Ask Kari: My teenage son smokes weed every day — how can I convince him to stop?

Dear Kari,

My teenage son smokes marijuana almost daily. He is barely keeping up with his schoolwork and I am afraid that he will not finish high school. I have tried to motivate him to stay focused on school and to stop using marijuana but he refuses to do so. I am beginning to wonder if he is using other drugs too at this point. How can I get through to him that using drugs is not a good life plan?

--Worn Out Mom

Dear Worn Out Mom,

You are correct, smoking marijuana everyday is not a good life plan. I would reach out to his school counselor and ask for a meeting to establish exactly where your son is academically. Also, request some additional resources for him such as a weekly check-in with the counselor and his teachers. Follow this up with support from his primary care doctor to help educate your son about the potential long-term effects of marijuana on a growing brain. Then, pick a good time each day to connect with your son for your own check-in, as this will demonstrate to him that he matters to you and your hopes for him to succeed in life are coming from a place of love and care. Good luck! Remember to keep good boundaries but don’t give up. He needs your support.


As published in the May 2015 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you are in crisis and in need of support please contact the Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747.