How to Get Your Child to Quit Smoking Pot

Drug use is a serious problem and can begin early in life. Pot has serious risks and is commonly referred to as a "gateway drug," because some people will search for more potent, more dangerous drugs after experimenting with pot. If you find out your child is smoking pot, work to end the behavior before it becomes an addiction or interferes with your child's life. Begin by gently confronting your child, and build up to more intrusive methods if the problem is not resolved.

Close-up of a marijuana plant. Credit: pkripper503/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Avoid threatening your child so you don't immediately push him away. Instead, ask him questions, so you can understand why your child is partaking in this behavior. This information will help you decide how to handle the situation. Good questions include, "Why do you like smoking pot?" "How much does it cost?" "Who do you smoke with?" "When do you smoke pot and do you ever feel like you should avoid it in certain situations/places?" Space these questions out and ask her during good one-on-one moments, such as during a car ride with just the two of you.

Step 2

Analyze why your child is using pot. Consider the answers your child has given to your questions (though he may not be 100 percent honest with you) to help figure out the reason.

Step 3

Express your feelings. Tell your child that you do not approve of him smoking pot, and give him reasons why this is an unacceptable behavior. Important reasons include: It is illegal and she can be arrested, it costs a lot of money and it can keep him from being able to obtain a job. Let your child know that her health is of paramount concern to you. Marijuana can damage cells, lower immunity to disease, trigger mental illness and decrease memory and brain function.

Step 4

Offer resources to help your child cope with any problems she is having that may contribute to her use of pot. Suggest that she join a club or sports team if she has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Take her to a doctor if she seems to be smoking pot to help cope with an undiagnosed disorder, such as ADHD.

Step 5

Set a family drug policy, and explain consequences of drug use. Let your child know that smoking pot will have consequences such as early curfew, inability to go certain places or even drug tests. If you can see that your child has taken your advice seriously, consider rewarding her positive behavior and for taking responsible control over her behavior, health and future.

Step 6

Seek a psychiatrist who specializes in drug use. You should visit with the therapist first to explain the situation. The therapist should be able to help determine the best course of action for your child. He may give you tips on how to handle your child or may ask you to have the child come in for an appointment.

Step 7

Enter your child in a rehab facility if you have tried to get your child to stop smoking pot, but she doesn't care and continues the behavior. Drug addiction can cause major problems in your child's life for years to come.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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