Ryan Didnt Think He Had A Problem Until
Then, one of those nights hit when I ran out of pot. I was climbing the walls. I went crazy. I called everyone I knew to score even a roach. I remember one night driving 39 miles in a bad storm to get a half a joint from a complete stranger just to get through the night. I remember calling my dealer every hour on the hour to see if it had come in yet. I bought pot from people I normally wouldnt have even talked to, much less done business with. What had happened to me? I thought I was using because I wanted to. Now I found that I was using because I had to. I had become an addict!
Ryan began to see the monotony of his everyday life: Get up, go to work, come home and spend the rest of the evening stoned in front of the TV with a soda in one hand, a bag of chips in the other and the bong loaded and ready to go! This was the extent of my life, day in and day out for 13 years.
He had had enough of the monotony, of getting nowhere and doing nothing with his life.
Ryan has been attending Marijuana Anonymous meetings for the past five years. He says the internal change he has experienced is indescribable. When he started being honest with himself about his use is when everything started to come together for him. He listened to his sponsor, attending meetings, followed the 12 steps, and even found comfort in a higher power to help him with his struggles.
How To Treat Cud
Most people with CUD donât seek treatment. But you may get better if you try psychotherapy, or talk therapy. That includes cognitive behavioral therapy , motivational enhancement therapy , and contingency management . These can help you change thoughts and behaviors that make it hard to quit. You could also try to use marijuana only on certain days of the week, like the weekends. Meditation may also help you use less.
Misusing Cannabis Is Risky
When smoking cannabis, you can experience a lot of strain on your heart.
Aside from just the tar or other dangerous chemicals found in cannabis while smoking it, your heartbeat can jump to up to 120 beats a minute.
When used and abused consistently, cannabis can lead to a possible stroke or heart attack.
The risk is especially high if youre already older and youve been diagnosed with heart problems.
Cannabis can also cause hallucinations. While these are not as strong as using LSD or other, harder drugs, these effects make actions such as driving or operating heavy machinery dangerous.
This is why its illegal to drive while under the influence. Many people have also noticed feelings of depression or paranoia.
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Preferring Activities That Will Get You High
When you start to evaluate your relationships with other people and your activities with them based on your chances of getting high, then you are choosing your bad habit over real and lasting relationships with your loved ones.
Also, ask yourself if youve been able to take on your daily responsibilities. Look around your house and see if youve cleaned it lately or if the dishes have been washed. If the place is dirty and disorganized, then you havent been paying attention to these details because your mind is too focused on getting high.
Tips To Help Someone Quit Marijuana
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Is Depression Actually A Unique State Of Consciousness
Begin a program of meditation right now, today. Currently this is being called “mindfulness” but really, it is good old-fashioned meditation, an activity thats been used to help people with mind problems for almost 5000 years. It is not hard to learn, try it today. Simply sit down somewhere and for three or four minutes, partly shut your eyes and try to pay attention to your breath, breathing in and breathing out. You don’t have to breathe particularly deeply, just breathe your normal way. You can count each breath with each exhalation. Or you can say silently, to yourself “I’s breathing in, I’m breathing out.” If three minutes is too long, do it for two minutes.
Start taking walks every day, the longer the better. Any physical activity or exercise you even half enjoy will help you. And exercise has been demonstrated to help rewire your brain more efficiently. Like anti-depressants, it kicks your brain into gear so that it begins making more BDNF.
Educate yourself about addiction disease. There are many books out there about it, many of which are written by recovering addicts just like you. Read their stories, learn about this disease that is as they say in AA “cunning, baffling and powerful.” It is but it can go into complete remission and stay there by the simple method of not using any mind-altering, recreational drugs.
Enlist Support From Loved Ones
Friends and family who know you dont want to keep smoking can offer support by:
- helping you think of hobbies and distractions
- practicing coping methods, like physical activity or meditation, with you
- encouraging you when withdrawals and cravings get tough
Even knowing that other people support your decision can help you feel more motivated and capable of success.
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Mental Effects Of Marijuana Use
When a person has been using marijuana for a long time, it is possible that he or she may develop a mental illness and other mental conditions. They may experience hallucinations and paranoia.
