Cannabis is often viewed as a less harmful drug and is even legal in some states. However, habitual smoking can lead to an addiction like any other substance. Especially for those who have had previous addictions or may be more susceptible to addictive behaviors, smoking weed can lead to dependency. But if you address the issue early on, you are less likely to see lasting effects of substance abuse.
Why Do Men Smoke?
Men begin smoking cannabis for a variety of reasons. Societal pressures, curiosity, and the effects of the drug are some of the most common motivating factors for men who smoke. Life experiences can also influence the likelihood that someone will pick up this substance. Like other substance use that can lead to addiction, some common contributing factors to addiction are:
- History of trauma or abuse
- Previous substance use
- Social influences
The presence of one or more of these doesn’t necessarily mean someone will develop a substance use disorder. However, this list can help you determine if you might be more at risk to become addicted to a substance quickly. Men often look for coping strategies when they experience stress or negative emotions. While some of these can be positive, substance abuse is one of the more common negative coping mechanisms men utilize.
When is Smoking Weed Problematic?
Similar to other potentially addictive substances, cannabis becomes problematic when a person develops any type of dependence on the drug. It’s common for men to view their habits as normal or even healthy, especially if they feel they have control over the behavior. The first sign that smoking is becoming an issue is if you find yourself looking forward to or waiting for your next smoke. Altering plans to make time to smoke is indicative of developing an addiction. Men who are dependent on cannabis may also experience feelings of withdrawal between doses, attempt to hide their behavior or make excuses for their decisions. Often, men will be in denial about the issue. If smoking is affecting your ability to complete your daily tasks, such as work, home, and social commitments, this is a key indicator of a cannabis use disorder.
Consequences of Cannabis Use
Cannabis use disorder affects three in ten people who use the drug, according to the CDC. When a person develops a cannabis use disorder, there are both long and short-term effects to this disease. The more dependent someone is on a substance, the higher the likelihood is that they will see these effects. Common consequences of persistent marijuana use include:
- Legal issues
- Financial burdens
- Loss of relationships
- Health issues (lung disease, heart disease, or injury)
- Long-term mental health issues
- Employment termination
Marijuana is still a federally banned substance, meaning it is not a universally legal drug. If you are employed by a federal government agency, you are barred from using cannabis regardless of your state laws. Recreational use of marijuana is illegal in most states, including Texas, so choosing to use the drug can result in serious consequences.
How to Quit Smoking Weed
Once you recognize that you have a dependence on marijuana, the next step is to take action against further developing an addiction. To do this, you’ll need a support system. Reach out to someone you trust and let them know you are struggling. They can help hold you accountable for your choice to abstain from the drug. Next, consider joining a substance use group, such as Narcotics Anonymous. This community of people also seeking sobriety can help encourage you to continue fighting when you face challenges. Here are some other practical steps you can take to keep yourself from turning to cannabis during stress:
- Find healthy alternatives to smoking, such as exercise, a new hobby, or spending time with friends.
- Remove all of the substance from your home, so you aren’t tempted to return back to using.
- Invest in relationships that encourage your sobriety.
Sometimes, these steps are not enough to keep you from using. If that’s the case, it’s time to consider more intensive treatment. You may look into therapy as a starting point, but more serious addictions often require residential treatment.
Help for Men With Cannabis Use Disorder
If you are struggling with dependence on any substance, including cannabis, there is help available to you. At The Last Resort Recovery Center, we provide men the treatment experience they need to fully heal. Our evidence-based treatment program includes individual, group, and equine therapy alongside our 12-Step immersion model to prepare men for life outside of rehab. We work with each gentleman who walks through our doors to develop an individualized treatment plan based on his history and future goals. To learn more about our Texas rehab center, contact our admissions team today.