I often have readers write in to ask my advice on special quitting techniques for those who have been smoking pot for 10, 20 or even 30 years or more. After smoking more than half their lifetimes, many of these people find that they are suffering health problems such as breathing difficulties, throat cancer or infertility. Others are simply tired of feeling like garbage all of the time. Others still feel that they have missed out on so much that at this point in their lives, they have a lot of making up to do.
Just as there are so many different motivations for quitting, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for beating the cravings and complications a long-term marijuana addict must face. Each person started smoking pot for their own personal reasons, but more importantly, they had their own reasons that kept them doing it for so many years. A stop smoking program must also be tailored to their unique needs.
Quitting marijuana after a long-term addiction is more than simply stopping an activity. Smoking weed is a lifestyle. It affects everything a marijuana addict does, from the moment they wake in the morning to the minute they finally pass out stoned at night. Long-term addicts make friends with other pot smokers – it’s just easier to surround yourself with people who are okay with what you’re doing twelve hours of the day, isn’t it?
They have special places to go on their break from work to smoke up. They routinely smoke a joint after work to release the stress of the day. They have one after supper to unwind and relax. These are the habits that are so hard to let go of. Over the years that a person is addicted, marijuana infiltrates every aspect of their life, becoming intertwined and associated with everything they do throughout the day.
This is the biggest hurdle the long-term marijuana addict must face. How can you possibly quit when every single thing you have done throughout the day over the last twenty years reminds you of how much you want to smoke a joint? How can you explain to your pot smoker buddies that you can’t be around them any more when they’re just doing what you’ve all done together for the last few decades? How can you possibly wake up every morning to face the cravings you are sure to endure all day long?
Long-term marijuana addicts have a long, hard road ahead of them when they plan to quit. However, the rewards of successfully quitting are also exponentially greater. I’ve spoken with recovered marijuana addicts who, one year after smoking their last joint, now feel and look fifteen years younger. They often feel as though they should have quit years ago.
Is it time you gave up smoking weed?
Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.