how to stop my teenager from smoking marijuana

Marijuana has always been a hot topic. Conflicting messages are present everywhere. Is it good, or is it bad? But one thing is for sure: marijuana addiction is harmful to anyone, especially teens. While alcohol takes the top spot, marijuana is not far behind as America’s second most popular mind-altering substance. As per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a whopping 95 million Americans aged 12 (6.2% of the entire population) and above have tried marijuana at least once.

So, if you’re here, you might be asking yourself: How do I stop my teenager from smoking marijuana, and how do I know if my teen is high? Teen marijuana addiction has spread like an epidemic in the world, especially in the United States. According to the data presented by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), there were 455,000 reported emergency visits because of marijuana use, and 13% of them were young teens aged 12-17.

Undoubtedly, dealing with teen marijuana addiction is difficult for both the child and the parents. When a teen gets addicted, parents often blame themselves. They think they did not do a good job protecting and guiding their child. They might feel guilty, sad, and emotionally traumatized. However, if you find out that your teen is currently addicted to marijuana or any other substance, you should not blame yourself or your child. Both of you are victims of a highly addictive drug.

Being emotionally stable and finding ways to overcome this issue is your number one priority. If you are here, trying to help your child regarding how to quit marijuana or how to stop doing cocaine, then you’re already doing a good job. It’s important, and we’re here to offer you sound, worthwhile guidance. Together, we can make choices that will positively impact your teen’s life and future. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at how you can stop your teen from smoking marijuana.

Signs of Marijuana Addiction or Abuse Among Teens

The warning signs of marijuana use in teens and abuse or addiction vary from adolescent to adolescent. Still, you should watch out for the most common physical and psychological changes. Here are the most common signs of marijuana addiction:

  • Redness of the eyes.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Having unprotected sex.
  • Forgets things easily.
  • Diminished coordination.
  • Mixing marijuana with other opioids.
  • It’s spoiling their relationships, eating into their finances, and making it hard to keep up with their duties.
  • Frequent headaches and dizziness.
  • Smiling or laughing without reason.
  • You may find that ingenious hiding spot where your teen has stored marijuana, like hidden in CD or DVD cases, behind an electrical board, or between mattresses.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Euphoria.
  • Extreme panic and anxiety attacks.
  • Inability to organize, plan, or make any decisions.
  • Hallucinations.

Once you have reached that point where you are foolproof that these symptoms of marijuana in your child are factual, it’s time to think about the best way to talk to them. As parents, it’s a tough spot to be in, filled with all sorts of unsettling emotions. However, the steps we’re going to discuss next are really practical and are the best way to quit smoking marijuana.

Ways To Stop Your Teenager From Smoking Marijuana

Since marijuana addiction calls for your involvement, you should note these seven ways to stop your teenager from smoking Marijuana.

1) Have Regular Conversations

  • Marijuana is one of the most used drugs by teens in the United States. Keeping your child aware of this can influence their decisions regarding drugs.
  • Try to make the conversations as natural as possible, in relaxed situations, like having your dinner or watching TV.
  • Listen to their thoughts about Marijuana, express your opinions, and institute rules to convey a compelling message.
  • At the same time, give your child tips on how to avoid drugs when they are offered. Prevention is always the best solution.

2) Talk About the Risks

  • Teens might get the wrong idea about Marijuana with the information they get from people or the internet, so you need to correct these misconstructions.
  • For instance, some countries are legalizing Marijuana, but they have to know that something legal does not mean it is safe, especially if it is abused.
  • There are many risks associated with marijuana use, especially in teens, as it is considered a fast-acting drug that quickly affects a developing brain.
  • Chronic and high doses users of Marijuana can end up having psychosis disorders, like schizophrenia or other mental health issues.
  • Moreover, it can also disrupt cognitive functions, affect learning and socializing skills, and lead to behavioral changes, all of which can have severe consequences.

3) Debunk Marijuana Myths

Misconceptions about Marijuana are rampant. A teen with the wrong information might get a false sense of feeling of security. Consider debunking the following myths.

  • Myth: “Marijuana is not bad. It is natural.”
    Truth: Not everything natural is good, like tobacco or oleander, for example. They are all-natural plants, but they can take someone’s life.
  • Myth: “Marijuana is not addictive.”
    Truth: All substances that are capable of affecting the human brain are addictive. Marijuana users eventually need to take higher doses to achieve the same “high,” which leads to addiction.
  • Myth: “Marijuana is safe to use since it is being legalized.”
    Truth: Prescription drugs and alcohol are legal, but they are not safe when used without moderation or proper guidance. Over a million people have developed disorders due to marijuana addiction.

