How to know if you smoke joints and how to avoid it?
One of the main concerns of parents towards children during adolescence is the use of drugs. The OEuropean Observatory on Drugs and Drug Addiction It estimates in its Report on drugs of 2017, that the illegal drug most consumed in Spain is cannabis and that 19.9% of adolescents between 15 and 24 years old have consumed it sometime in their life.
Adolescence is a stage of life that involves the passage from childhood to adulthood and it is this period of development where more psychological, physical and social changes occur. In addition, in recent years, we find that adolescence is a longer process, begins before and, above all, ends later.
In recent years, the campaigns directed from the educational and health institutions to the prevention of drug consumption, consist of promoting healthy habits since childhood and more assertive styles of communication in the family. In relationships with children communication should be facilitated and an educational style of involvement, neither authoritarian nor permissive that favors a close affective relationship, but with the existence of norms and limits that help the child and the adolescent to grow in a healthy way.
Warning signs: how to know if you smoke joints?
Starting from the basis that prevention is the main thing to avoid consumption, sometimes during adolescence, parents appear doubts or suspicions about whether our children may be using cannabis. Apart from the use of tests, such as the Tennant test, which detects the consumption of marijuana or hashish, these are some of the signs that we find more frequently without any being totally determinant. They have to do with changes in mood, bad mood, conflict and sometimes even aggressiveness.
1. Changes in mood. Other alterations in the way of being may also appear, tendency to isolation, apathy, risky sexual behavior that facilitate sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, sleep disturbances, both in time and schedule, important changes in the eating of food, or by quantity or by the type of food that is ingested (usually sweet) and disorganization.
These symptoms tend to affect coexistence a lot. They can even appear in psychiatric tables that require specialized medical attention.
2. Changes in school grades. Academic results are also often affected in the case of cannabis use. It is easy to appear attention problems, decreased memory and demotivation pictures which make it difficult to maintain study habits and acquired commitments.
All this together with truancy, usually affects a worsening of the notes that can sometimes appear in a radical way, although this is not always the case.
3. Changes in the perception of drug use. It is common for adolescent cannabis users to see a discourse in defense of consumption or mitified beliefs about its medicinal uses or its supposed innocuousness and, above all, an increase in the need for money and if you usually get home with the red eyes.
In addition, we can find some signs, some of them very objective, that should put us on alert and take measures as if we find traces of the substance or consumables or if it smells of cannabis or impose an administrative sanction for possession or consumption.
In the case where we have the certainty that there is a cannabis use, we need to seek professional help and remember that our adolescent is not a problem, but has a problem and needs our help and support.
Patricia Amaro Psychologist and Psychotherapist of Psicólogos Pozuelo. Specialist in Clinical Psychology of Drug Addiction and Mental Health. Honorary professor of the UAM.