Can Coping Mechanisms Help Reduce Dependence on Marijuana?

Can Coping Mechanisms Help Reduce Dependence on Marijuana?

Although many people believe marijuana is not addictive, millions of people every year fail to quit using this controlling substance. While the drug may not create physical addiction (addicts do not experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they quit), it does create a powerful psychological dependence: marijuana relieves stress, anxiety, insecurity and depression, but the underlying problems reappear as the drug wears off. As users develop tolerance to pot, they must use more and more to feel the desired effects; in fact, many people eventually supplement their marijuana use with opiates, alcohol or cocaine. As people abuse this drug, they train themselves to need it, thus they create dependence.

Many marijuana addicts use this drug to medicate co-occurring or underlying emotional disorders. To quit using the drug, addicts must develop new coping techniques for stress. Just as marijuana had been used to address anxiety, successful rehab programs introduce healthy ways to tolerate stress without getting high. Although it can be hard for an addict to imagine, this disease can be beaten with the proper help.

Marijuana-free Coping Techniques

Although each addict is a unique person with a unique story, the following recovery techniques can combat addiction:

Become mindful of your triggers Addiction doctors call any incident that causes marijauana cravings a trigger. Your triggers may include stress, painful memories, financial problems, sickness, toxic relationships or physical pain, but most people respond to triggers such as these automatically. For instance, you may know that marijuana relieves problems, so you will crave that relief instantly when a problem comes your way. Become mindful of both your triggers and the stress that drives them to cultivate recovery.

Prepare for temptationAlthough many recovering addicts become confident in their ability to resist cravings, the fact is that you will experience temptation to relapse. Recovering addicts must accept this reality, because they can then prepare in advance to resist temptation. One of the best ways to resist temptation is to reach out to your sponsor, counselor or non-using friend or family member.

Avoid people and places where marijuana is available One of the most important coping skills to overcome marijuana addiction is to avoid access to the drug. Cultivate friendships with people who do not abuse drugs when times get hard; think about and list the places and people that have been sources of relapse in the past, and avoid them completely. Tell your sponsor, counselor or family member about this commitment, and ask them to hold you accountable to it.

Engage in positive activities Instead of focusing on the negatives in life, fill your free time with the following activities:

  • Work out
  • Volunteer at an after-school program for kids
  • Artistic-expression projects
  • Attend recovery meetings to support others on their recovery path
  • Read positive books or watch inspirational films
  • Keep a journal

Reduce stress Reducing stress in all areas of life is one of the most powerful ways to boost your recovery. This act is not about avoiding stress, but resolving it. Think long and hard about the relationships you maintain, the climate in your workplace and the dynamic in your home to see how they can cause drug cravings. Although you can’t ignore stress and expect it to go away, you may be able to change your friendships, workplace, budget, neighborhood or finances to support your newfound sobriety. You may also find significant stress relief through exercise, dietary support or counseling.

In other words, recovering marijuana addicts can get and stay clean if they have the right help.

Find the Right Rehab Program for Marijuana Abuse

Without attending rehab, your odds of overcoming marijuana addiction are slim to none. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now for confidential help finding treatment. Our admissions coordinators understand how overwhelming the thought of treatment can be, but with the right help you can cultivate healthy coping skills that allow you to face stress without falling back into marijuana use. Over time, you will notice improvements in your relationships, motivation and health. It might be hard to imagine right now, but a drug-free life can be amazing.

Get out of the rut of marijuana abuse by calling us now.