First Learn About The Conditioning And Triggers
When you want to quit, you will realize it is often much more challenging than you expect even to reduce or stop using any type of substance.
Since it becomes habitual, dependency can develop over time.
Your mind begins to expect certain substances, specifically at certain times of day, with certain people and in certain environments.
For example: You may have a close friend who always smokes weed with you. So when you see him/her you automatically crave weed.
This is called conditioning. In this scenario, the meeting with your friend is a trigger.
Being aware of conditioning and triggers is important because you will use this information to your advantage to recover from weed for good.
While outlining your quit plan, you will decide on your approach by considering your conditionings and triggers.
That being said, if you are reading this article, you have likely already attempted to quit smoking weed or at least are preparing yourself to do so.
Below we have outlined steps you can take into consideration in this process.
What If Someone Cant Get Sober
If someone cant quit the drug on their own, they may need to be admitted into rehab. Out of everyone who has a drug addiction, only about ten per cent of people actually get treatment.
If you think someone close to you is addicted to cannabis, use the intervention methods detailed above and help them check into a rehab facility.
Supporting Your Loved One Without Enabling Them
When attempting to convince someone to seek treatment for their addiction, you can help remind them what life was like before they became addicted.
Compare their behaviour now versus when they first started smoking cannabis.
Likely, they had many dreams that they abandoned once they became dependent. Encourage your loved one by telling them that those dreams arent completely gone if they quit smoking.
But you will have to set boundaries. Your loved one cant spend time with friends that use or smell cannabis.
That makes relapse a lot easier. You will have to employ a bit of tough love if you want them to truly recover.
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What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
Symptoms Of Cannabis Addiction
The main symptoms of marijuana addiction are craving for cannabis and inability to quit smoking weed even when you think about it and make attempts. Another important symptom that can help a doctor diagnose the addiction is withdrawal. Other signs can help you understand it is time to raise the alarm, too:
- mood swings and psychological problems paranoia, depression, anxiety, aggressiveness, etc.
- reduced cognition and memory
- inability to cope with everyday tasks
- coordination difficulties
- social isolation, etc.
Knowing these symptoms, you will detect the problem and have time to learn how to overcome cannabis addiction.
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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.
How To Quit Smoking Weed
John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health .
Some people assume that is relatively harmless, but research has shown that it can have a number of negative effects on health. While it may be less habit-forming than some other substances, there is also a potential for dependence and addiction.
If you want to quit smoking weed, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of success.
This article explores some of the tactics that you can try if you want to quit smoking marijuana. Youll also find information on symptoms of withdrawal you may experience and types of professional treatment that can help.
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Take Our Marijuana Addiction Self
Take our free, 5-minute marijuana addiction self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with a marijuana dependency. The evaluation consists of 10 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a marijuana use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
Getting Help For Withdrawal
During the withdrawal process, you can always ask help to manage these symptoms.
Some of them are related to concurrent diseases which are the reasons for marijuana use in the first place, like addressing your anxiety or depression problems.
Recovery from this addiction will give you the opportunity to address your issues with a therapist in a progressive way, rather than masking them with weed.
It is always important to note that, you may struggle to fulfill your professional and personal responsibilities during the first two weeks of the withdrawal process.
So, it is important to be aware of this when quitting cannabis.
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Figure Out Why You Want To Quit Marijuana
The idea of being free from marijuana addiction sounds great to many people. However, without a reason to break free, achieving every other step on how to quit marijuana becomes harder than it should be.
Before starting any program, treatment or medication, ensure you are clear on what actually is motivating you to go ahead with the process. In the long run, that reason will help spur you to add more days to the count instead of backsliding.
Although every patient has unique reasons to stop using marijuana, here are the common ones. Marijuana addiction is:
- Causing problems with your relationships
- Affecting your concentration, memory and mood
- Becoming your way of dealing with stress
- Becoming spontaneous, almost like you have no control over when you should use it
- Reducing your happiness and causing anhedonia
Benefits Of Quitting Marijuana
- Quitting marijuana can help you regain your life sometimes, people who struggle with substance abuse issues end up neglecting key areas of their life that used to bring them joy and satisfaction. Some of these areas might include career, personal growth, friendships, relationships with family members, intimate relationships, and more. Quitting marijuana can help you rekindle these bonds and commitments and achieve freedom from addiction.
- Quitting marijuana can help you achieve better sleep quality. Some studies suggest that marijuana interferes with your bodys REM sleep cycles, sometimes disrupting your quality or depth of sleep. Sleep is an integral part of the body and brains health and overall recovery. Giving up weed might help you sleep better.11
- Quitting marijuana can protect your memory from worsening. Some studies suggest that THC exposure over long periods may quicken age-related loss of hippocampal neurons. In turn, this can impact your ability to process information and form memories. By giving up weed, your memory may improve and may be less likely to worsen.12
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Child Development In Pregnant Women
There has been a popular belief that marijuana can help pregnant women deal with their nausea. However, medical experts are firm in their warning against it. Marijuana use in pregnant women is known to be linked to low birth weight. Such babies are also observed to have behavioural and brain problems.
When a pregnant woman is a marijuana user, then there may be effects on the way that the brain of the fetus develops. When these babies grow up, they are observed to have problems with memory, problem-solving, and attention. Even THC from breast milk can affect the childs developing brain. The studies regarding these effects of marijuana on babies are still ongoing.
