather than later. The sooner that you are able to see a marijuana addiction problem in your son or daughter, the more swiftly you will be able to get them some real help.
Marijuana is one of the easiest drugs to spot, because it only really comes in a couple of different forms. You need to be prepared to look for green plantlike material, as well as anything that looks like a cigarette but that is not actually a cigarette. People can also bake marijuana into different things like cookies or brownies, so if your teenaged child has a stash of sweet goods that look to be homemade, you might want to give them a smell. Marijuana joints are small and easy to hide, so check inside books, between mattresses, in jewelry boxes or even taped inside a desk drawer. The smell of marijuana is also quite distinct, not the same as cigarettes but sweeter. If your child is spending a lot of time in his or her room, you might want to smell clothing or the room itself after to see if someone is getting high.
Though teens can react differently to being high, there are characteristics that you are going to notice if your child is spending any time around you while under the influence of marijuana. Red eyes, for example, are really common in people that smoke marijuana. The eyes can redden due to any high, including a high brought on by marijuana-laced baked goods so you should watch for this. Someone who is high is generally going to be:
They may talk significantly less than they normally do, or they may seem hungrier than normal because marijuana stimulates the appetite, a phenomenon known as “the munchies.”
You absolutely must be vigilant when it comes to watching your teen for signs of drug abuse as well as the signs of drug addiction. If your child suddenly seems less interested in school, school work or keeping their grades up, then this is almost always a sign that something is seriously wrong. Changes in the appearance of your child, their grooming habits or their energy level can also indicate drug abuse. If your child is no longer interested in the things they were once passionate about, if they are no longer talking to you openly, or if they suddenly become very particular about their stuff and their space, then drug addiction may be at play. You need to watch for changes, both large and small, in how your teens behave to determine whether or not the a drug or substance abuse problem exists.
If you are not sure how to approach this issue, bring in an expert. Intervention specialists are trained to help people of all ages come to terms with their addiction problems, and so they will know how to approach a teen who might have an issue with drugs like marijuana. Let them sit down with you and your child and go through the process of coming to terms with the issue slowly, carefully and with “kid gloves.” Your child might be better able to talk to this specialist than you, so don’t be afraid to let them lead the conversation. You must be willing to get help for your child at all costs, because they probably cannot figure out how to ask for help on their own.