Smoking weed is often seen as being a pretty harmless pastime–just something people do sometimes to chill after a hard day–a habit that doesn’t really do any harm to others. It’s often justified by comparing weed to another popular drug of choice, alcohol; a less regulated substance which is thought to be more likely to lead to violence, job loss and car accidents.
The situation is less rosy when someone is struggling with weed addiction–and for the friends and family members who want their loved one to quit smoking weed completely. Bridging the gap between the smoker’s perspective and that of the concerned bystanders is a definite challenge, and trying to make someone stop smoking weed is a project which needs a serious commitment of both time and effort.
“Focusing on ways to make
someone want to quit is the most
likely way to make it happen.
Some ideas on how to do this
are explored here.”
It is important to say here that nobody can force someone to stop smoking weed unless the plan involves removing them from society and keeping them captive. Even that would only deal with the physical aspect of giving it up, making it unlikely any progress would last long. Basically, focusing on ways to make someone want to quit is the most likely way to make it happen. Some ideas on how to do this are explored here.
Be honest with yourself first
Have a long and honest think about why you think your friend or relative should quit smoking weed. Identifying the concerns you have, which could be about their career going off the rails, a potential criminal record, that they drive under the influence, or get involved in risky behavior of some sort. This process helps you build solid arguments and evidence to use when you raise the subject of quitting with them.
Help them understand how weed affects behavior
Smoking to get a lovely feeling of peace and relaxation is understandable, but few weed users realize that their behavior changes quite drastically. Helping someone to understand that what they see as being chilled actually comes across as being lazy and uninterested in people, or how they struggle to make simple decisions, and often neglect their personal hygiene, may shock them enough to make them quit.
Learn why they smoke weed
If the person you are concerned about smokes weed only occasionally, and just sees it as something you do sometimes at a party, then you will probably need a present a good case to persuade them to stop. However, when it comes to the intervention stage chances are the weed has become problematic, and is causing some form of trouble and distress. Still, it’s important to find out why someone is self medicating with marijuana. Failing to deal with the underlying motivations will inevitably mean relapse at some point down the line.
Provide information on ways to quit
Trying to make someone stop smoking weed is a project which needs a serious commitment of both time and effort.Click To Tweet
Not everyone who smokes weed is addicted to it in a physical sense, though of course the psychological dependency can be as powerful, regardless. Plus, as marijuana stays in the body for a while after smoking it’s possible to not smoke for a few days without experiencing any withdrawal symptoms. This can lull users into a false sense of security, believing that as giving up would be easy so they don’t need to do it right now.
The reality, however, is that many people are dependent on weed, so giving them useful information on how to best get through the quitting process is essential. This is a good opportunity to compare the different approaches to quitting, such as going cold turkey or cutting down gradually. It may be tempting to avoid directly sharing information on what can be an unpleasant experience, but getting to grips with the fact that weed is addictive, and therefore worth quitting, will help in the long term.
Don’t be an enabler
It’s natural to help someone close to you out if they ask for cash to pay for food, rent or bills. In some cases this is used to help fund their weed habit, so it’s crucial that you change your habits too if this is something you are guilty of doing. Work out a plan to help you resist the emotional manipulation which may well come your way, often manifested through guilt, anger and tears.
Be open to outside support
Although there are benefits to helping someone close to you quit smoking weed there can be drawbacks too. Being emotionally close can leave you both vulnerable, and struggling to establish boundaries; so it may be appropriate to look to support groups or medical professionals for help sometimes.
Prove you will be there for them
It can take weeks or months for someone to get through the process of giving up weed, and although some moments will be intense, perhaps even challenging and unpleasant, there will be others where someone just needs a listening ear, or a pal to help them forge a social life away from the weed smoking scene. Being confident that someone supportive will be there for the long haul can really help boost will power and personal effort.
Celebrate every milestone
How you do that depends on the person you are supporting, so feel free to find a way that works best for you. Whether you find marking off each hour without smoking, or managing to eat something healthy is what works just go for it. Never underestimate how much these words of encouragement or small gifts will mean to the person quitting.
Although it’s not realistic to believe you can make someone stop smoking weed there are plenty of strategies you can use to both help them make that decision, and then to support them through the stages of withdrawal and recovery.
Have you helped someone who was struggling with a weed addiction?
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