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Quitting Weed! How to Stop Smoking Marijuana, Pot, Weed

Quitting weed is challenging but there are ways to learn how to stop smoking pot. Therapy, treatment programs, doctors can be involved in quitting marijuana.

Many people work at quitting smoking pot (weed, marijuana). In fact, 100,000 people get treatment to help quitting weed each year in the United States. While many people do successfully stop smoking pot, quitting pot is more difficult for some, than others. Professional help is sometimes needed to learn how to quit weed for good.

Quitting Weed - Medical Help for Quitting Marijuana

Medical treatment for marijuana is often not necessary to stop smoking weed (pot, marijuana) and inpatient treatment is not generally recommended for marijuana abuse, quitting marijuana or marijuana withdrawal.1 However, a medical evaluation can be a helpful first step towards giving up weed long term. This is because pot use may have caused, or hidden, physical or psychological problems that only come to light after quitting smoking weed. (read: effects of long term marijuana use)

A doctor can look at what a person is experiencing when quitting pot smoking and determine if the symptoms are part of withdrawal, a mental illness or some other medical condition. As many users are addicted to more than one drug, a doctor can also evaluate additional substance abuse issues that must be addressed when trying to quit marijuana.

Unfortunately, the one thing doctors can't do is prescribe medication to specifically help with giving up weed. While several drugs have been tested, no drug has been shown effective in helping people to quit pot.

Quitting Weed - Withdrawal and Quitting Pot

Studies have found that only some people quitting weed experience withdrawal symptoms. Even among severe, chronic users, withdrawal is not universal when giving up weed.

However, withdrawal can happen when quitting smoking pot. Some withdrawal effects seen when quitting marijuana are:

  • Irritability, anger, nervousness, aggression
  • Anxiety, paranoia, depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Light sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • And others

Withdrawal effects can be seen from 1-3 days after quitting smoking marijuana and 10-14 days after quitting pot. Time, patience and support are the best ways of handling withdrawal symptoms when you stop smoking weed.

Quitting Weed - Treatment to Stop Smoking Pot

While medication may not be available, there are many other aids to help a pot addict to stop smoking pot (weed, marijuana). Therapy, support groups and drug programs can all help when learning how to quit weed.

Therapy can teach a person how to stop smoking pot while supporting them through the process to quit marijuana. Therapies that can help when quitting marijuana include:

  • Behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI) - Both are designed to change drug-related behavior to help quit weed but CBT focuses on thoughts, behavior and the environment while MI is focused on creating motivation to quit pot.
  • Psychotherapy - May be in individual, family or group settings and is focused on the reasons behind starting and using marijuana as well as other underlying psychological issues.

Support groups can also help to quit marijuana. Groups like Narcotics Anonymous are peer-based support groups that help people to quit weed and other drugs. Support groups are useful as everyone there has the shared experience of quitting pot and this allows each person to relate in an understanding and supportive way.

Formal drug programs can also help when learning how to stop smoking weed. These drug programs are typically not specific to quitting weed but include general drug abuse treatment.

article references

next: Marijuana Withdrawal and Managing Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
~ all marijuana addiction articles
~ all articles on addictions

Last Updated: 21 June 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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