Coping with Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
Marijuana use is highly controversial right now due to it’s legalization in two states and more states considering passing the legislation for both personal use and for use in medical treatment. Some believe that marijuana has no medicinal value and should continue to be criminalized while others believe it is highly beneficial for treating anxiety and panic disorders as well as side effects from drugs like chemotherapy that can make you nauseous and decrease appetite. Marijuana use is on the rise, in 2010 according to NIDA, “more than 29 million Americans (11.5%) aged 12 or older reported abusing marijuana”.
Regardless of where you stand in the debate using marijuana for extended periods of time or in very large amounts and then stopping can cause withdrawal side effects just like other drugs that people abuse. Here are some effective ways to help manage withdrawal symptoms from marijuana if you are trying to quit.
Ways to Cope with Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms can be both mental and physical. The physical symptoms don’t generally last very long but you should be prepared for intense cravings to use marijuana for a much longer time. The psychological effects of long term marijuana use can last for a very long time and be difficult to overcome. There are a few simple techniques that you can utilize that will help to keep your mind off of the cravings.
Go For a Walk
It sounds easy right? Well it actually is an easy remedy because physical activity increases dopamine levels in the brain which instantly lifts your mood and gives you a general feeling of well being. It also gives you a chance to clear your mind. It’s hard to think of negative thoughts while you’re exercising. It doesn’t have to be a walk either. You can try a yoga class or go swimming. Hiking and mountain climbing also give a great work out. Physical activity is also great for your health and can only be beneficial for your recovery.
Read a Book
Get lost in your favorite novel to help distract if you are having withdrawal symptoms and can’t seem to get your mind off of it. It’s okay to allow yourself to be immersed in a world of fiction or make believe or you might even find books on self help or addiction and recovery helpful tools to reinforce staying on the right track.
Spend Time With Your Family
Go out and have lunch with a friend or family member if you feel the urge to use marijuana again or if you are suffering withdrawal symptoms. Make time to go see a movie together or go to an art event, things that you used to find interesting before you started abusing marijuana. Often people who smoke on a regular basis exclude people from their lives that do not smoke because they don’t want their loved ones to know the extent of their drug use or they want to be able to smoke freely and not be judged. This only exacerbates the problem by shutting out the ones who care about you the most.
Attend a Local Support Group
Many churches offer spiritual help for addiction recovery as well as community organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcanon. Attending regular support group meetings and talking about your addiction with others who are going through the same thing can help you now and in the long run.