For people who have schizophrenia, their mental condition may get worse with regular marijuana use. Other mental effects include anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts in young people who use marijuana frequently.
You Use Marijuana To Deal With Problems
Think about the way youre using marijuana. Have you been using it to deal with your problems? When you have bad grades or problems with your boss or even relationship issues, do you feel your only option is to try and get high? If this is the case then youre getting deeper into your marijuana use and addiction.
Another way you can identify that youre addicted to marijuana is if you depend on it to feel relaxed. If you take weed before starting work or doing anything creative or other tasks, then its a clear sign that you have developed a heavy dependence on it and you are already addicted to the substance.
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More On Marijuana Addiction
There is so much confusion on the subject of marijuana addiction. Some people, especially lobbyists for the legalization of marijuana, state that marijuana is seldom if ever addictive. The truth is that many people do become addicted to marijuana. This means that they are unable to control their use of the drug. They use it whether or not there is harm resulting from its use. They may use it when doing so would be hazardous, for example, when they are driving or operating a boat.
And it is essentially universal that a person addicted to this drug will smoke weed instead of dealing with difficulties in his life. With marijuana abuse, problems just seem to fade into the background. But they dont really go away, they just dim out of sight. With the right help, it may not be that difficult to recover from marijuana addiction.
What Is Marijuana And How Is It Used
Marijuana is the name for the dried stems, seeds, flowers, and leaves from the Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa plant. The psychoactive chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol, which is commonly referred to as THC. Although the drug has been legalized in several states across the country, it is still illegal on the federal level. People typically smoke marijuana in joints, blunts, or water pipes.
In recent years, some people have begun using vaporizers, which use a liquid extract to create vapor. It is also common to bake marijuana in brownies or cookiesthese are called edibles. A new method of administration is known as dabbing, which involves smoking THC-rich extractions in the form of hash oil, shatter, or wax.
On average, these extractions contain much more THC than unprocessed marijuana plant materials, which increases the risk of experiencing dangerous effects. There have been reports of people going to the emergency department for detrimental side effects of resin use.1
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How To Help Someone Who Is Addicted To Marijuana
Either a person who is abusing marijuana is able to quit smoking or they cant. If they can, then helping them becomes mostly a matter of finding alternative solutions to the problems that the marijuana use seemed to solve for them. This may include helping them set meaningful goals for themselves and encouraging them on their way to the accomplishment of those goals.
For a person to start using a drug like marijuana, there had to be some problems in life that marijuana seemed to help with. Social shyness? School problems? Abuse? Difficulty holding a job? Difficulty learning? Or simply boredom? If you can find out what problems seemed to go away when the drug was used, then you may be able to support the person as they learn the skills they need to overcome that problem. Isolating the problem through can go a long way to reducing the pain associated with it. Knowing ones friends or family supports you as you learn to these difficulties can go make one feel less isolated.
Reconsider Certain Relationships And Environments If Necessary
If most of your social encounters revolve around marijuana use, deciding to quit may lead you to evaluate the people, places, and things that used to take up your time, Egel explains.
You may find you need to limit your exposure to certain environments or relationships to honor your boundaries or create a healthier way of being, Egel says.
Lifestyle changes often result from the decision to stop using substances, though this can be difficult to accept. Keep in mind, however, that these changes might not have to be permanent.
After picking up some new coping techniques or getting through the withdrawal period, you might find it easier to revisit certain friendships or places.
Plus, supportive friends will respect your decision to quit and avoid encouraging you to start smoking again. If your friends respond differently, you may want to reconsider spending time with them.
Maybe you decide to go cold turkey but end up smoking again. Or youve been making great progress but after one terrible, sleepless night, decide to smoke a joint just to get some rest.
Dont get down on yourself. This happens to most people trying to quit. suggests it often takes multiple attempts to quit successfully, so take heart. Youre absolutely not alone, and you havent failed.
Breaking habits can be challenging, but resolving to try again keeps you on the right track.
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Signs Of Marijuana Addiction
Before you begin your journey toward recovery, it is first important that you acknowledge that there is a problem with your drug use. It can be difficult to assess yourself if you have an addiction.
