How do you know if your teen is using marijuana?

(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Awareness is a critical characteristic when you are a parent. It is important to be in tune with what your children are doing and when their behavior drastically changes.

Let’s talk teens for instance. Their behavior is already a little erratic at times and their emotions are a roller coaster. However, there are very clear changes and behaviors that will indicate more than adolescent mood swings such as marijuana use, for example.

Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Declining school work and grades
  • Abrupt changes in friends
  • Abnormal health issues or sleeping habits
  • Deteriorating relationships with family
  • Less openness and honesty.

And despite some misconceptions, marijuana use is dangerous especially by adolescents.

According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition, the parts of the adolescent brain which develop first are those that control physical coordination, emotion, and motivation. However, the part of the brain which controls reasoning and impulses — known as the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain
does not fully mature until the age of 25

It’s as if, while the other parts of the teen brain are shouting, the prefrontal cortex is not quite ready to play referee. This can have noticeable effects on teen behavior, such as:

  • Difficulty holding back or controlling emotions
  • A preference for high-excitement and low-effort activities
  • Poor planning and judgment (rarely thinking of negative
    consequences)
  • More risky, impulsive behaviors, including experimenting
    with drugs and alcohol

In the end, you know your child best. If something doesn’t seem right it probably isn’t.

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