Marijuana is not a harmless drug and can produce after effects that range from mild to serious.
People who use marijuana can suffer loss of energy, memory loss, reduced drive and motivation, apathy, some depression and agitation, insomnia, and withdrawal from previous interests. These symptoms may persist after marijuana use is stopped.
It may be even harder for the cannabis user than for users of other substances to overcome denial, because the drug impairs judgement and prevents the user from gaining any useful insight into his feelings or behavior.
However, recovery after abstinence may be quicker than for alcohol or other drugs, with rapid improvement in alertness and mental agility.
It’s been described as “coming out of a fog.”
Other aspects of weed addiction recovery may be trickier.
Since marijuana is often a young person’s drug, therapists have to work to encourage abstinence without severing the user’s vital connection to his peers and their culture.
If you are a teenage user of marijuana who has decided to quit, you will need to be open minded and patient through this process, to accept the fact your counselors are not “against” you and your friends but are trying to prevent you from ruining your life with continued drug use.
You will be helped to find ways of enhancing your self-esteem, of solving your problems in other ways besides using marijuana, and to discover other, more satisfying and rewarding activities.
Your counselors may want to do periodic urine tests during any outpatient rehabilitation. Don’t resent it; it is a mark of success if your tests are negative and a sign to your counselors that you need more help if the tests are positive.
You will be advised to find new friends and stay away from anybody who uses marijuana or other drugs. This may seem extreme and you may think it’s impossible, but the fact is that continued association with pot-smokers is almost guaranteed to make you go back, and continued pot smoking far too often is followed by a switch to heavier drugs.
In treatment, you should be made to feel that someone will be available for you to talk to if you’re having unusual stress or if you feel in danger of relapse. The point is to get the support you need in a positive way, and not to seek out drugs or the drug-using crowd for the illusion of support.
Aside from the neuropsychiatric effects of marijuana, there is physical damage, too, such as bronchitis (usually repaired by not smoking).
Incidentally, a joint of marijuana delivers far more potentially carcinogenic “tar” than does a regular cigarette.
Emotional problems associated with marijuana are complex, affecting behavior and motivation; they may take as long as a year to resolve.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse problem, please reach out to our addiction specialists for guidance and support, at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.