The Unpopular Truth About Marijuana Addiction in Teens/Young Adults

child marijuana parenting Nov 02, 2022

You may be wondering if your son or daughter falls into the addiction or regular use category of marijuana use. There are official criteria, and I'll put them HERE, but for now, ask yourself these four questions:

#1-Do I know that my kid is using marijuana regularly or has a strong belief that they are?

#2- Does my kid seem to be more depressed and anxious?

#3- Does it seem like my kid is stuck like they're not moving forward?

#4- Does it seem like you're having difficulty getting your son or daughter to be responsible for themselves?

I'm sure you've noticed over the past several years, marijuana has become more acceptable and accessible. Marijuana is the most challenging addiction that I treat. It is extremely tough to get someone to recognize that it is the marijuana causing the problems they're frustrated with. The person almost always feels like marijuana is the only good thing in their life.

There is one little piece of good news here--Early in my career as an addiction...

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Does your addicted loved one ever tell you... "You just don't understand"?

say this not that Oct 25, 2022

When you're an addiction counselor, one of the first questions you face is, "Are you in recovery?"
People want to know if they can trust you and if you're going to understand them, and to be honest, early in my career, I used to be nervous about this question. I was pretty insecure about the situation and tried my best to avoid it. Not only am I not in recovery, but when you go to counseling school, they teach you practically nothing about addiction.

Right out of grad school, one of my first assignments was to build and implement an intensive outpatient program for adolescence on my own. Essentially that's dealing with teenagers who have drug problems. Not only am I not in recovery, and I didn't have much education about addiction, but here's a little secret.
I've never even been cool. I've been around a lot of drugs and went to a lot of parties, but I've never been that girl. So I was a little insecure about it. I can remember thinking to myself, How am I going to deal...

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How To Know If Your Addicted Loved One Is Using You?

How do you tell if someone with an addiction is using you?

The sad truth is that as the addiction progresses and goes along, the addicted person is less and less able to put anyone else's needs first.

For someone with an addiction to take care of others' needs, they have to have their gas tank full first. If they get the right amount of a substance to calm down that part of their brain. When leveled out, they can care about other things because they can stop chasing, but it doesn't last very long because they need to get back to the chase.

Important: People with addictions aren't inherently selfish, bad people, or want to take advantage of you. That's not it at all. It's just that the addiction puts you in that state, and it doesn't matter who you are. It will put you in that survival zone. Sometimes it's more apparent than others when an addict or an alcoholic is using you, but it's not always obvious.

Part of having an addiction is getting good at manipulating your...

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Instantly Get Your Addicted Loved One to Take Their Guard Down!

say this not that Oct 11, 2022

Using this one statement, you can instantly win the trust of someone who has an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or anything else. Are you ready for it? Drum roll, please. The statement is, "I was wrong." When you tell someone with an addiction that you are wrong, guess what happens?
Their walls go down, they retract the spikes, their ears perk up, and now you've got their attention. Now they want to hear what you're about to say. It's powerful because the person is expecting some punch or stab; they're expecting you to come at them to be negative, criticize them, call them out on something, lecture, nag, or preach.

If you don't do any of that, you can show your vulnerabilities and weaknesses and act with humility. Not only will they pay attention to and listen to you, but they will also trust you much more. Best of all, you're modeling humility.

Humility triggers humility in another person. Think about the last time you were in a big argument with someone, and finally, either they or...

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The Absolute WORST Thing To Say To Someone Who Has An Addiction 🤐

The worst thing you can say to someone with an addiction is, "You are a terrible person."

Saying this will backfire on you. It will blow up in your face, so do your best to avoid this.

Any version of this includes comments like:

  • You're such a screw-up.
  • You're the reason this family's falling apart.
  • You're costing us everything.
  • You don't care about anyone but yourself.
  • How could you do this to us?
  • You're ruining it for everybody.
  • You're ruining my day.
  • It's your life you're wasting.

Those are all different ways of saying to someone that they are a terrible person.

Not only is it not going to help them be a better person, but it's also going to backfire on you because when you say something like that to someone, they're going to get very, very defensive. The walls will likely come up, and the spikes will most likely come out. Even if they're doing terrible things, they're probably not doing it because they want to be a horrible person. They're probably doing it...

