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Pot Calling the Kettle Black: When Your Teen Finds Your Drug Paraphernalia

There are many articles containing information about what to do if you find drugs hidden in your child’s room. However, I noticed that there is little written about the opposite scenario - what to do if your child finds your hidden stash.

A friend of mine recently received a family group text from her thirteen year old son with a picture of an oil pen, leftover joints and remnants of pot in a Ziploc bag. He asked the group, “What is this????”

You may be immediately inclined to cover your ass and lie. You may want to tell him that you have a prescription from a doctor and you use it for back pain or migraines, even if this is a partial truth. My concern about that is it potentially implies that drugs are only used to self- medicate or to cope.

Based on my experience, the best way to deal with this situation is to come clean! Yes, you may be uncomfortable and yes it will be awkward; trust me, your teen feels the same way! This may even present an opportunity to connect and get closer to your child.

If you choose to be honest with your teen, below is an action plan that will help you navigate the situation:

1. Acknowledge that your teen found drugs and that they may feel confused and have some questions.

2. Offer concise and concrete truthful explanations such as these:

a. Mom and Dad are adults and occasionally use marijuana recreationally

b. It is legal in New York

c. We purchase our drugs from a state- run dispensary where it is monitored for safety

d. We do not drive under the influence

3. Explain that it is natural to be curious about marijuana, but you do not support using marijuana in adolescence as their brain is still developing.

4. Educate them about the tremendous risk that purchasing drugs from a dealer or friend poses, as it can be laced with synthetics like fentanyl which is deadly.

5. Answer their follow up questions with age- appropriate responses, without going into extraneous detail. Make sure to pause before speaking and give thought to what you intend to say, without being impulsive.

The goals of this conversation is to educate, connect and most of all keep your child safe!


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