Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Does Your Teen Need Marijuana Addiction Treatment?

marijuana treatment

No parent wants to believe that their child is in need of marijuana addiction treatment. Initially, many parents prefer to see marijuana abuse as a one-time thing and – if it continues – a passing phase. But the fact is that if marijuana abuse has turned into marijuana addiction then early intervention and treatment can make a world of difference in efficacy of care and recovery. The earlier your teen gets the help he needs, the more likely he is to:

  • Need treatment for a shorter period of time
  • Need less intensive treatment
  • Remain drug-free for a longer period of time
  • Avoid other “hard” drugs like heroin and cocaine
  • Avoid an accident while under the influence
  • Avoid unprotected sex under the influence that can result in an STD or teen pregnancy

f your teen is dependent upon marijuana, we can provide him with the teen cannabis treatment he needs to move forward and away from drug use. Contact us at Muir Wood today and learn more about our teen-specific substance abuse rehabilitation program for boys.

16 Signs That Your Teen Needs Marijuana Rehab

If you have already identified the signs of marijuana abuse in your son and/or found the drug itself as well as the paraphernalia used to smoke it among your son’s possessions, then it’s clear that marijuana abuse is an issue. Should those behaviors continue despite firm consequences at home and at school, how can you tell when marijuana abuse has turned into an issue that requires formal teen marijuana treatment?  Here are a few indications that your loved one might be using marijuana and insights to help you discern whether or not your teen might need inpatient or outpatient marijuana rehab.

Poor academic performance

Your child may be experiencing a number of problems at school as a direct result of ongoing marijuana abuse, including a drop in grades, missing classes, and expulsion for getting high on campus or being in possession of marijuana. As soon as this starts to happen, it’s important to take action; learning is cumulative and it’s difficult to make up the work and get back on track before graduation without damaging your son’s options for college.

Loss of interest in other hobbies and activities

Afterschool activities, sports, clubs and hobbies are all important parts of the teen experience. They contribute to positive social support, self-esteem, and his college applications. These often fall by the wayside when marijuana abuse becomes a problem.

Losing friends who don’t use drugs

Your son may have had friends for years who suddenly fall off when his marijuana abuse increases. This is a sign that his marijuana use has reached a crisis point, because it indicates how much he’s willing to give up in pursuit of staying high.

Decreased mental and emotional state

Long-term use of any substance will slowly start to erode at your teen’s mental capabilities and decrease overall mood. When not under the influence, your son may be sullen and despondent and while high he may seem distant and “out of it.” Because his brain is rapidly growing and maturing during this period, any use of marijuana can harm your son’s cognitive function and stunt his emotional growth.

Inability to connect with family members

When focused solely on getting high and staying high, your son will have little interest in engaging with other members of the family. He may argue more with you, be rude when invited to join the family for anything from dinner to a vacation, and spend less time with siblings and extended family members.

Lying, cheating and stealing

Your son likely doesn’t have enough money of his own to pay for marijuana when it becomes a chronic habit, so to pay for what he needs, he may steal from you or others and lie about it. Some teens take money while others steal items from the house to sell to get money for marijuana.

Criminal behavior

Breaking into cars, damaging property, shoplifting – all these are common crimes committed by young people with a drug problem. Whether causing trouble because they are under the influence or attempting to steal enough money to pay for more drugs, the result is the same: arrest, court, fines, and in some cases, a juvenile detention center if the behaviors continue unchecked.

Siblings are mimicking his behaviors

When the behaviors last so long and there are so few identifiable negative consequences to younger siblings, they may start to follow in your substance-abusing son’s footsteps, either getting high with their own friends or with your son.

Red/Bloodshot Eyes 

One of the most common signs of marijuana use in young adults is red or bloodshot eyes.  The reason for this is that cannabinoids in marijuana cause dilation and prompt blood vessels in the eyes to widen, giving a red or bloodshot appearance.  Of course, this isn’t the end-all-be-all sign on how to tell if someone has been smoking pot, but it’s one of the most trademark symptoms of marijuana use – especially if combined with other pot-related side effects mentioned here.

Delayed Reaction Times 

Another among several tell-tale signs your kid is smoking pot includes slowed response times and delayed reactions.  Cannabis is notorious for suppressing physical and mental function.  This is precisely why many teens are attracted to pot – because it produces a “mellowing out” effect and reduces the anxiety that is often common in adolescents.  THC is the active (high-producing) component in marijuana, and it is known to impair cognitive, and motor performance as well as even influence the perception of time in teens.  

Mood Swings 

One of the most alarming and unsettling side-effects of marijuana use in teens is the effects it has on their behavior.  While the use of pot varies wildly in different teens, a common sign is unexplainable or unpredictable mood swings.  Some parents might argue that being moody is commonplace for teenagers.  This is largely true.  However, marijuana can exacerbate an already tenuous or moody situation in teens, which could indicate that a teen is using marijuana. In many instances, parents seek out teen marijuana treatment in conjunction with behavioral therapy in order to help their kids manage their emotions without the use of pot. 

