For some parents, any drug use by their teen is bad news. And for other parents, marijuana is okay, as long as they aren’t touching anything else. Whether you’re concerned about drug use or not, you may be interested in signs that show your teen is smoking pot. Although marijuana comes across as a harmless drug, research has shown the negative consequences that smoking pot can have on teens.
For instance, studies are finding that the harm marijuana use brings is not only harm to the body, but harm to the success of an adolescent’s life. Teenagers who smoke marijuana daily are over 60 percent less likely to complete high school than those who never use. They are also 60 percent less likely to graduate college and seven times more likely to attempt suicide. These are the results of a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry, a British journal of health research.
Another study found that there are significant relationships between marijuana use and high school graduation, college graduation, suicide attempts, marijuana dependency, and other illicit drug use. Marijuana has a reputation of being a safe compared to other hard drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine; yet, the regular use of marijuana is proving to be dangerous in its own ways.
If you’re curious whether your teen is smoking marijuana, here are signs to look for:
- easily loses train of thought
- can sound disjointed in a conversation
- lack of motivation
- moves slowly and sometimes with lethargy
- may act silly or giggles frequently
- unusual eating habits or increased eating
- has a poor short term memory
- demonstrates a slow reaction time
- poor coordination
- experiences dry mouth and may be frequently drinking water
- appears to have a frequent mucus-filled cough
- frequently has red bloodshot eyes
- sudden change in friends
- interest in short walks or going outside for short periods of time
- loss of interest in activities your teen once enjoyed
- absences from school
- frequent requests for money
These are some warning signs to look for, if you are concerned that your teen might be smoking marijuana. Even if you’re okay with your teen smoking pot, you may want to learn more about how this drug may be influencing your teen’s life. Sure, it can be a harmless drug – for some adolescents. However, for others, pot can lead to more and more trouble in life.
If you see three or more of the above signs in your teen, there’s a good chance that he or she is smoking pot. If your teen is regularly using marijuana, discussing the dangers of this drug, including the findings from the studies described above, might help persuade your teen about marijuana use. You might also work closely with a school counselor or your teen’s sports coach. Even still, peer acceptance, friendships, and social exploration are important to teens at this stage in life. Because of this, they may not be ready to let go of their marijuana use. However, If you feel that substance use is severely affecting your teen’s life, seek the support of a mental health professional.