Due to widespread legalization and approval for the use of medical purposes, marijuana use in the U.S. is at an all-time high. In fact, at the time of this writing, only nine states continue to make marijuana fully illegal, although, at the federal level, it remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Despite the belief that marijuana use is relatively harmless, it can become problematic and lead to adverse effects in a person’s life.
According to a 2017 survey, more than half of American adults have experimented with marijuana at least once in their lifetime. In fact, nearly 55 million Americans (22%) report having used marijuana at least once or twice in the past year. Furthermore, close to 35 million Americans are “regular users,” or individuals who use marijuana at least once every month
Used primarily to relax, relieve pain, or reduce stress, marijuana is mostly perceived as a far less dangerous drug than many others due to its milder effects and potential medicinal uses. Regardless, this doesn’t mean that compulsive marijuana use doesn’t have any drawbacks. If weed is having a negative impact on your life or you feel as though you are unable to function without it, it may be time to quit using weed.
Signs That There Is a Problem
As noted, marijuana use is often believed to be relatively benign, in large part due to having much less potential for addiction that many other psychoactive substances, including alcohol. That said, regular marijuana use can become harmful and may require professional help to overcome.
If you or someone you love exhibits any of the following signs related to marijuana use, it may be time to cut back or quit altogether:
You experience anxiety, stress, or depression without weed – Marijuana use can help to relieve stress, but if you can’t function or feel normal without being high, you may have a problem.
You hide the extent of your use from others – If you need to conceal your drug use from those who don’t have a problem with marijuana, this is a sign that you are using too much.
You steal or lie to obtain weed – If you are so desperate to use marijuana that you have resorted to stealing or being deceptive to feed your habit, this is an indication that your use has gone too far.
You exhibit disinterest or apathy regarding life without weed – If marijuana is holding you back from living a full and satisfying life when you are not high, this is is evidence that you have a significant problem.
You use marijuana at inappropriate times – If you find yourself using weed while driving or during work or school, for example, you should strongly reconsider your drug use.
You engage in compulsive behavior regarding obtaining and using marijuana – Continually thinking about how you are going to get your hands on some weed and the next time you can get high is a hallmark sign of addiction and should be taken very seriously.
The Best Way to Stop Smoking Weed
For those with a chronic marijuana habit, the idea of quitting may be somewhat daunting. When drugs or alcohol are at the center of a person’s life, imagining a world without them isn’t going to be easy.
But, whether you realize it or not, frequent drug use of any kind is probably going to hold you back in one way or another. This could mean anything from failing a drug test for a great job or wasting precious time that could otherwise be invested in productive or creative endeavors.
You may not have fully recognized the extent of your difficulties thus far. Still, if you really stop to consider them, you’ll probably be able to identify at least one area of your life that could be changed for the better through sobriety. Quitting marijuana can help you break free from a toxic lifestyle and create new opportunities, and when you understand this, you should be motivated to quit.
Tips to Quit Using Weed
Although detoxing from marijuana may be easy compared to some other drugs and alcohol, overcoming any addiction can be challenging. You may be worried about daily life without its use, and withdrawal symptoms you may encounter during the first few days of abstinence. Still, these concerns should not stop you from quitting and giving it your all in the process.
Fortunately, withdrawal symptoms associated with marijuana are relatively mild and mostly psychoemotional rather than physical. In fact, you will likely face more mental hurdles than anything, and these can successfully be addressed in a variety of ways, including the following:
1. Get Rid of Your Supply
Getting rid of your marijuana stash may seem obvious, but many who erroneously believe they can do it will still have easy access to their drug of choice. The best way to start being sober is to eliminate drugs and paraphernalia from your environment to circumvent triggers and temptations. If you don’t have the heart to throw them out, give them to someone who does not also have a marijuana use disorder.
2. Avoid People and Places You Associate With Marijuana
People in early recovery from drugs or alcohol are urged to avoid people and places that might trigger cravings. For example, if you regularly used weed with a certain crowd, you may need to avoid seeing these people and the places associated with them, at least for some time.
3. Exercise Daily
Studies have shown that regular exercise can help reduce cravings to use drugs or alcohol. Exercise is also a great defense against stress, depression, and anxiety, so it can serve as a healthy coping mechanism for those who used weed to relieve stress or emotional dysfunction.
4. Plan Sober Events
If you have spent many nights partying with other marijuana using friends or family, breaking free from this routine may be particularly challenging. Instead of placing yourself in a triggering environment, you should plan and engage in sober events (e.g., going to movies or shopping with a sober friend) to avoid the urge to use.
5. Recruit a Support System
In most instances, letting your friends and family know that you have a problem and are intent on quitting drug use will be met with support and empathy. In your weakest moments, you should be able to lean on a support system to help you get through difficult times. If those around you are particularly supportive, you can start attending group support meetings, such as NA.
6. Set Realistic Goals
By setting goals that can’t be achieved when a marijuana habit is active, you put yourself in a mindset for success. Goals can be anything constructive, such as going back to school, learning a new hobby, starting to read more, etc.
7. Seek Professional Help
If you have been using weed to cope with an underlying mental health or medical problem, seek the help of a doctor or a psycotherapist. The former can help you find alternatives for managing pain or other conditions, and the latter can teach you improved coping strategies and even prescribe medications, such as antidepressants.
8. Seek Treatment for Drug Abuse
If you haven’t been able to quit using weed despite attempts to do so, you should consider undergoing comprehensive treatment in a rehab facility such as Harmony Recovery Center. Although addiction to marijuana isn’t generally believed to be as serious as those related to many other drugs of abuse, it can become problematic, and overcoming it can be challenging without external support.
If you have struggled to beat a marijuana use disorder and believe you could benefit from professional treatment, contact us today and discover how we help people get on the road to recovery, one step at a time!