According to the National Institutes of Health, a study of teen drug use found that more teens are smoking marijuana than tobacco. According to this study, 21.4 percent of high school seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days, while 19.2 percent of teens used cigarettes in the same time period. While some teens may simply experiment with the drug, trying it once and then never using again, others become marijuana abusers. View related: signs and symptoms of adolescent drug use.
Marijuana Abuse Signs and Symptoms
Teens who choose to abuse marijuana at home leave a telltale sign behind: the smell. Marijuana has a sticky, sweet smell that’s unlike anything else. Some compare the scent to skunk odors, while others claim it smells like moldy grass or thyme. Regardless, the odor tends to linger and people who abuse marijuana may wear clothes that smell of marijuana, and their rooms may be clouded with odiferous smoke. Many adults know what marijuana smells like because they’ve used the drug, too. Those who have know exactly what the drug smells like. Teens who develop a sudden obsession with incense, candles, air fresheners and fabric softeners should also come under suspicion for drug use. These teens may be attempting to cover up the smell of marijuana smoke.
Teens who abuse marijuana and who are intoxicated by the drug might show these symptoms:
- Loud talking
- Incessant laughter
- Increased appetite
- Red eyes
Marijuana also tends to leave behind a sticky, brown substance on the fingers of people who abuse it frequently, and teens may also have small flecks of green or brown marijuana leaves on their clothing and in facial hair.
Where to Look
Marijuana users sometimes use large pipes filled with water to smoke the drugs, and these may be stashed in closets or inside musical instrument cases. They must stay upright, and often they’re quite expensive, so users may go to great pains to store them properly. Those who smoke marijuana in a cigarette form may have papers for rolling tobacco nearby, or they may have tiny hair clips that seem singed on the tips. Dressers, nightstands and coffee tables might be hiding places for these items. Lighters and matches are another big clue, and those could also be in desk drawers, purses or bags.