From a healthcare perspective, drug use screening, including marijuana used for both recreational and medical purposes, is important and primary care visits and/or behavioral health evaluations present valuable opportunities for screening. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides resources on prevention programs addressing both youth marijuana use and evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies, including their At-A-Glance Resource Tool, Strategies and Interventions to Prevent Youth Marijuana Use.
As parents, recognize the value of an open dialogue about drug abuse and become educated about the associated risks. Many experts stress the importance of creating an environment that encourages communication. Parents who use marijuana should be honest, but should be aware of the impact that their use and behavior have on children. There are several informative tools available to parents provided by Colorado.gov, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Seattle Children’s Hospital, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and SAMHSA, to name a few.[37-41]
Healthcare providers should maintain confidentiality screening adolescents for marijuana use. If concerns exist for significant use or addiction, multiple screening tools are available to assess the impact, such as the CRAFFT behavioral screening tool. Healthcare providers should consider referral to addiction specialists or further treatment and evaluation if concerns exist on its impact on physical or mental health, or on social interactions.