Smell Like Marijuana 

The odor of marijuana is indisputably distinctive.  If you’re not sure what it smells like, odds are you’ll know it when you smell it being smoked or on your teen’s clothing because the scent is very unique and recognizable.  Some might call it a “skunky” smell, while other ways to describe the scent of marijuana as herby, earthy, or pungently musky.  Moreover, it’s very difficult to mask the smell of marijuana.  And even if air fresheners are used, that might be another sign your kid is smoking pot because they are trying to hide the smell of marijuana.


As mentioned, marijuana has a sedative effect. This could lead to your teen expressing sluggish or slothful behavior.  If your teen prefers to lounge or sleep all day instead of engaging in activities he or she used to enjoy – it might be a sign of marijuana use.  Now, some parents may argue that teens are inherently lazy.  While this might be accurate for some teenagers, it isn’t the norm, and signs of exhaustion should be considered as a side-effect of marijuana use.


If you want the science behind it – the psychoactive compound in marijuana known as THC affects certain receptors in the brain which are connected to fear-related emotions.  In some teens, that can manifest into strong feelings of anxiety, suspiciousness, and paranoia.  So, if you’re teen becomes accusatory or is acting paranoid, it could indicate he or she is using marijuana.  Some examples of paranoid behavior might result in teens claiming they feel like they are being watched or pursued, feelings that the walls are caving in on them, or resistance to being in crowds.  They may also accuse friends or family members of doing things such as spying, stealing from them, or behaving in ways that are not a reality while under the influence of marijuana.  

Teen's Paranoia   

Hunger or the “Munchies” 

The THC in marijuana is known to target the endocannabinoid system.  This is an intricate portion of the brain that cues the body’s feeding impulses.  So, while a teen might not be hungry, if they are using pot, they may get what is known as the “munchies” because the marijuana is triggering that area in the brain that signals the body needs food.  Now, we know that many teenagers are legendary for putting all-you-can-eat buffets out of business.  This makes sense because teen bodies are still growing, so they need vital fuel to maintain energy and fully develop.  However, if you’re seeing Ding-Dong and Chee-to wrappers piling up in your teen’s backpack, room, or car – even when you are providing them plentiful meals – this might be a sign he or she is using cannabis.

Marijuana Paraphernalia 

If a teen is using marijuana, then there are bound to be clues in the form of paraphernalia – if a parent is privy on what to look for.  This is especially true if a teen is smoking. To elaborate, smoking marijuana requires certain implements such as water pipes (known as a bong, bubbler, or hookah), rolling papers, matches or lighters, ashtrays, or special pipes, which could be wooden, clay, glass, or ceramic.  Teen pot users might also use items such as roach clips (a clip to hold a joint), grinders (to grind up buds for smoking), or vape pens.   These are just examples of paraphernalia for inhaling pot – you might find remnants of other marijuana usages such as wrappers for cannabis tinctures, gummies, drinkables, brownies, receipts for pot-derived purchases, etc.

How Muir Wood Can Help Your Teen with Marijuana Addiction & Abuse 

The ever-increasing legalization of marijuana for individuals 21 years or older is raising some urgent questions about why do teens use marijuana.  With its increased accessibility, marijuana is becoming more “cool” or popular with the younger set. 

As a result, marijuana’s prevalence is becoming an issue that most parents aren’t willing to face when protecting their teens.  And while many might argue that pot “isn’t all that bad,” – that simply isn’t the case when it comes to the best outcomes for teens.  To explain, teenage brains and bodies are still developing.  Introducing marijuana at such young, tender ages can wreak havoc on their development and well-being.  

At Muir Wood, we are painfully familiar with the negative effects of teen marijuana use.  That is why we are committed to providing our teens with the resources, care, concern, and structure needed to allow them to cope through their teenage years with confidence without using pot or other substances to live a fulfilling life.  If reading these 16 signs of teen pot use prompts you to suspect you might need teen rehab for marijuana use disorder – please call us now.  

Our compassionate and experienced professionals know what you are going through.  We are with you and your child every step of the way.  Let us help you help your child live the brilliant life they are destined to live – without the complications of marijuana.  We know how to re-establish health, confidence, and well-being in teens, and we are committed to our mission to support you and your child to succeed today, tomorrow, and well into the future. 

Take Action

Overall, a decreased quality of life and family relationships due to marijuana use are big red flags that marijuana abuse is not a phase for your child and that it’s time to get treatment. Contact us at Muir Wood now to discuss the options in marijuana addiction treatment that are waiting for your teen.

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