TIME TO QUIT!
It is the month of resolutions and supporting good healthy behaviors.
People can succeed most when the motivation comes within themselves. Whether you are a college student who is getting ready for the world of work, or a retiree who is beginning to question whether the risks of breaking the law are worth it, the new year is a good time to stop smoking marijuana. Ambivalence, such as knowing you should change but recognizing you DON'T want to change is a giant step in the right direction. Embrace the challenge and go for it!
What have been your past experiences regarding the success at stopping this behavior? Write it down, as well as the reasons you want to quit. Consider that use of any illegal substances, including alcohol, are included in your plan. Seek support. Find friends who do not smoke weed and find new alternatives to this behavior. When do you most often seek out this behavior?
Week 1: Make a Personal Goal Worksheet: My goal regarding marijuana use; Important reasons for my goal; Steps I will take to reach my goal. Sign your name and date. Review it each day.
Keep a diary and write down every time you reach for a marijuana cigarette and what setting does this occur (examples: to fit in with friends, to relax, to forget problems).
Week 2: Cut back half of the number you smoked in week one. Make a conscious effort to reward yourself each day you keep your promise. Develop one new drug free activity per week.
Week 3: Attend more drug free social activities such as midweek faith services, yoga, physical exercise, volunteering, especially at times when you are most vulnerable.
Week 4: Practice refusal skills: "not today" "another time" thanks, but not for me" "I am allergic" "Can't do" "I'm on a program" or walk away.
Week 5: Seek outside help for underlying concerns, such as anxiety, depression, irritability, interpersonal issues with family, friends, school, as some examples. If you use marijuana to medicate yourself for discomfort physically or emotionally, you may need to see your doctor or a counselor to help you problem solve. Examine your plan to see if you are able to cut down. Check it out-- are you yet feeling a sense of accomplishment, increased energy, and the return of clearer sense of purpose? It will take fully one month, from the last day of ingestion, for your body to rid itself of the toxins in marijuana--depending on the degree of your dependency. It is a substance that stores in your fat cells and lingers, thus showing up in drug tests.
Week 6: You should be able to revisit your Personal Goal Worksheet and make an accurate self-assessment. Refer to the links on the left of this page for programs that provide emergency services, intervention and treatment services, also prevention and education. Call for assistance. You are worth it!