Parents – Get Help for Your Child

If your child is suicidal, it’s a medical emergency. Please CALL 911 for medical personnel or 988 for mental health personnel. If your child is in psychosis or mania, take him/her to the Emergency Room!

I just found out my child is using marijuana! Now what? What do I do? This is the question Johnny’s Ambassadors receives most frequently. Perhaps you’re just now realizing your child’s mental illness, depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, or psychosis could have been triggered from high potency THC products, such as vapes, dabs, or edibles. We are so sorry this is happening to your child. It happened to my son, too. Johnny became psychotic after dabbing and thought the mob was after him. He ended his life at 19 years old. There wasn’t a Johnny’s Ambassadors, and we didn’t know what to do or where to turn. Now, we are here to support you. Johnny’s Ambassadors provides education and prevention resources to help you understand what is happening to your child.

Importantly, we are not a crisis center and don’t provide intervention services. However, we are happy to provide this list of resources to locate help for your child.

If you need to get help for your child who is addicted to marijuana, having mental health challenges, or is in psychosis, we have mental health care locators and treatment centers that understand Cannabis-Induced Psychosis listed below. Being listed on this page does not imply an endorsement from Johnny’s Ambassadors. Since we do not know your child and aren’t clinicians, we can’t provide a recommendation to a particular center. It is your responsibility to call the center and determine proper fit.

FIND TREATMENT

The centers listed here are recommendations from our parents who have had their child in treatment for cannabis-use disorder (CUD) and cannabis-induced psychosis (CIP). They are NOT recommendations from Johnny’s Ambassadors itself, and this listing should not be construed as advice. It is your responsibility to call each center and discuss your child’s case with them, as well as your child’s doctor.

More thoughts from Aaron Weiner, a member of Johnny’s Ambassadors Scientific Advisory Board:

  • Find out why: it’s important to understand why your child was using marijuana to inform how to stop them from using it in the future. If you don’t solve the “why” another way, they’re likely to go back, if not now than once they leave home for college or work
  • Consider testing for THC, as well as performing random drug tests in the future.  It’s important health information to know what else your child might be using, particularly nicotine, opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulant medication, and cocaine.  Depending on your relationship and situation with your child, drug screens may also be helpful to regain trust, as well as give your child a valid excuse to decline use if around other teens who are using marijuana (“I can’t – my parents drug test me”).
  • Work with a therapist, or a treatment program.  Depending on how serious the substance use is, your child may benefit significantly from receiving counseling.  Don’t hesitate to work with therapists – both you and your child will likely grow positively as a result!

Here are some resources to help you:

Social media networks. Join our regular Facebook prevention group if your child is addicted, our Parents of Children with Cannabis-Induced Psychosis (POCCIP) group if your child is in psychosis, and our THC death group if you lost your child due to THC outcomes.

Peer marijuana cessation group for young adults. If your adult child (age 20+) is interested in reducing or eliminating marijuana usage, we have a partnership with famed London cannabis researchers, Marti di Forti and Sir Robin Murray to allow Johnny’s Ambassadors to join their peer group. Meetings for marijuana users ONLY (no parents) are held on Tuesdays at 9am mountain/11am eastern. Please email me at [email protected] for more information on this program. Or if your child is under 25 and wishes to quit marijuana, the San Diego district of Marijuana Anonymous also has a meeting for young people. See the “Next Step in Life” group and send an email to [email protected] for the password.

Peer mentors for your child. If your child is using marijuana or is in psychosis, and he/she doesn’t believe marijuana is the cause of their problems, our young adult mentors are willing to have a 1-on-1 conversation with your child. These conversations should NOT be considered treatment advice, simply support. Our peer mentors have all been through marijuana psychosis and have come out the other side. They now volunteer with Johnny’s Ambassadors to talk to youth about how they were harmed and encourage them to stop using. Talk to your child to get their buy-in to receive a phone call. If your child is an adult (18+), she or he must email me directly to request support. If your child is a minor, first have a conversation with your child to secure permission for a mentor to call. We can’t call your child out of the blue, as that is uncomfortable for our mentors. Once you have secured agreement from your child, email [email protected] with your request. Send your child’s name, cell phone number, age, and pertinent information on what’s happening. I will refer you to a suitable mentor to arrange a conversation.

