The origins of the international ‘marijuana holiday’ are vague, but may have started somewhere in northern california in the 1970s. For the past few decades the use of the term “420” has evolved and become a thematic part of marijuana counter culture. Every year on April 20th, marijuana users around the world gather together to indulge in marijuana consumption and celebrate the rebellion that is being a marijuana user. The holiday seems as though it should be irrelevant and unimportant for our teen who is in recovery. If our teen was using hard drugs, chances are marijuana is hardly a second thought to them now in sobriety. However, their friends at home and people they know may be getting together on the marijuana holiday to use. Your teen may not necessarily crave getting high on marijuana, but they might crave the camaraderie and inclusion which came with participating in marijuana use. All of the talk about marijuana on this day could be triggering and cause uncomfortable feelings for your teen.
Fill the day with other activities
This year, Earth Day falls on April 22nd, right after the marijuana ‘holiday. You can spend the day planning for Earth Day by buying supplies, looking up local events, or making a plan for the family. Keep your teen busy by getting out of the house and out of the way of mainstream media where the celebrations will be discussed. Go to the movies, go for a hike in nature, and get away from screens where news will be playing. You might consider taking your teen’s phone for the day if they are having an especially hard time.
Remind your teen how far they’ve come
Just waving your hands at your teen’s cravings and preoccupying their mind might not be enough. You’ll miss an educational opportunity for your teen’s recovery. Remind your teen how far they have come in their recovery and how silly it would be to relapse over just one day of the year where people are consuming marijuana. Ask your teen to honestly look at the cravings they are having and investigate them. Do they really want to use marijuana or are they feeling like they are missing out? Do a quick exercise of looking into the future. By staying sober today, and every day, what is possible for your teen? Ask them what they want to accomplish in their recovery and if they think it could be accomplished while going back to using drugs.
Participate in some of the culture
“Edibles” are popular among marijuana users as are creating thought provoking desert combinations. Let your teen run wild in the kitchen and whip up something interesting. Bake some brownies, buy the “Half Baked” ice cream flavor by Ben and Jerry, and let a little bit of sugar therapy do the rest of the work.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers long term residential treatment programs for addiction recovery. Our programs involve the whole family for foundation building, life cleansing change.
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