How Long Does It Take Cannabis To Leave The System
Like alcohol, there are several factors that affect how long it takes for cannabis to leave a persons body. Some of the most common factors include:
- How often someone smokes cannabis
- How sensitive the drug test is
- The amount of fat on a person
Unlike alcohol, cannabis stays in the system for a very long time. Traces of THC can be detected in hair, blood, or urine samples for up to several days after initial use if its someones first time smoking.
If the person uses cannabis a few times a week, it can take up to a week to leave the system. If someone smokes every day, it could take as long as a month or more.
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When You Should Intervene
If someone is taking cannabis frequently and they act aimless or the drug has completely overtaken their life, its time to intervene.
If someone can still hold a job and your relationship is largely unaffected, you probably dont need to step in.
But most of the time, you cant just talk them into giving up the drug. This will mostly lead to broken promises and relapse.
If you want to convince your loved one to seek treatment, find an intervention programme online and get in contact with them.
You can also examine your own behaviours and try to change any behaviours that are enabling your loved one.
Overdose From Marijuana Use
A person can experience an overdose when he or she uses too much of the drug and the effects of it can be life-threatening. While there are no reports of adults or teens who had fatal consequences because of marijuana use alone, too much consumption of marijuana is known to cause uncomfortable and intense side effects.
People who used marijuana that have high THC have reported that they experienced paranoia and anxiety. Others had hallucinations, delusions, and other psychotic reactions.
Psychotic reactions can happen whether marijuana is smoked or eaten. But emergency medical staff have been seeing more and more cases of patients being admitted because of eating too much food containing marijuana.
Usually, young people dont know much about the marijuana edibles and how long it takes before the effects kick in. In doing so, they eat more to get that high. Consequently, they experience intense reactions because theyve taken too much of the drug.
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Why Does Marijuana Cause Withdrawal Symptoms
Marijuana is the name for dried extracts from the plant Cannabis sativa. This plant contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol , and terpenes, with THC contributing to the primary psychoactive effects associated with marijuana use.
THC defines the potency of marijuana, while terpenes define the aroma and flavor. The more THC the marijuana contains, the greater the effect of marijuana on the brain.
Using marijuana regularly means that the brain and body get used to a regular supply of THC. When this supply is stopped, the body takes some time to adjust to not having it. This causes uncomfortable physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Once the brain and body have adjusted to not having THC, the physical withdrawal symptoms will stop. People may still experience psychological cravings for marijuana for some time, however.
Over the years, based on samples of confiscated marijuana, potency has steadily increased . The THC content has risen from around 3.8 percent in the 1990s to 12.2 percent in 2014.
This indicates that the current effects of marijuana, including withdrawal, may be more extreme compared with their effects in previous decades.
The mood difficulties and physical discomforts of withdrawal peak in the first week of quitting and can last up to 2 weeks.
Though the physical effects of marijuana withdrawal will stop after the drug has left a persons system, the psychological symptoms can last longer.
Some current treatment options include:
Other Factors That Make Quitting Difficult
There will be days that are difficult to stick to the outlined plan of weed reduction.
The following would be factors that can contribute to it being more difficult:
Experiencing intense emotions
When you experience extreme happiness, sadness or anger, you are more likely at risk for increasing your weed use. Hence, a higher likelihood of relapsing back to higher substance use.
If you have a fight with your girlfriend/boyfriend, you have an issue with a coworker, you are going to be more likely to return to higher substance use. When some people have relationship issues, they often turn to substances for self-soothing.
If you go to a party, see friends who smoke weed, go to your favourite park where you used to smoke your mind will automatically be triggered to thinking of smoking. You will be cued into wanting to use even though you have set out your goals.
If all of your friends, your partner and family engage in smoking weed, this is going to be very difficult.
If your loved ones are not encouraging you to quit, this will require some workaround communicating about your desire to change and what you need from them.
If your social network is supportive still explain to them what you may need.
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Types Of Treatment Available For Marijuana Addiction
There are various treatment options available for cannabis addiction, including inpatient and outpatient treatment. The level of care you need will depend on how long youve been using marijuana, your regular dose and the addictions severity. Your home environment may also play a part in your treatment since some people cant avoid the drug in their personal lives while in treatment.
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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Adolescents And Young Adults
Most information on marijuana treatment efficacy among young people derives from trials that have included users of various drugs and have not focused specifically on marijuana use. Nevertheless, most patients in these studies have been primary marijuana users. Empirical support for group or individual CBT and family-based treatments has begun to emerge . The CBT interventions studied have been similar to those studied for adults in scope and duration. Specific forms of family-based treatment that have been tested include functional family therapy , multidimensional family therapy , multisystemic therapy , family support network intervention , and brief strategic family therapy . Description of these models is beyond the scope of this paper. However, they each involve structured, skills-based interventions for family members and are well described in their respective manuals.
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.
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The Effects Of Smoking Cannabis
In the first months of your marijuana consumption, smoking might have helped you calm down or uplift your mood.
Considering the positive side effects in the beginning, cannabis dependence may be inevitable when used frequently.
You may experience short term effects of joy or calmness. But you may also experience the following during or after smoking:
- Altered sense of time
If you recognize any of the side-effects mentioned in your own experience or loved ones, its important to take action to quit smoking marijuana now.
Every user of marijuana has a different experience of consumption and dependency.
Equally, there are many different reasons why people decide to quit marijuana. Whether its the financial cost, relationship problems or health worries, there are always ways to quit the habit.
The following tactics and methods of how to quit smoking weed can be approached as single solutions or combined as a strategy for kicking the cannabis habit.
You should ASK YOURSELF:
Can you notice how this substance harms your life?
If your answer is yes, lets continue.