Chances are that youll be in denial that theres already a problem. To help you, here are some of the signs of marijuana addiction.
Kevin Didnt Care That He Was Failing In School
My parents knew what was up. My 1.6 grade point average was a big clue that I had something more important to do than homework. When I got caught dealing, my parents decided to raid my room. They found everything but the pot I had on me. I didnt care. I smoked out the day after I got caught. So, I was busted. Big deal. I promised to go to MA, but I really didnt intend to stay sober. I didnt want to be in a room full of addicts because I thought I could stop anytime I wanted to. I just didnt want to.
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Getting High Becomes Priority
How you spend your time is indicative of your possible dependence on the drug. If you spend a lot of your time getting high or waiting for the time when youll smoke another joint or looking for your drug of choice, that is a clear and obvious sign that you are addicted to it.
When your drug use becomes your priority and it begins to eat up a big chunk of your time, its vital to seek help and start marijuana addiction treatment.
You may also notice youve stopped doing the activities you once enjoyed. This may include recreational outings, playing sports or spending time with your loved ones. Instead, you spend your time with people who are also using marijuana so that you can get high together and feel that youre having a good time.
Work or school can also become affected. Since using marijuana has become your priority, you no longer give importance to other things in your life such as your job or attending your classes. This can have very serious consequences down the line such as failing your courses or getting fired from your job.
How Marijuana Addiction Affected My Marriage
Jaimeâs husband was a marijuana addict, but together, they were able to overcome his addiction and remain a united family unit.
My husbandâs marijuana addiction nearly derailed our marriage . . . hereâs how we got through it.
My husband had a problem with addictionhe was smoking marijuana in our garage on a regular basis and inviting his relatives to join him. After spending some time in denial about his addiction, I grew concerned that our children would be affected, and I felt the need to set boundaries. One day, I offered him an ultimatum: the pot or our family.
In response, my husband packed his bags and left, which made me feel like his addiction was stronger than his love for our family. I was devastated, but I knew setting boundaries and preventing my children from being affected by his addiction was my priority, and I was willing to put my marriage on the line to protect them.
My husband returned shortly afterward, willing to put aside his love for marijuana and work on overcoming his addiction to save our family. To my knowledge, he has completely stopped smoking and turned his focus to recovery.
While itâs not always possible to resolve addiction issues and save your marriage, itâs certainly worth a shot. Here are some ways you can save your family and help your spouse overcome their addiction.
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How Do You Cope With Marijuana Cravings After Quitting Weed
You could simply commit to not using cannabis and live through the nasty marijuana withdrawal symptoms that hit some of the people who decide to discontinue weed use pretty hard. As they say, the only way to quit is by quitting. The downside to this “cold turkey, tough cookies” method is that 70 percent of those former weed users who experience significant marijuana withdrawal symptoms attempt to relieve them by returning to their addiction .
A Tool: Smart Action Plan For Quitting Weed Gradually
There are 5 important guidelines for sticking to any goal.
They need to be:
- Realistic and
When making your action plan for cutting off cannabis gradually, make sure that you consider all of these aspects.
Here is an example of a plan using the SMART guidelines:
You may fill out your own measures and ideas.
- Specific: I will stop smoking weed completely in the next 6 months.
- Measurable: I currently smoke 1 gram every day. My goal is to reduce this to 0.5 gram in the first month, in the second month cut this down to every other day, in Month 3 cut this down to 0.25 gram per day, then in Month 4 to 0.25 gram every other day, in Month 4 cut down to 0.25 gram 2 days per week and Month 5 to 0.10 gram 1 day per week. End of Month 5: no marijuana.
- Achievable: I believe it is attainable for me to reduce my weed intake on this gradual plan for the next 6 months. It would be unattainable for me to quit weed cold turkey.
- Realistic: I realize it will be difficult for me to stick to this plan because all my friends smoke weed around me. I realize I will need to either talk to my friends about not smoking around me for a period of time or I will reduce the amount of time I spend with them and I will meet them in places where it is not possible to smoke.
- Time-specific: I have set out this schedule and will stick to this plan. I will review it at the end of each month and see if it needs to be adjusted.
Home-Based Treatment Plan for Weed Addiction
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