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How to Get Someone to Stop Smoking Marijuana

Are you concerned about how much weed your child is smoking? Does one of your friends or someone in your family continually lie about being high from marijuana? Are you tired of watching your loved one use weed as their only coping mechanism to get through the ups and downs of life? Is pot getting in the way of your relationship with them?

If you live with or care about a chronic marijuana user, odds are that you have pleaded with them to smoke less weed or quit altogether. But is it possible to get someone to stop smoking marijuana?

It can be tough for any person addicted to drugs to realize they have a problem. Marijuana addiction is no different. Before they admit that they have a problem, it can prove nearly impossible to have honest discussions about their marijuana use. Denial is powerful and can often lead to the concerned friend or parent and the user to never-ending conflict. What weed smoker sees as a harmless, necessary benefit to their lives, you see as the main reason they aren’t the same person you used to know, and why their life seems to be getting worse.

Doubtless, if you are concerned about someone’s marijuana use, it’s become more difficult to talk to someone about the amount of weed they smoke if you live in states where recreational weed has become legal. Colorado, Washington D.C., Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Alaska, Vermont, and Maine have all legalized recreational marijuana. Thirty other states have legalized marijuana for medical use.

These developments, while necessary for being able to treat addicts for their disease rather than as criminals, have had unintended consequences. A chronic weed user may be more challenging about the adverse risks of marijuana use.

Scaring Them Doesn’t Work

We all know some of the tell-tale signs of being high on the stickiest of the icky. Blood-shot eyes, a handful of chips and candy as a result of the “munchies,” and slower reaction time. None of these are particularly dangerous, in the short term. More than likely, a weed smoker would laugh these off if confronted about their appearance or being too high.

Maybe you’ve tried to scare them more. You might have even brought up the newly researched “cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome,” a condition caused by extended, chronic use of high potency marijuana. It causes people to vomit violently due to severe abdominal pain and nausea.

You warn them about this awful syndrome. You fear they are killing brain cells, and you tell them they are losing a lot of their motivation in life. Because of the lowered dopamine levels in long-term cannabis users, you feel justified in telling them they are wasting their life away with weed.

Arguments ensue, tempers flare, doors slam. The user cites study after study about the medical benefits of marijuana and that it is virtually impossible to overdose on weed. After these conversations, there’s more anger, disconnectedness, and fear.

Youth and teenage users are at the most risk of long-term consequences of marijuana use. Several studies have noted the negative effects of marijuana on developing, maturing minds. Many of these studies found physical damage to the brains’ white matter in marijuana smokers who began smoking at young ages.

What You Can Do

Compassion and a soft touch can be underrated. Nobody likes to be talked down to or treated like they are wrong. When two people argue, often nobody wins. Like Dale Carnegie said, “Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘you’re wrong.'” Instead, ask them questions to help them take a critical look at their own using and smoking patterns as well as letting them know you care and that there is help available. You can try some of these:

  • How has your life changed since you started smoking weed?
  • What do you think will happen if you don’t smoke for a week?
  • I love you and want you to be happy.
  • Is smoking weed for fun or to “get by”?
  • Do experience anxiety, fear, or irritation when you run out of weed?

There are many resources that you can rely on for you to help someone who is addicted to marijuana. Marijuana Anonymous, a twelve-step program, has more questions that can help a marijuana addict determine whether or not they have a problem.

When someone is no longer in denial about his or her marijuana addiction, treatment is the most effective next step in recovery. Boardwalk Recovery Center understands the psychological and mental pain and discomfort that comes from quitting marijuana. We also know that stopping marijuana is only a beginning. We have a strong support staff and treatment built around twelve-step programs, experiential therapies, and one-on-one therapy to help recovering addicts live a purposeful and sober life with the need for smoking weed.

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