Marijuana Addiction – How to get off it?

Cannabis, Weed, Hash, Marijuana, Ganja – are the many names of this drug. Claimed to have originated in Central Asia, it is known for its psychoactive properties. The main component that makes this drug dangerous is THC or else known as tetrahydrocannabinol. This is claimed to give the person a ‘high’ feeling of feeling ‘stoned’. It causes changes in the perception of an individual, they experience a euphoric feeling, decreases anxiety in the start and also increases their appetite.

What started as a medicinal drug, for recreational and spiritual use was later banned for the side effects it caused in most countries of the world.

And in today’s fast pacing lifestyle, Marijuana addiction is used as a recreation to relieve stress in young working adults, it’s seen as a trend with teenagers that soon grows into a serious addiction.

Its effects can be both, short and long term.

Short-term effects

1. Severe anxiety and paranoia
2. Very strange behavior, seeing, hearing or smelling things that aren’t there, not being able to tell imagination from reality (Psychosis)
3. Panic
4. Hallucination
5. Loss of sense of personal identity
6. Lowered reaction time
7. Increased heart rate
8. Increased risk of stroke
9. Problems with coordination (impairing safe driving or playing sports)
10. Sexual problems (for males)
11. Up to seven times more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections than non-users (for females)

Long term effects

1. A decline in IQ (up to 8 points if prolonged use started in adolescent age)
2. Poor school performance and a higher chance of dropping out
3. Impaired thinking and ability to learn and perform complex tasks
4. Lower life satisfaction
5. Addiction (about 9% of adults and 17% of people who started smoking as teens)
6. Potential development of opiate abuse
7. Relationship problems
8. Antisocial behavior including stealing money or lying
9. Financial difficulties
10. Increased welfare dependence
11. Greater chances of being unemployed or not getting good jobs


Such effects not only affect an individual’s physical and mental health, but also their everyday living. There are ways to beat the marijuana addictions. It might not be very easy, but with help from oneself and others, the process will be much more effective.

Ways to beat Marijuana addiction  

1. Psychoeducation

Psychoeducation, or the process of educating about mental health and problem can be very helpful. They are offered in both, individual and group formats. Such a format can help significantly in building the individual’s “quality of life” and make them more responsive towards their illness.  This will set the tone for you to reconsidering smoking pot.

2. Not giving in to post-withdrawal symptoms

You will experience withdrawal symptoms when you give up on smoking marijuana. This will also depend on how long you have been on weed and patterns.

The symptoms will vary from a headache, anxiety, and irritability. This will not last for more than 2 weeks after the start process of sobering down and away from the drug.

Sticking to your commitment without giving in to withdraw symptoms is the key.

3. Stray away from your marijuana contacts

Stay away from anyone who might be smoking marijuana. This leads to relapse from       

your own decision to give up. Let them know loud and clear that you want to “Go    

Clean”. It may even mean losing a few friends, but you’re not losing anything and also you can help them later.

4. Stay away from places

People may be one of the factors but so are places. Places relieve memories which may lead to a breakdown.

Try to stay away from places where you can smell it.

Smell is a strong receptor of memories as well which will disrupt your goal. Stay tight. Go to places that will let you breathe fresh air or on long drives with friends and have fun in all sobriety. This will let you relax and de-stress.

5. Slow and steady

One day at a time, you have seen what it does, maybe heard what it does and you have made some decisions. So let’s do it one day at a time. If you go through one day without marijuana, you deserve a pat on your back. This makes the process less overwhelming and impossible.

6. Take up meditation or yoga

Meditation is long known for its calming effects, helping you refocus on yourself. This will definitely reduce your stress and anxiety. Just get a quiet space and sit down for 5 minutes.  Focus on your breathing in and breathing out. Practicing this will help you regulate your emotions. Yoga has helped many people find peace with their bodies. Besides, with apps and several yoga centers in the cities, it’s only a step away.

7. Make new friends

Strange?  Maybe a little! Familiar people will relive your old days with weed and you don’t need that influence in the process.

Therefore, make some new friends. Yes, you may look like a bad person, but you are doing it for your good.

8. Make a list of “Why did I quit?”

Make a list why you want to quit. Is it because you are losing a job, losing a friend, seeing that you are not getting any better? Then pen it down and display it somewhere you can see it. It gives you more reasons to quit and the right ones.

9. Keep a loved one informed

Keep someone informed about your everyday, struggles, thoughts, and your everyday success. This could be a friend, family, sponsor or anyone. Simply have them on board. They can help you achieve your goal in staying away from marijuana addiction.

Remember you are not alone in this.

10. Find a therapist

A therapist helps you with your regulations of emotions. They help you overcome your anxiety and pressure to help stay focused. Someone that you can talk with no inhibitions and free of judgments. Don’t bottle it up. You may end up discovering more reasons to bid goodbye to Marijuana addiction.

As you are reading these, it may sound too unreal, too optimistic, or maybe you are just sighing,  but you are HERE. You can look at yourself and for whatever reason, you started smoking up, don’t blame yourself. You want to quit marijuana addiction and that’s what matters.

YOU matter above all.

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About the author

Keran Job is a budding Developmental Psychologist who has finished her masters from the prestigious Lancaster University, U.K., with her research in social and communication skills with autistic adults. She has worked alongside in special schools and children with special needs. Having finished her psychological counselling diploma with training in special trauma counseling with CCC and CMC, Vellore, she believes that there is always a way out to mental ailments and the first step to betterment is by accepting it.


Keran

Keran Job is a budding Developmental Psychologist who has finished her masters from the prestigious Lancaster University, U.K., with her research in social and communication skills with autistic adults. She has worked alongside in special schools and children with special needs. Having finished her psychological counselling diploma with training in special trauma counseling with CCC and CMC, Vellore, she believes that there is always a way out to mental ailments and the first step to betterment is by accepting it.

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