Join a Mar-Anon support group for those who are affected by another’s marijuana use (this is the marijuana equivalent of Al-Anon, which helps friends and family of alcohol users). This is NOT a meeting for current marijuana users themselves. Go to Mar-Anon.com for more information or email [email protected] with questions. There are multiple virtual support meetings every week.

Support groups for marijuana users. There are also over 400 Marijuana Anonymous meetings every week for marijuana users who want to stay sober or are trying to reduce their use. Go here to find a meeting.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Locate Help for Your Child
Addiction Center – search for rehab providers in your area
Association of Intervention Specialists – a network of interventionists located throughout the country and abroad. Members guide families on how to help their loved one.
Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) – serves college-based students in recovery and their families
ATLAS (Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment, and Standards) platform by Shatterproof
Colorado Crisis Services provides 24/7 support and referrals for your loved one.
Directory of providers and educational consultants to help place and transport your teen.
Early Psychosis Intervention Network – clinics in 17 states
Find a therapist near you – Psychology Today locator
Find Treatment anywhere in the U.S.
Initiating Court-Ordered Treatment – Inpatient, Outpatient and Emergency Hospitalization Standards by State
Love in Action Intervention Services – immediate crisis support for psychosis and marijuana use
NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness – find a chapter near you. Many chapters have pro-bono attorneys to advise you on petitioning for a court-ordered guardianship of your child.
National early psychosis treatment locator for early serious mental illness treatment facilities (SAMHSA).
National Rehab Hotline – dedicated helpline to find local addiction or mental health resources for free.
Parent Helpline: 855-DRUGFREE (855-378-4373) Monday-Friday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM ET
Parents Love Their Teens is a nationwide intervention and placement program.
Parents’ Universal Resource Experts – helping parents of difficult teens find a therapeutic boarding school
Partnership to End Addiction (includes bi-lingual Spanish-speaking assistance) provides resources to help change the family dynamic and how to support a child with addiction.
Resources for Families Coping with Mental and Substance Use Disorders – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Second Wind Fund: expedited access to life-saving therapy for youth at risk for suicide
StartYourRecovery.org – support for overcoming substance misuse
States with Mandatory (Involuntary) Addiction Treatment laws – In 37 US states, there are laws in place that can facilitate the involuntary rehab of someone struggling with marijuana addiction but unwilling to ask for help.
The Juvenile Assessment Center is an early intervention locator for Colorado.
Treatment Advocacy Center – Know the laws in your state to get emergency help for your love one with a mental illness crisis.
Wilderness Therapy and Residential Treatment Search Support – This support group is for parents searching for out-of-home options such as residential treatment or wilderness therapy for their struggling preteen-young adult child. 

Find Support for Your Child
Clear30 – Digital Cannabis Intervention – quit THC in 30 days app. Text CLEAR30 to 60217.
Find an Alternative Peer Group (APG) – support group for kids in recovery
Find a Marijuana Anonymous meeting – like AA but for marijuana addicts wanting to cut back or stop
Find a Recovery High School – transfer your child to attend school with others working to be sober.
5280 high school in Denver accepts students from all over the country to be in a public school where they are supported in their recovery.
FullCircle – For youth struggling with high-risk behavior problems. Centered around the Enthusiastic Sobriety Philosophy: the idea that young people will stop their self-destructive behavior only if they are offered an alternative that is both fun and fulfilling. Operates a staff facilitated support group for young people and their parents. Denver, Phoenix, Georgia, Kansas City. In Denver, Call Ben Stincer at 720-531-3716.
Job Corps – 16 to 24-year-olds ready to work toward a successful future are welcome. Applicants must meet one or more of these conditions: receives public assistance, earns poverty-level income, is homeless, is a foster child, or qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch. 
Reddit support community of 350,000+ trying to quit THC
Sober AF Entertainment – Creating safe spaces in fun places. Voice of the community looking for sober fun, without being around marijuana.

