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Marijuana is — together with alcohol — the most commonly used and abused illegal drug among minors. Roughly 10 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 use weed, and your child is more likely to encounter and experiment with this drug as they rise through this age bracket; at 12, only one percent of US children uses weed, while at 17, it's over 14 percent. 

When you find out that your teenager has been smoking weed, you may be shocked, or you may think it's not such a big deal. If you fall into the second category, keep in mind that cannabis has become ever more potent since you were a teenager yourself, and this means a greater risk of addiction as well as a higher chance that your teen will end up in the ER because of weed use. Regular weed use affects a teen's academic achievement, makes them more likely to engage in risky behavior, and can even induce psychosis.

Either way, as hard as realizing that your baby is doing drugs is, you now know — and this fact arms you with the ability to help them!

Signs Of Marijuana Use

People who have been using marijuana may be giddy, uncoordinated, experience mood changes, have bloodshot eyes and — smell of marijuana.

My Son Or Daughter Is Doing Weed: What Do I Do?

Several things, that can probably be summed up like this:

  • Keep talking and loving. Place yourself in your teen's shoes, and it becomes clear that a hard-handed, punitive, approach probably won't lead you to the answers you want. Why is your child doing weed? With whom? What else is going on? By focusing on the quality of your relationship, you keep the channels of communication open and increase the chances they'll "let you in" to help them. 
  • Get support for yourself. Not only are you hoping to help your teen get off weed and into a healthy place, you're also dealing with all the practical and emotional implications of your teen's drug use yourself. You can't do it alone, and in this case, you're best off with the support of a psychologist experienced with teen drug use to counsel you through this patch. Your family doctor, too, can be a good starting point. 
  • Get to the bottom of this. The underlying reasons of rug use vary from person to person, as does the frequency of use. Having the right info can help you determine what to do next. 

Weed use may indicate that your teen is trying to escape from unpleasant realities, including those you don't know about. Tackling the underlying problem is undoubtedly the answer in this case. Smoking weed may also, however, be a matter of curiosity and not fully understanding the impact it can have in this day and age. Approaches may vary from spending some time researching marijuana together to signing your teen up for cognitive behavioral therapy, or even a drug treatment program. The right answer depends on the situation. Remember that you don't have to handle it all by yourself, and neither does your teen. 

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