Is cannabis addictive? Yes, it can be.
So, what is your motivation to stop smoking weed?
If it’s coming from the outside, you may want to evaluate. A nagging parent, girl/boy friend or probation officer may initially motivate you to stop smoking weed. But without being personally motivated, the likelihood that you will quit weed and STAY QUIT is rather low.
So how can you get and stay motivated to be clean?
Here, we present four (4) tools from SMART Recovery® that will motivate you to quit smoking weed. SMART stands for Self Management And Recovery Training. This program is sometimes known as an alternative to 12-step programs and teaches self-help techniques based on psychological principles. As a scientific recovery program, SMART is recognized by the NIH, by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Society of Addiction Medicine as an addiction recovery resource.
Can these exercises help you stop smoking weed?
So if you want build and maintain motivation to stay away from weed, complete these four exercises in self-empowerment. To learn more about SMART Recovery and tools for abstinence, check out the SMART website.
1. Learn about the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of behavior change
Check out TTM as the dominant model of health behavior change among psychologists on the internet. Basically, there are “stages of change” you go through as you try to stop smoking weed. In the TTM model, you go through stages of change including:
Moving forward from the Precontemplation Stage is key to quitting weed and starting a life free of marijuana. Although you will probably fluctuate between these stages from time to time, once you have made a strong commitment to a drug free life, you can easier maintain abstinence.
2. Complete a Cost Benefit Analysis
Compare gains and losses of smoking weed in a formal analysis. A Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a simple exercise that helps you evaluate what you gain and what you lose when you stop smoking weed.
To complete a CBA,take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center of the page, and one across the center of the page to make 4 quadrants. At the top of the page, write: Smoking Weed. In the top left quadrant, put Advantages (benefits & reward), top right put Disadvantages (costs & risks). Just above the bottom two squares in the lower half of the quadrant ,write: Quit Smoking Weed. In the bottom left quadrant, put Advantages (benefits & reward), bottom right put Disadvantages (costs & risks).
Now start to fill in the blanks.
- Advantages of smoking weed might include euphoric effect, entertainment, stress reliever, etc. Disadvantages might include medical conditions, relationship problems, work problems, legal problems, etc. Then, label each item in your list with an ST (short-term) or LT (long-term).
- Now, compare the short and long-term items. Usually, the “Benefits” of continuing to smoke weed are short-term, while the “Costs” are long-term.
- Then, carry your CBA with you wherever you go. If a craving to smoke weed or an opportunity appear, review the list to remember that the long-term costs outweigh the short term benefits.
3. Complete a Hierarchy of Values
To complete a Hierarchy of Values, list the five most important things in your life, in order of importance. These will vary by person, and may include family, job, health, faith, finances, happiness, etc. (STOP READING HERE UNTIL YOU MAKE YOUR LIST.)
Now ask yourself, “Where is smoking weed on my list of values?” Did weed make the Top 5? Even though you may not value smoking weed as one of the most important activities in your life, smoking often has a major impact on each and everything that is valuable to you!
Now, consider the impact that smoking weed has on each of your top five values, and make plans to focus on the things that are most important to you. Compare this with continuing to smoke weed or eating weed to get high. Instead of rolling a spliff, baking a cookie or packing a bowl…get involved with your family, go exercise, talk to a friend or do something else that can enhance the values on your list.
4. Plan and visualize change
Complete a Change Plan Worksheet to help you to “map out” the changes you want to make as you quit smoking weed. This is important to starting to getting clean. You will list what changes you want to make, why, how, who can help you, signs of success and how likely you are to achieve the change. Once you have a map of what you want to do, you can put a plan in place for making those changes happen.
Can you quit smoking weed?
Absolutely. For more ideas about staying motivated to quit weed, check out the FREE motivational ideas available on the SMART Recovery website. Plus, the SMART Recovery Handbook has additional tools to help you to build and maintain your motivation and is available here: Handbook for SMART Recovery.
How to quit smoking weed
Are you having problems quitting weed? Need some support? Please let us know. We’ll be happy to answer real questions or concerns about getting off weed with a personal and prompt response.