What Parents Need to Know about Marijuana

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of National Institute on Drug Abuse. All opinions are 100% mine.


This week is National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM, dedicated to helping SHATTER THE MYTHSTM,SM around substance use and addiction that teens and parents may have. Often, youth get the wrong idea about drug use from internet, TV, movies, music, and even their friends. It’s crazy to think, but 1 in 3 songs references drugs, alcohol, or tobacco use. This is what our children are exposed to. When kids are armed with the right information about drugs and alcohol, they’re able to make better educated decisions.

All parents should be having those important discussions with their teens to know what their understanding is and think how you can better help them make informed decisions. Take the time during National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM, to start communicating with your children. If you need a place to start the conversation, the 12-question, multiple choice National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge can help guide a conversation starting point based on the results.

I got 10 right out of 12. After pouring over the website for a few hours reading about different drugs I still missed a couple of the questions! There’s a lot to know as parents, and even more our young children don’t yet know. There are a lot of drug and alcohol factsd we need to be aware of, to protect our families.

What Parents Need to Know About Marijuana

What Parents Need to Know About Marijuana

Marijuana is one of the most commonly used and accessible drugs available to teens. It can also lead to experimentation with other drugs. This makes it especially important to be aware of what marijuana is and the common signs and symptoms of use you may notice as a parent. If you’re able to notice the changes in your child’s behavior or health, it can help you intervene, when necessary, and open the door to communication early.

Common Names for Marijuana

Marijuana has other common names it is referred to as, including weed, pot, grass, Mary Jane, MJ, and others. Knowing the common names can help you keep better tabs on your children.

Marijuana Use by Teens

A study in 2016 reported that 12.8% of 8th graders have tried marijuana, which increases to 29.7% by 10th grate and 44.5% by 12th. That’s nearly half of all teens that will have tried marijuana by the time they graduate high school. That’s a staggering number, and odds are it will likely touch your household.

Common Signs of Marijuana Use

If your child is using marijuana, he or she might: 

  • seem unusually giggly and/or uncoordinated
  • have very red, bloodshot eyes or frequently use eye drops
  • have a hard time remembering things that just happened
  • have drugs or drug paraphernalia, including pipes and rolling papers
  • have strangely smelling clothes or bedroom
  • use incense or other deodorizers
  • wear clothing or jewelry or have posters that promote drug use
  • have unexplained lack of money or a surplus of cash on hand

Also watch for changes in: relationships with family and friends, academic performance, including skipping class, interests or favorite activities, peer group, and eating and sleeping habits. All of these signs can be related to drug use, or other problems. *Information sourced from: Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. 

How to Help Your Children

Parental involvement and communication is a key important factor in helping children stay away from drugs and alcohol or get help, when needed. DrugAbuse.gov has a great resource to help parents know how to open communication and the other key skills of connecting with teens. Head over to their Family Check-up resource to learn more about Communication, Encouragement, Negotiation, Setting Limits, and Supervision and how these tools can help your family.

Need even more help? Turn to What to do if your teen has problems with drugs  for a whole site of resources for parents and teens.

By keeping up the conversation about the effect of drugs and alcohol and dispelling myths we can help our youth avoid addiction and hopefully continue to see these statistics decline.


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About Janel

Hi, I'm Janel! I'm the owner and lead blogger here at A Mom's Take. I have five little boys age 8 and under. I am a Phoenix based mom blogger and love the sun. I love to travel and have been known for planning trips specifically to hit the roller coasters! I enjoy digital scrapbook and design and I'm obsessed with board games.


What Parents Need to Know about Marijuana — 19 Comments

  1. wow. I didn’t know that stats were that high for marijuana use amongst teens.i know this was big when i was growing up i cant even imagine now. great stats. i never knew..

  2. I remember being in middle school and not even knowing what weed was. It is amazing to me how many kids that age now are even smoking.

  3. thanks so much for putting all this information on my radar! I have a 15 year old daughter and I definitely need to be more vigilant when it comes to all these signs and have more conversations!

  4. You have got a lot of great information here. I definitely know all the signs and will be watching for these with my girls. I’m not really looking forward to the teen years!

  5. I can honestly say I never tried weed, nor had the desire to do so. I hope my kids are like me and do not experiment with this.

  6. I think it is important to talk to kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Now that Pot is about to become legal in Canada we really need to make sure they know the risks.

  7. This is a great post. My son is 20 and we still talk to him about drugs and alcohol. I never realized kids that young were smoking marijuana.

  8. It is important to note any behavior that is unusual. It gets tough with teens somtimes, they act different just due to hormone changes or their own dramas.

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