What to do if your High School aged Child is smoking Pot in San Francisco or any City or County within 100 miles – 1st Step Interventions

“Panic sets in – uncertainty abounds and fear fills your head – you have just found Marijuana or pot hidden in your High School child’s room. Is it time for military school or do you say nothing and just watch”

The answer is neither and you don’t have to panic either. There are a few more stages to go through before that.

bag of pot

This can be every parents night mare – a bag of Marijuana, Pot, “The Kind”, Kush, what ever the word is in your child’s High School has just turned up hidden in their bedroom – and they are only in High School. Even if you as a Parent smoked a little growing up, you panic, we know so much more about Addiction and it is on TV everywhere. What do you do?

What I thought I would do is break it down into 2 segments for you – What we know about Marijuana today and how to handle the situation.What we know about Pot Today:

  • It is much stronger than the pot being smoked in the ’70′s and even through the 80′s. The average THC content (the active ingredient that gets you high) was about 6% then. Today it can be as high ( no pun intended) as 30% – 5 times stronger. And if you process it into Hash Oil – as high as 80% THC.
  • This is not the same drug you might have been smoking or they were smoking back then – but it is called the same drug so it is confusing. It’s like taking Beer and making it as strong as Whiskey but still calling it Beer.
  • The Brain of a Human Being does not stop “growing” or “Developing” until we are about 25.
  • Marijuana is not water soluble – in simplicity what this means is that the Body has a hard time getting rid of it. The Kidneys and Liver cannot dispose of it as well. This is how we normally dispose of drugs so they are gone in 3-5 day fully. Pot can last up to a month or longer and is stored in fatty cells, even in the Brain.
  • Introducing a drug like THC at such high concentrations to a young Brain can have profound negative results. In Treatment we often see 19 year old’s who have been smoking Pot regularly since they were 13 and they are not the same as other 19 years old’s and never will be. They are slower and have a flat affect. The definition of a Flat Affect is – Flat affect: A severe reduction in emotional expressiveness. People with depression and schizophrenia often show flat affect. A person with schizophrenia may not show the signs of normal emotion, perhaps may speak in a monotonous voice, have diminished facial expressions, and appear extremely apathetic. Also known as blunted affect.
  • We used to think that smoking Pot if you were predisposed to have Schizophrenia that it would bring it on – we now know you do not have to be predisposed for Schizophrenia to develop it from smoking pot – the strength and potency today is enough in the “right person” for it to develop, and we do not know how to tell who that is beforehand.

How to handle the situation:

  • The first thing you want to do is bring it out into the open. It doesn’t matter if Marijuana is legal in your State – it is illegal for High School aged Children. Therefore you are condoning illegal behavior if you say nothing. Not a healthy way to raise your child.
  • Explain the differences from above. Kids need to know even though the drug has the same name it is not the same “Mother Nature” “Harmless” drug of the Sixties Counter Culture.
  • Just because it is Organic and grown from the earth and natural doesn’t change the above – it is being grown as hybrids constantly to increase it’s potency – so imagine that being done with an Opium Poppy and getting Opium that is now the strength of Heroin and saying it’s OK it’s from the earth !. Somehow when you see it that way you can see my point and the ridiculousness of the argument.
  • Create a simple consequence and don’t yell and scream – this will shut your child down and they will not hear you nor take head of the consequence. Something like being grounded for a month worth of weekends.
  • Normal Humans will respond to consequence and change their behaviors. The simplistic definition for Addiction is ” Continued use despite consequences”. If your child does not respond then up the consequences. If you find the addition of harder and harder consequences is not changing their behavior around the drug then you have and issue.
  • Call an Interventionist or Addiction Services Company like 1st Step Interventions and begin to get an assessment of whether or not you need to look into Addiction Services. You do not have to just send you Child to Rehab (Treatment), there are lower levels of Care that can break the Addiction and give the Child tools for keeping it in remission and resisting peer pressure. If you call a Treatment Program they will probably say send them in, but in many cases this can do more harm than good as the problem may not be there yet and the consequence of sending them away may create other issues.
  • A good Intervention or Addiction Services Company will have other options that are less expensive and can provide the necessary help without creating the stigma of going to Rehab at 16. These will include Recovery Activities and good Drug Testing. Drug Screening can help as it is a yes or no and doesn’t lie. You do need to know what you are doing with Pot and Drug Testing because it does stay in the body so long.
  • A good reputable Intervention company like 1st Step Interventions will recommend the appropriate level of Care – if it is Treatment we will let you know, but we will probably start elsewhere and see if we can create the necessary change before that.
  • New models like Addiction Care Management are starting to appear. These Services can provide accountability for the necessary changes your child will have to make if your consequences are not working. They are also less expensive than Rehab.
  • You as Parents will be included in the Process and Educated as it goes along so you get the help you need to be supportive yet firm in what’s right and wrong or good and bad.
  • Call us today for a free assessment if you are in San Francisco, The Bay Area or anywhere near. 707-559-5146 or email: bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

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1st Step Interventions And Addiction Care Management’s™ “Recovery Without Walls™ Mission Statement is simple “A Lasting Focus on Recovery”

In the Near Future 1st Step Interventions will be changing it's name to Addiction Recovery Management and Intervention,Inc. We feel this better reflects the direction our business model is taking. We believe Treatment is not always necessary and our Program provides Families with more choices and better outcomes. Our Services are located in Northern California, The Bay Area and San Francisco