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How to Address The Root Cause Of Any Addiction

Most of us could agree that people are more prone to developing an addiction of any kind when they're down, isolated, alone, or when things are not going great.

So these situations can look like this:

  • experiencing a significant loss in life
  • being a new or overwhelmed mom
  • being stuck in a bad relationship or job

What do we often do when we don't feel great about our situation?
 We look for something to make us feel better. When you're in those situations, like I just described, feeling better isn't easy, and the usual stuff often doesn't work. But there is one quick, reliable, easy way to feel better fast: to drink, use drugs or engage in other addictive behavior.

Why is that? It's because those addictive things, whether they're substances or behaviors, typically trigger—the neurochemical dopamine. Most of us have heard about dopamine before; we all know it is a reward chemical. The problem with dopamine is that it makes us go after something that our brain thinks is...

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The BEST thing to say to someone who has an addiction


The most powerful thing you can say to someone with an addiction is a question, and the question is, "What do you think?"

I know, you're thinking, Amber, I already know what they believe, and they are all wrong. They just don't get it.

If you think that, there's possibly a little truth in that statement that maybe they don't get it, or perhaps they're wrong about some things, but that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if they're right or they're wrong. What matters is what they think. That is critically important because when you know what they believe, you have the starting point to help guide them in the right direction.

You cannot start where you want to start because, most likely, you're 10 miles down the road from where they are, and you will not get their attention.

When you're 10 miles down the road, you have to back up and find out where they're starting from, and you have to use that information to help walk them through the process.

This solution became clear...

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The BEST Way To Help An Addict/Alcoholic

Unfortunately, most family members don't understand how to play their cards right, and they end up making things worse.

(Watch the first videos of this series here)

To make it easy for you to remember. I'm going to use the acronym, CARD:

C is for Curiosity.

You want to be curious about what's going on with them. Ask questions, but this next part is crucial for you to understand;
You're not asking questions to ensure they did what they said or went where they were supposed to, etc.

That is not an accountability kind of curiosity. I know you've been doing that and it's not very helpful. What you want to do is be genuinely curious about their experience. You want to understand their situation.

Instead of saying, "Did you go to your meeting?"
Say, "What are those meetings even like? Do you ever talk, and who talks? Is it ever annoying? How'd it go in there?"

Ask questions in such a way that lets the person know that they can answer...

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How To Stop Drinking Alcohol On Your Own!

The majority of clients that we see in our office stop drinking on their own without having to go to long-term treatment, like 30, 60, or 90-day treatment. And honestly, it's not that complicated.


When quitting alcohol, you have to consider whether or not you need a medical detox from the alcohol. Believe it or not, stopping alcohol from cold turkey is one of the more dangerous things to quit. So before you implement any of the other techniques that I'm about to tell you, it is crucial to have a thorough medical assessment.

Once you have that figured out, here are the critical pieces to doing this on your own, without going to long-term treatment.

1st Key to getting sober without rehab

The first thing that I want you to do is to make drinking a non-option.

What do I mean by non-option?

Make it easier on yourself. For example, one obvious thing is to take the alcohol out of your house and remove the temptation.

2nd Key to getting sober without rehab

The next thing you...

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Why You Need To Stop Telling Your Addicted Loved One They Need To Get Help

What if you're making things worse?
I know you're trying to help, but if you've been saying any of the following statements to your addicted loved one, you are only making it worse.

"You need to get some help."

"You can't do this alone."

"You have to go to treatment."

"Have you called your counselor?"

"Did you make it to your meeting today?"

When you do this, you're hitting their defensiveness button, and all they can think about is why you're all wrong.

Get them to conclude that your help would be useful and make them think it's their idea.

Timing is everything when it comes to addiction. Your addicted loved one will have moments of clarity. Usually, these moments come after some not-so-great things have happened. Wait for this moment!

How do you recognize those moments?
They'll say things like, "Man, I'm sick of doing this. I can't believe I did that again. I don't want to do this anymore." They will let you know out loud that they want to do something different and they're...

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