4) Keep Yourself Involved in Their Lives

  • The parents’ presence in the endeavors of their children is essential. Studies suggest that the involvement and guidance of parents can help their teens not to try drugs or stop using addictive substances like Marijuana.
  • Spend time with your child, join them in doing the things they love, talk to them, connect with them. Make them feel that you are available every day.
  • Building a solid relationship with your child helps them find peace, attain self-worth, and make healthy decisions.
  • If you value the things they love to do, their school performance, and their behavior in society, they will learn how to be grateful.
  • While you can guide them to make good life choices, note that it is beneficial to balance being engaged and letting them have their freedom so they don’t feel suffocated.
  • You would not want them to rebel and break the bond between parent and child.

5) Know Their Social Circle

  • Friendship involves feelings, time, interest, and bonds, which contribute to emotional and social development.
  • Your teen’s friends have a great influence on their growth as individuals and their decision-making. They might even spend more time hanging out with their friends than with their relatives.
  • Knowing their social circle will help you understand more about your child.
  • While you cannot choose their peers, you can tell them what makes someone a good friend.
  • In addition, you can let them invite their friends to your home, prepare some snacks, and have short conversations to get to know them little by little.

6) Establish Rules and Limits

The non-negotiables between you and your child must be explained clearly and implemented consistently. Establishing your rules and limits reinforces the fact that you care for them. It shows that you are involved in their safety. Here are some rules you can implement:
  • “Don’t drink alcohol until you turn 21.”
  • “You must tell me the address of where you are going to hang out.”
  • “Give me a heads-up about the parties you want to go to, at least 1-2 days before the event.”
  • “You have to give me the contact details of your friends, so I can get in touch with them if something happens.”
  • “Charge your phone every time you leave the house and make sure it is on.”
  • “Send me a message in our code in case you need help.”
  • “Impose a financial penalty every time your teen smokes marijuana.”

7) Find Healthier Ways 

  • If you’ve noticed your son or daughter turning to pot to handle stress, it’s imperative that you make him look at healthier ways that can help him deal with it.
  • Regular exercise routines, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, or even therapy could help. It’s all about encouraging him to try these out.
  • Likewise, you can also start with something simple, taking walks together or trying deep breathing exercises.

8) Involve Them In Activities Which They Enjoy

  • It’s wise to get your teen involved in activities they enjoy to keep them away from marijuana. An engaged and focused mind is less likely to drift towards weed.
  • These activities do more than just fill their time; they help teens grow their skills and make new friends.
  • Encourage them to do the things they love, whether it’s in sports, new hobbies, catching a movie, or hanging out with their mates.
  • Apart from this, if they keep themselves involved, they might just find those withdrawal symptoms less bothersome.

9) Improve Their Sleep

  • Why not sit down with your teenager and discuss healthier ways to wind down at night rather than relying on marijuana?
  • Suggest that they power down their devices a bit earlier before sleep and experiment with relaxation techniques, perhaps meditation.

10) Ensure That They Eat Rich Fiber Diet

It turns out that a diet high in fiber is great for your teen’s gut (digestion) and also plays a part in clearing THC metabolites from their body. Consider incorporating these fiber-packed foods from now on in your teen’s diet:

  • Legumes: Chickpeas, black beans, split peas, lentils, navy beans, lima beans, and kidney beans.
  • Whole Grains: Brown rice, barley, bulgur, quinoa, oats, and popcorn.
  • Fruits: Bananas, figs, kiwis, oranges, apples, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, avocados, and pears.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

11) Tell Them To Practice Delay & Distract

  • Every time your teen feels the desire to smoke marijuana, ask them to delay it by five minutes. Setting a timer could also help.
  • In the meantime, they could watch a video, prepare a cup of coffee, go for a shower, or do anything they love just to build up that craving, which at a certain peak point can fade away.
  • And by the time they’re done with the things they love, the urge to smoke might have passed. 
  • And here’s a thought – maybe they can gradually increase the waiting time, from 5 to 10 minutes, then 15, and so on?

12) Participate in Community-Based Prevention Programs

  • Like we said before, prevention is the best solution. There are numerous prevention programs in America, and joining them will give you and your teen important information about drug abuse.
  • Participating in this kind of activity will affect the life decisions of your teen, especially at their young age, where curiosity is at its peak.
  • For those who are already facing challenges, understanding the types of troubled teen programs can be a lifesaver. Early prevention saves a lot of time, finances, and lives. This will also be a great time to strengthen your bond with your child. 

