Marijuana and Addiction
Marijuana (also known as Weed or Pot) is the most frequently abused (mostly) illegal drug in the US, and makes up 17% of admissions to treatment programs. Treatment is often sought because the long-term use of marijuana can lead to addiction, and individuals looking to quit have to deal with challenging withdrawal symptoms that can keep them from stopping their marijuana abuse.
Is marijuana addictive?
Abuse of any substance – including marijuana – is when the user begins seeking the substance compulsively and continues use though there have been harmful effects to their lives, including problems with family, school, work or the legal system. Research has shown that about 9% of all marijuana users become addicted and that those who start early and who are daily users are more susceptible to marijuana addiction.
What happens when you try to quit smoking pot and you’re addicted?
Pot smokers who are classified as marijuana abusers frequently report that they have withdrawal symptoms that include sleeplessness, no appetite, anxiety, cravings to use, and irritability. While any of these can make quitting difficult, the combination of several symptoms can make it difficult to stay on the road to recovery. This is where SMART Recovery can help.
How do I stop smoking marijuana?
SMART provides our members with tools and skills that they can use to help them recover from marijuana addiction as well as alcohol, or other drugs or negative behaviors. SMART Recovery, which can be used as a support group alternative to Marijuana Anonymous (MA), uses a 4-Point Program®, with each element designed to help you overcome your problems with abusing marijuana:
Building & Maintaining Motivation – Helps you identify and keep up with your reasons to quit. Why do you want to quit smoking pot - what will keep you focused on that goal?
Coping with Urges – Dealing with urges and cravings is part of recovery. SMART has tools designed to help our members cope with urges to use or smoke pot that can help you maintain abstinence.
Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors – We frequently turn to using drugs to either escape from or avoid solving our problems. SMART’s members learn problem-solving tools to help them manage challenges along the way.
Lifestyle Balance – When you are addicted to, or abuse a drug like marijuana, your life frequently falls out of balance – you may find yourself opting to smoke pot rather than go to work or school. You may find that things you used to enjoy aren’t fun anymore. SMART Recovery helps members build skills to help balance both short and long-term goals, pleasures and needs that were once out of balance due to drug abuse.
Where do I go from here?
Getting started with SMART Recovery is easy! If you would like to get started right away, you can join our online support group where you can read, share and learn from our worldwide community of members at any time of the day or night. You can also find a local SMART Recovery meeting, or, if we don’t have any meetings in your area yet, you can join us at one of our online meetings.
If you’d like to have printed material to refer to, you can purchase the SMART Recovery Handbook.
,  NIDA Infofacts