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ Programs have become the most successful and leading choice for Alcohol Intervention, Drug Intervention, Continuing Care Services, Family help and Education, and Accountability for the Recovering Addict in Northern California, The Bay Area and San Francisco. 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ Outpatient Program is a leading choice for Alcohol Intervention, Drug Intervention, Continuing Care Services, Family help and Education, and Accountability for the Recovering Addict in Northern California, The Bay Area and San Francisco. 1st Step Interventions And Addiction Care Management™ offers tailored programs, accountability, relationship building, life skills, and honest coaching to help patients explore their addiction issues and develop strategies to address their patterns. We also regularly check up on our clients to ensure accountability to their Continuing Care Plan. We take all the worry and responsibility out of the Family's or Spouses hands. 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ operate on behalf of families, removing them from having to play the role of addiction police'. All of this is done in the alcoholic/addict's real world setting. Our “Recovery Without Walls”™ allows your loved one to live their life and experience recovery in the real world while having Professional guidance and help.

    What are The Advantages of using 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management’s™ Model "Recovery Without Walls?
EMAIL: bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

1Bryan Bowen is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in California (CAS II) and is a Nationally Certified Interventionsist through the University of Pensylvannia (CIP) Bryan has been Certified for over 12 years.

2.. 1st Step Interventions enjoys a 95% success rate of getting the alcoholic addict to enter treatment as a result of an intervention. Over 400 Intervention have been professionally completed. Experienced Addiction Care Management - Bryan Bowen has 15 years of combined direct patient care and 1st Step Interventions has an outstanding record working with more than 1,000 addicts and their families.

3. Continuity of care - An Addictions Care Specialist works with you from the beginning of the intervention all the way through the 1st year of sobriety. You will continue to be Educated through our proprietary Workbook, Weekly Conference Calls and continued Family work for up to 1 year if neccessary. Even processing issues that come up when your Patient leaves Treatment and comes home. Your Addiction Care Specialist is available during The Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program’s Office hour's Period to any one including the Patient. Your Addiction Care Specialist will manage your loved one's progress on a daily/weekly/monthly basis as needed, provide accountability for adherence to their Continuing Care Plan, help problem solve issues created in the their addiction and recovery, provide Life Skills where necessary, intervene in any Crisis, makes suggestions where appropriate and provide a sense of relief for you. Your loved one will have someone who has been with them, and you, since the beginning of the intervention. You will have a much higher chance of successful long-term recovery. This is how you really treat a Chronic Illness!

4. Addiction Care Management™ - We have worked in all areas of the treatment Industry and understand everything your loved is going to go through. We have also developed long-standing relationships with treatment providers, having personally visited nearly 250 Centers and have outstanding trusting friendships with treatment executives, therapists and counselors. We maintain professional relationships by attending relevant conferences and making visits to centers to make sure they are consistently meeting the needs of the alcoholic/addict. We make honest referrals to programs with ethics who will take care of your loved one and give them the clinical care needed for recovery from their addiction. Your Addiction Care Specialist will be closely involved withe the treatment facility helping build the most successful Continuing Care Plan for your love one.

5. Family Communication - Addiction Care Management™ provides families with weekly conference calls with The Addiction Care Specialist.

6. While the Patient is in treatment, follow up conference calls for the client and family for questions and support

7. Weekly consultations with the Patient Therapist/Case Manager/Counselor if Patient is in treatment during the time of Addiction Care  Management™. This includes but is not limited to, following Patient during treatment,discussions about  recommendations for continuing residential treatment, outpatient treatment, working with the clinical team on the recommendations for Continuing Care Planning and appropriate therapist/psychologist referrals post Treatment (once the Patient has completed the primary treatment program).

8. Signing off on Continuing Care Plan. Providing resources as needed.

9. Addiction Care Management will put together the pieces of the Patient's “Lasting Focus On Recovery" and the boundaries for each piece. This is the patients post Treatment plan to deal with any issues such as financial or legal that may bring up issues.

10. Addiction Care Management will manage all of the recovery activities outlined for the patient in the Continuing  Care Plan.

11. Stress identification and reduction Plan” for Patient's stress and in each case a plan will be put into place with appropriate education and training were necessary. This may include Life Skills. Many of these do not show themselves until after the Patient has left Treatment.

12. Addiction Care Management™ will manage Patient's recovery in stages that build on each other and individual responsibility and provide an exit stage. Providing support for Client and Family and providing a concrete plan for Client and Families growth and recovery.

13. Managing random alcohol and drug screening of Patient after treatment.

14. Managing and helping provide accountability on Patient’s adherence to Continuing Care plan.

15. Providing a plan if Patient has a relapse and managing that plan if event happens during the time of Addiction Care Management™. Family is not involved and encouraged to stay out. Addiction Care Specialist will also have Weekly Face-to-Face meeting with Patient.


With us you get an Intervention Company and an Addiction Care Management™Recovery Without Walls Model, that has been where your loved one is. We know the joy of Recovery and the despair of Addiction, and have developed a Caring way of speaking to active Addicts and their Families.

San Francisco Drug Intervention, Alcohol Intervention, Addiction Help and Addiction Services Counseling