Is Your Child Using Marijuana?
While a child using marijuana may seem preferable to a child using heroin or meth, this isn’t always the case. Now don’t get me wrong, using heroin or meth introduces an entirely new set of concerns. Still, a child or loved one smoking weed is no small matter.
No parent wants to think their child may turn to drugs. In today’s culture, though, attitudes surrounding marijuana are incredibly relaxed. This makes using and abusing it seem relatively harmless.
In some ways this is certainly true. After all, smoking a joint once isn’t going to turn anyone into a raging drug addict. However, marijuana does carry with it some serious health risks.
Are you concerned a child, family member, friend, or significant other is smoking pot? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Lighthouse has put together a list of various warning signs and effects of marijuana use. We hope this information will put your mind at ease!
Signs of Marijuana Use
Find a list of signs common to marijuana use below:
• Dilated pupils – marijuana is infamous for dilating the pupils of its users. Does your child or loved one suddenly seem to always have huge pupils? They may be smoking marijuana.
• Bloodshot eyes – marijuana is also infamous for making its users’ eyes bloodshot and glazed. Are your child’s eyes more red than white? Does your loved one always look like they just woke up? These are some of the telltale signs of marijuana abuse.
• Apathetic & Dazed – on top of bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils, marijuana is infamous for making those who use it spacey and apathetic. This has been at the center of many anti-drug ads. This stereotype is based in truth, though. Is your child or loved one indifferent, listless, and dazed? If so, you may want to pay close attention for other signs of pot smoking.
• Smells strongly of smoke – marijuana has a particular sickly sweet odor. Has your child suddenly started smelling like that? Have they recently started burning incense? While these may be nothing more than strange smells, they may also be signs of marijuana use.
• Marijuana paraphernalia – these are things like pipes, rolling papers, cigar wraps, small baggies, and “grinders” (a device that looks like a yoyo that’s used to crush and grind marijuana). If you find these in your child or loved one’s possession, chances are they’re using marijuana.
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Effects of Marijuana
Find a list of effects common to marijuana use below:
• Increased appetitive – often called “the munchies,” marijuana drastically increases its users appetites. This is due to how THC, the most potent active chemical in marijuana, stimulates the brain’s olfactory receptors. That’s right, THC actually causes hunger by increasing how users smell food.
• Increased heart rate – marijuana increases users’ heart rates by between twenty and fifty beats per minute. Most people’s hearts beat between seventy and eighty times per minute, so this is a large increase in heart rate.
• Decreased coordination & balance – after smoking pot, THC binds to receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia. These parts of the brain control balance, coordination, and reaction time.
• Decreased nausea – THC and CBD, the second most potent active chemical in marijuana, bind to 5-HT3 receptors in the brain. By doing so, they decrease nausea.
• Euphoria – marijuana produces a slightly different euphoria for everyone. It has properties of both a stimulant and a depressant. Generally speaking, the high from smoking pot relaxes users and increases sensory input.
• Memory loss – THC also binds to receptors in the hippocampus. This is the area of the brain that forms and stores memory. As THC enters the hippocampus, it actually alters how information is received and processed. This leads to decreased memory retention.
What Do I Do if My Child is Using Marijuana?
If, after learning some of the above information, you think your child is smoking marijuana, the question becomes what to do. This is often the most overwhelming part of struggling with a child, family member, or significant other’s drug use. What can you do to help them? What can you do to break the cycle of drug use and abuse?
The first step to helping your child is simply learning information about their drug use. This is true or marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or any other drug. How often is your child or loved one using? What consequences have they experienced? Do they view their use as a problem? Do they actively want help?
After obtaining this information, speaking to a treatment center is a great resource. Most treatment centers have a dedicated group of admission coordinators whose job is to answer any and all questions concerned parents may have.
Give Lighthouse Recovery Institute a call. Many members of our staff are in long-term recovery themselves or have a loved one who’s struggled with addiction. We believe the simplest way to solve any drug related problem is to learn the facts and make an informed decision, rather than one based in fear and uncertainty.
Call us today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015 and say goodbye to fear!