Intervention Partners
Need help getting your adult child into treatment? Not sure what center is right for your child? We have trusted professional intervention partners, who will provide a free consultation to give you advice and share how they can help:
* Jay Avery, (949) 326-3497, [email protected], www.stonebridgerecovery.com
* Richard Casey, Robinson & Casey attorneys helped one of our members get their son treatment under the Marchman Act through their office. You must take your child to FL.
* Jordan DeHann, (407) 620-9003, email [email protected], www.therecoveryguides.com
* Ryan Silberberg, The Sage Collaborative, 949-929-1452. Several members have used him.

Toolkits
ImpACT for Adolescents – Dr. Christian Thurstone
Marijuana Talk Kit
Marijuana Talk Kit from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Mind Over Matter – CA Dept. of Education
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Marijuana Facts for Parents
Preventing Marijuana Use Among Youth
Treatment e-book – Partnership for Drug-Free kids

Find support for yourself
Advanced Adolescent Services provides teen transport services to treatment programs.
CRAFT classes help parents who are struggling with their child’s substance misuse and looking for support and change.
Douglas County, CO Wrap-Around is a free program to solve family problems.
Helping Parents Heal provides community and resources to help you heal.
Hopestream Community – a collection of support and educational services for parents of children struggling with substance use.
Are you a Parent of a Child with Cannabis-Induced Psychosis (POCCIP)? Join our private Johnny’s Ambassadors Facebook support group.
Invitation to Change – helps you understand addiction and strengthen the connection with your child
Marijuana Resource Center from the Partnership to End Addiction
MomPower helps moms with addicted children.
NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, significant others, and friends of people with mental health conditions.
Other Parents Like Me – an online parent to parent support community designed for parents of teens struggling with mental health issues.
Partnership to End Addiction has free parent support groups and coaching.
Reach Out For Change – free evidence-based classes for parents on how to improve communication and move your child toward treatment for substance use.

Finding a properly qualified therapist to assess your child. Make sure to find someone:
* Licensed and certified
* Master’s level +
* LCSW, LPC, MAC
* CAC (Certified Addictions Counselor
* Check their collateral material and history
* Make sure they do toxicology (urine) screens

Grieving resources for those who have lost a child
Did you lose your child due to marijuana-related causes? Join our other grieving parents.
Download Holiday Tribute Graphics
GriefShare meetings really helped us grieve the loss after Johnny’s death.
Life after Child Loss: The Mother’s Survival Guide to Cope and Find Joy
List of recommended grief books by Anne Moss Rogers.
Samaritans – Preventing Suicide – Samaritans works to prevent suicide and support those who have lost someone to suicide.
The Compassionate Friends supports the entire family after a child dies.
Umbrella Ministries helps mothers through the grief of losing a child.

Reading
Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change by Jeffrey Foote
The Body of Chris: A Memoir of Obsession, Addiction, and Madness by Chris Cole
Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them: Schizophrenia through a Mother’s Eyes by Simonetta Carr
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program for Cannabis Use Cessation in First-Episode Psychosis Patients: A 1-Year Randomized Controlled Trial
The Dangerous Truth About Today’s Marijuana: Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story by Laura Stack
Easy Way to Quit Cannabis: Regain Your Drive, Health and Happiness by Allen Carr
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment (LEAP Method) by Xavier Amador 
The Impact of THC on Our Children written by 25 Johnny’s Ambassadors parents and compiled by Laura Stack
Smokescreen: What the Marijuana Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know by Kevin Sabet
The NeuroWhereAbouts Guide: A Neurodevelopmental Guide for Parents and Families Who Want to Prevent Youth High-Risk Behavior by Crystal Collier, Ph.D.
Quitting Weed: the Complete Guide by Matthew Clarke
Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children by Allison Bottke
The Teenage Brain by Frances Jensen
Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence book by Alex Berenson
Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction by Maia Szalavitz

Tools
Different types of guardianships you can get when your child is an adult (laws will vary by state – contact a lawyer if your child is mentally ill and unable to make good decisions)
Johnny’s Ambassadors online teen and adult marijuana training
Sobriety apps from the Drug Enforcement Agency
Teen Marijuana “FACT” or “CRAP” game
Top Ten Teen Toking Tip-Offs
You Know Nothing About Weed
Watch our on-demand videos from our Johnny’s Ambassadors Expert Webinar Series for Parents.
Wellness Recovery Action Plan

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