Pot in your Teens room? Don’t Panic.

Teens by POC Administrator on June 29, 2012
Finding marijuana in your teen’s room is a shock and can quickly turn  into an explosive situation that spirals out of control. Anger,  betrayal, disappointment and fear for the child’s safety and future are  natural feelings. It is hard to look at the situation objectively or  constructively.

“Many parents are terrified and furious at the same time,” notes Marci B. Stiles, licensed professional counselor and founder Positive Outlook Counseling. “They lose sight of the big picture which is to help their teen stop using drugs.”

Stiles lists seven strategies for distressed parents to help manage the situation:

  1. Don’t Accuse. Kids become   defensive and shut down when they are accused, just like adults. Ask   your child to explain why he or she has a bag of pot in their drawer or a   bong in their closet in a calm manner. Remember, you are the adult and   your child feels safer when you are in control. Their health and  safety  are the biggest priority.
  2. Talk to not at. This   is not the time for lectures. Your teen knows drugs are illegal and is   well aware of your stand on taking them. Your goal is to open a  dialog.  Yelling, cursing, calling him or her names will cause your teen  to shut  down.
  3. Listen. You’ve asked your   child some questions. Now stop talking. During a natural pause, you can   feedback what you’ve heard to your teen. “You hate school and all your   friends use pot all the time.” You are not commenting – “That’s the   dumbest excuse ever!” – Or giving advice – “You just need to buckle   down!” This is about understanding and building trust with your teen.
  4. Ask Questions. Your teen is   going to be wary, probably scared and feeling guilty. They won’t say a   lot at first. Use your questions to find out more about your child   rather than to make them feel bad. Try to find out the extent of the   problem. Is it a one-time thing? A daily habit? Is your child selling it   to his or her friends? When does he or she smoke?
  5. Get Help. Depending on the   extent of the problem, your teen may need counseling or rehab. There  are  often underlying reasons your teen tried drugs in the first place.  They  may be feeling pressures you don’t know about.
  6. Be Honest. Build Trust. The   goal of your discussion with your teen is to stop the potentially   dangerous behavior and to reconnect with them. The best way to build   trust is to be honest and caring with them. You can love them and care   for them without condoning the behavior. Being calm and focused on your   child and their behavior will tell your teen they can trust you even   during a very stressful family situation. If you tried drugs as a teen,   this may give you insight into your child’s behavior. If relevant, talk   about why you started and why you stopped. Share your fears and  concerns  in a non-punishing way.
  7. Establish Natural Consequences. Your teen has   broken the rules – yours and society’s – and there are consequences for   this. You may be tempted to punish your child severely. A more  effective  strategy is to let them experience the natural consequences  of their  behavior. They have lost your trust and needs to rebuild it.  Would you  give a stoned person the keys to a car? Would you let a  potentially  stoned person go to a party where there might be drugs?  Most teens take  drugs with their friends. If your teen was smoking  after school, should  they be allowed to participate in after-school  activities? Are you going  to call their friends’ parents and warn them  that their teen might also  be smoking pot? In addition to establishing  consequences based on love  and concern for their safety, give your teen  a path to rebuilding trust.  Smoking pot was a mistake, but one from  which he can recover.

“One of the best ways to help your teen to not take drugs in the   first place is to keep an honest, open and non-judgmental line of   communication open,” notes Stiles. “That way, when they are stressed or   feeling down or overwhelmed, they will go to you, not the drugs or   alcohol.

Start where you are today and work to build trust. When you are calm,   try to remember yourself as a teenager with all its insecurities,   hormones, school and peer pressure. Your teen will make mistakes. As   their parent, you are there to help him learn and recover from them –   even something as serious as drugs and alcohol. I regularly see families   in my practice that become stronger after working through a crisis  like  this.”

If you would like to schedule an appointment about rebuilding  trust  after discovering drugs, contact Marci Stiles LPC at  972-733-3988 or  book your appointment online at http://www.positiveoutlookcounseling.com/schedule-dallas-counseling-appointment/

Positive Outlook Counseling
Marci B. Stiles, MA, LPC-S, NBCC
Bent Tree Plaza
16610 North Dallas Parkway
Suite 2100
Dallas TX 75248



Positive Outlook Counseling services range from individual counseling to family therapy to marriage counseling services.  Marci Stiles specializes in individual, family, marriage and troubled teen therapy.

Click Here To Book An Appointment Online


  1. Chase — July 10, 2012 @ 2:56 am

    My LPC supervisor, when I had a supervisor, said something to me that I think is a great thing to consider where dealing with parenting. That is the realization by parents that when your kids mess up, that is a teachable moment. So when you think of it like that it is easier to be more objective about the situation, and the inclination should be to teach, not to punish. Just thought I’d share…

  2. nancy — October 22, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

    Thanks so much for putting this in perspective – wonderful.

  3. Taylor — September 22, 2015 @ 4:18 pm

    Should i make her take a drug test if she says it was her friends?

  4. Liz — April 3, 2016 @ 5:21 pm

    Well it is very hard to talk calmly to your son when he is a very defiant teen. You cannot talk to him because I am always wrong and he denies everything. You cannot be calm with my child he knows all the tricks and just what to say to make it look like I am wrong.

  5. Tara — September 9, 2017 @ 10:26 am

    This was very helpful, thank you. I found a bong in my daughter’s room tonight. She’s at a friend’s house tonight.
    I contacted her and asked her, very calmly, to tell me about it. She was so so sorry and did open up. I told her I’m not mad, but pretty disappointed, but told her that I understand she’s a teenager and needs to try stuff. I just pleaded with her not to take it further and don’t take a party pill.
    She so appreciated my cool and calming aspect on this situation. I think she feels relieved and we will talk more tomorrow. She forgets that I was a teenager once, many moons ago. I remember being 16,too, and I thought I was such a grown up and thought my parents were idiots.

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