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How to Stop Smoking Marijuana

Updated on September 10, 2019
April MacDonald profile image

An off and on Marijuana enthusiast, I like to be realistic in my relationship with the drug and take some time off here and there.

It's not uncommon for anyone to want to take a break from a recreational or psychoactive substance. Alcohol, nicotine, and even caffeine can come under some serious scrutiny when trying to reassess one's habits and behaviors. Getting over addiction, however, is altogether more serious. This article will attempt to address both how to take a temporary and permanent break from cannabis, listing strategies from most severe to least. Loosely, this article will encourage you to:

1. Evaluate your situation

2. Ask for help

3. Find strategies to mitigate your desire to use

Are you honestly self-assessing?
Are you honestly self-assessing? | Source

Do I Have a Problem with Marijuana?

Addiction is the consumption of any substance to the detriment or interruption of other facets of a normal life. Despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary, cannabis addiction does exist among around 9% of users, though consumers with a history of teenage and daily use have increased risks.

Determining if one is an addict can be a problem of honesty. Behaviors that become habitual weave themselves so tightly into the fabric of daily life that their effects can seem practically invisible. Further, it is often to the user's own benefit to minimize the externalities and effects of their addictive behavior. Pamphlets from recovery communities and organizations such as Narcotics Anonymous can help externalize this question and make it easier to answer. The American Psychiatric Association also defines addiction in depth and might help you to self assess.

Ways to Stop Smoking Marajuana

1. Get Help

2. Taking a Break

3. Find Something New

4. Give Away Your Stash

5. Find New Friends

1. Get Help

In those instances in which marijuana has truly overwhelmed a person's life, relatively rare among scheduled substances though those instances may be, it is necessary to pursue outside help. Addiction is a disease and it is often the case that its treatment requires some sort of outside attention. Therapists, counselors, treatment facilities, and Narcotics Anonymous are all possible avenues for treatment, however, these should be treated with some caution.

Many treatment centers peddle ineffective services at exorbitant prices. A therapist or counselor may be inexperienced in an addict's needs or may lack a relevant educational background. Research, here, is key.

There are global NA groups, findable here, though 12-step programs haven't quite been submitted to rigorous scientific scrutiny and are (especially for the atheistically inclined) woefully insistent on faith.

NA and AA are both regimented, twelve step programs. My outsider's understanding is that both accept self-diagnosed and well-intentioned new comers happily, regardless of the particular  substance to which they're addicted.
NA and AA are both regimented, twelve step programs. My outsider's understanding is that both accept self-diagnosed and well-intentioned new comers happily, regardless of the particular substance to which they're addicted. | Source

2. Taking a Break

At its most basic level, reassessing habits becomes an act of retraining oneself. Humans respond to external stimuli and, despite our protestations of free will, our reactions can become rote and habitual. Often, the act of retraining can be simplified to changing these external stimuli, removing encouragements for unwanted behaviors and reinforcing positive responses. In other words, Pavlov yourself.

Longing is that most powerful of animal emotions. Overcoming it means changing your environment.
Longing is that most powerful of animal emotions. Overcoming it means changing your environment. | Source

3. Find Something New

A hobby, a game regularly played with friends, even the odd movie can help distract you from the habitual use of marijuana. Hobbies eat up the long night of existential dread that sits, during idle moments, right on your chest. Disappearing into a hobby, into the profound and self-effacing focus of deep thought, can free you from the omnipresent need to use.

4. Give Away Your Stash

A classic move in a traditionally generous community, surrendering your stash to a friend is often a key step in giving up pot for either a long or short period. Removing marijuana from your proximity eliminates the concern of use. Of course, for a temporary stay of use, one might consider only lending one's stash to a friend, one-hitters, bongs, pipes, and other implements being more than a little expensive to replace.

5. Find New Friends

Some relationships are defined by mutual interests and the mutual interest over a substance is no different. After quitting, it can be difficult to find commonalities outside of the old style of the relationship, let alone if your friend feels an inherent discomfort with your desire to abstain.

Again, this is a relatively drastic option. But your friendships with smokers will need to be redefined beyond the substance. And in some instances that simply won't possible, making this one of those profoundly difficult steps.

Hobbies

 
 
 
Mountain Biking
Tennis
Musical Instruments
Model Airplanes
Trains
Learn a Language
Astronomy
Reading
Board Games
Mountain biking may be the adrenaline surge you need to escape your substance.
Mountain biking may be the adrenaline surge you need to escape your substance. | Source
You don't have to deep dive into the world of expensive R/C plane replicas to help escape your substance. If this guy's focus is a bit much for you, there are a plethora of other options.
You don't have to deep dive into the world of expensive R/C plane replicas to help escape your substance. If this guy's focus is a bit much for you, there are a plethora of other options. | Source

Concluding Thoughts

Marijuana can become a disruption in anyone's life. Once it takes on that role, reevaluating that relationship takes care and thoughtfulness.

As described above, take time to:

1. Evaluate your situation

2. Ask for help

3. Find strategies to mitigate your desire to use

These are from my personal experience. Every person is different and it may take you some time and trials figuring out exactly how extremely you need to rearrange your life. You may slip up. Regardless, keep working at it!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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