Due to broad legalization and approval for medical purposes, marijuana use in the United States is at a record high. At the time of this writing, only eight states continue to make marijuana unlawful, although, at the federal level, it remains categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance. Despite the belief that marijuana use is relatively safe, use can become problematic and have adverse effects on a person’s life.
According to a survey from 2017, over half of American adults have used marijuana at least once in their lives. Nearly 55 million Americans, or 22 percent, report having used marijuana at least once or twice in the past year. Furthermore, almost 35 million Americans are considered to be “regular users” or individuals who use marijuana at least once every month.
Marijuana is often used to relax or reduce pain or stress. It is generally perceived as a less risky drug than many others due to its more moderate effects and potential medicinal uses. However, this doesn’t mean that habitual marijuana use doesn’t have any disadvantages. If marijuana is having adverse effects on your life or you feel as though you are unable to function adequately without it, it may be time to stop using weed.
Signs There Is a Problem
As mentioned, marijuana use is often thought to be relatively benign. This is primarily due to having much less potential for dependency and addiction than many other intoxicating substances, including alcohol. That said, regular marijuana use can be harmful and require professional help to overcome.
If you or someone you know exhibits any of the following symptoms or signs associated with marijuana use, it may be time to cut back or quit entirely:
You experience anxiety, stress, or depression without weed. Marijuana use can help to reduce stress, but if you can’t function or feel “normal” without getting high, you may have a problem.
You are hiding the extent of your use from others. If you feel the need to conceal your drug habits from loved ones, this is a telltale sign that you are using too much.
You stealing or lie to obtain weed. If you are so desperate to use marijuana that you have resorted to stealing, borrowing money, or being deceitful to feed your drug use habit, your drug use has likely gone too far.
You exhibit disinterest or apathy regarding life without weed. If marijuana use is holding you back from living a full and happy life when you are not getting high, this is possible evidence that you have a significant problem.
You use marijuana at inappropriate times. If you find yourself using marijuana while driving or during work or school, for instance, you should strongly reconsider your drug habit.
You engage in compulsive behavior regarding marijuana use. Continually thinking about how you are going to obtain weed and the next time you can get high is a sign of addiction and should be taken seriously.
The Most Effective Way to Stop Smoking Weed
For those persons with a chronic marijuana habit, the concept of quitting may be daunting. When marijuana, alcohol, or other drugs are at the center of one’s life, imagining a world without them may not be easy.
Whether or not you realize it, frequent drug use of in any form can hold you back in several ways. Effects could be anything from failing a drug test for a desirable job or wasting precious time that could otherwise be spent on creative or productive activities and endeavors.
Discontinuing marijuana can help you free yourself from a toxic lifestyle and offer new opportunities, and once you concede this, you may be motivated to quit using it.
Tips to Stop Using Weed
Although withdrawing from marijuana may be relatively easy compared to some other substances, overcoming any addiction can be challenging, depending on the individual and other factors. You may be worried about what day-to-day life will be like without its use, as well as withdrawal symptoms you may experience during the first few days of sobriety.
Fortunately, however, withdrawal symptoms related to marijuana are fairly mild and mostly psycho-emotional rather than physical. In fact, you will likely encounter more mental barriers than anything, and these can be addressed in a variety of ways, such as the following:
1. Get Rid of Your Marijuana Supply
It may seem obvious to get rid of your marijuana stash, but many falsely believe they can do it while their drug of choice is readily available. The best way to begin abstinence is to eliminate drugs and associated paraphernalia from the environment to avoid triggers and temptations. If you don’t have the guts to throw them out, give or sell them to a person who does not also have a marijuana use disorder, assuming this action is legal in your area.
2. Avoid People and Places Associated With Marijuana Use
Persons in early recovery from substances are encouraged to avoid people and places that could trigger cravings. For example, if you regularly use marijuana with a particular crowd, you may need to avoid seeing these individuals and going to the places associated with them for a prolonged period.
3. Exercise Daily
Research has shown that regular exercise can help mitigate cravings to use intoxicating substances. Exercise is also an excellent antidote for anxiety, depression, and stress. It can serve as a healthy coping mechanism against relapse for those who used marijuana to reduce stress or help with emotional issues.
4. Recruit a Support System
In most cases, explaining to your family and friends that you have a problem and are motivated to quit using will be met with empathy and support. In your weakest moments, you should be able to take advantage of a support system to help you get through challenging times. If those around you are not particularly supportive, you can start attending peer group support meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
5. Set Realistic Goals
By establishing goals that can’t be achieved when a marijuana habit is active, you place yourself in a mindset for success. Goals can include anything constructive, such as going back to school, finding employment, discovering a new enjoyable hobby, etc.
6. Seek professional help in the form of medical or mental health providers.
If you have been using marijuana to cope with an underlying medical or mental health condition, seek help from health providers such as a doctor or a psychiatrist. The former can help you find alternatives for managing pain or other conditions. The latter can teach you improved coping strategies and even prescribe medications to help facilitate the process, such as antidepressants.
7. Seek Long-Term Treatment for Marijuana Abuse
If you haven’t been able to quit using marijuana despite multiple attempts to do so, you should consider undergoing comprehensive treatment in a specialized addiction treatment center, such as Just Believe Recovery. Although a marijuana dependency isn’t generally believed to be as dangerous as that which is related to many other substances of abuse, it can become problematic, and defeating it can be challenging without external support.
If you are struggling to overcome a marijuana use disorder and believe you could benefit from professional treatment, contact Just Believe Recovery today and discover how we help those who need it most get on the path to recovery, one step at a time!