How To Stop My Teenager From Smoking Marijuana: More Tips for Parents

Have Regular Conversations

  • Every generation is different. Everything is constantly changing, so it stands to reason that your parenting should suit your child’s modern needs.
  • A harsh parenting style might push kids to try drugs like marijuana and rebel against their parents. Keep in mind that everyone is capable of change, and so are you.

Talk About the Risks

  • Studies show that when parents and children are communicative, they address their problems faster, and the chances of drug addiction are very low.
  • While talking about sensitive topics like marijuana, drugs, alcohol, sex, and feelings might sound awkward, it can prevent your teen from committing a fatal mistake.
  • Make sure you ain’t among those parents yelling since that could affect the mental and emotional aspects of your child. It is best to start having regular talks as early and as naturally as possible.

Make Them A Plan

Our experts always say that choosing a method isn’t the be-all and end-all – it’s all in the preparation. Think of it as akin to starting a new diet or exercise regimen; the success lies in the planning. Examine your teen’s life, choose the strategy that suits them best, and once they’re settled, you can do this in one of any two ways:

Tapering Your Use

  • A tapering approach is a bit like dimming the lights – a gentle and gradual way to reduce marijuana use by decreasing the dosage use over some time.
  • The goal? To let your teen’s body get used to lower dosage levels of marijuana without triggering those harsh withdrawal symptoms. 

Quitting Cold Turkey

  • If you’re considering whether your teen should stop smoking marijuana abruptly (rather than on a gradual basis), it’s worth weighing the reasons. Maybe they need to quit due to internships, school performance, relationships, or even legal troubles.
  • Now, for some teens, tapering off marijuana gradually might seem doable, but others might doubt their ability to cut down slowly.
  • That’s where the ‘cold turkey’ method comes in – it’s about stopping all at once.
  • Think of it as an abrupt cessation. You’ll notice changes in your teen almost immediately. But it’s not as straightforward as it sounds.
  • Quitting cold turkey requires a well-planned strategy, especially to handle the withdrawal symptoms that are pretty much a given.
  • It’s not as simple as just putting down the joint and walking away for good. Sure, mentally, your teen might be ready to quit, but what about their body?
  • Keep in mind that their body has gotten used to the effects of THC, and it’s stored in the system for quite some time (a month). So, even with the best intentions, the craving for weed might linger.
  • Trying to quit cold turkey is a bold move (as it has its own history of being associated with drug addiction & increases blood pressure), but it’s often not enough on its own.
  • Without a solid plan, it can be really tough to beat the biological urge that comes with regular cannabis use.

Throw Away Their Weed-Related Paraphernalia

  • Once your teen has made the brave decision to recover, it’s time to you help them by clearing out all traces of their weed habits.
  • Toss out the bongs, pipes, rolling papers, and vapes. It’s a big step, but a clean environment is key to a successful recovery.

Pinpoint The Reasons That Triggers Your Teen To Smoke Weed

  • Every teen’s reasons (whether it’s social encounters, people, places, or lifestyle) for turning to marijuana are different, and that’s okay.
  • As parents, your job is to figure out what those reasons are and then help them replace those habits with healthier coping strategies.

Reach To Fellow Parents for Support

  • Sometimes, when our own efforts to stop our teens from smoking marijuana don’t seem to do the trick, seeking advice from other parents who’ve faced similar issues gets the work done.
  • They’ve got the experience and could have exactly the tips you need.
  • Plus, it’s always reassuring to share your worries with parents who truly understand the challenges (you’re going through) of parenting.

Improve their Spiritual Aspects

  • Building the spiritual aspects of your child might help them make healthy decisions in life. Several types of research suggest that children who participate in religious activities are less likely to try drugs or have addiction problems.
  • This could also let them express themselves with more ease if they are struggling with other issues.

In addition to these tips, it may be beneficial to consider professional help if your teenager is struggling with marijuana addiction. No matter how severe the marijuana disorder is. Key Healthcare offers an intensive outpatient program for teens, providing intensive therapy and support in a less restrictive setting than residential treatment.

Sometimes, Marijuana or other teen drug addictions are serious, and parents cannot solve them on their own. Teen drug rehab or teen nicotine addiction treatment, along with family therapy, individual therapy, and group therapy, are often necessary.

We offer several levels of care for families, and our highest level of care is our therapist-recommended teen residential treatment program, CBT for teens, and motivational interviewing. And still if you or your child are not seeing the progress you hoped for with the above strategies. Don’t hesitate to reach out – the perfect time is always right away.