Lots of information exists out in the world about the positive benefits of smoking weed. Many U.S. states support legal medical marijuana use however, mixed messages from the media misconstrue information when it has several hundred carcinogens that can be toxic to anyone, especially teens. Learn more about the negative repercussions of smoking weed for teens.
Negative Side Effects
Teens cannot usually overdose on marijuana alone. Hallucinogenic or psychoactive effects can be accelerated when marijuana is combined with other substances. Some of the negative side effects of teen marijuana use include:
- Permanent brain damage
- 1:6 teens who use marijuana before age 18 will be more likely to develop addiction
- Medical professionals agree marijuana has addictive properties (physical and mental)
- Teens are at a higher risk for quitting school, experimenting with sexual promiscuity and get involved in more accidents than kids not using the drugs
- Marijuana use before age 18 doubles the risk of developing psychosis
Teens will give off warning signs something is not right. If a teen is using drugs, the following may be exhibited:
- Rebellious behavior towards family rules and curfew
- Changes in appetite
- Needing money more than before
- Gets caught cheating or stealing
- Possesses drug paraphernalia
- Secretive behavior
- Loss of memory and attention span
- No longer wants to be part of family activities
- Personality changes
- Poor performance in school
- Ditches school
- Valuables disappear from home
Some of the signs listed above are normal teen traits. When two or more traits begin to show up in collusion and it doesn’t feel right, it is possible the teen is using drugs. One of the best ways to know is simply to ask. Do some research and ask professionals for support prior to confronting the teen, particularly if he or she may be volatile.
A parent’s role in a child’s suspected drug use is to jump in right away. Kids can be manipulative, secretive and deceptive about drug use when confronted by parents. Dishonesty is part of the game of addiction because the brain changes and shifts as well as the teen’s body during addiction. As a parent, the first role is to support and protect the child. It may help to:
- Cut off money supply
- Guard wallets or cash at home
- Ask for accountability to responsibilities at home or child will have to leave
- Keep prescription medication and other drugs away from teens as some teens will not only use weed but other drugs or may sell it for money to buy weed when the sources dry up at home
Stand firm, realize addiction is a disease and be objective about the teen’s behavior. This will help be more effective in efforts to get help. Approach the problem with tough love and be willing to support the teen through treatment options (inpatient, outpatient) and whatever it takes to get better.
Hired Power believes the family plays an important role in helping teens get clean from drug addiction. Call us if you need help finding support for your teen’s drug use.