Coping with Marijuana Detox
In 2010, as many as 76.8 percent of illicit drug users reported marijuana as being their sole drug of choice. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 17.4 million people reported using marijuana in the past 30 days. These statistics make marijuana the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. All-the-same, those who choose to get off the drug and go through marijuana detox often have their work cut out for them.
Coping with marijuana detox, while difficult, is quite doable compared to the detox phases associated with other types of drugs. Fortunately, those wanting to kick the habit can employ various strategies to help ease the discomfort brought on by withdrawal symptoms.
Once a person stops using marijuana, the body must take on the task of eliminating left over toxins from months or years of using. Besides clearing out toxins, brain chemical processes affected by marijuana use must also undergo a repair period in terms of re-learning how to function normally. The longer a person uses the more dependent brain chemical processes become on the drug’s effects. For the most part, going through a marijuana detox period forces the brain and body to function without the drug’s effects. Withdrawal symptoms are the result of this process.
Marijuana detox can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on a person’s history of past use. As a fat-soluble drug, years of smoking can also leave marijuana’s THC residues stored throughout the body’s fat tissues. This fat storage capacity accounts for why it takes so long to completely flush the drug out of the body. Until all traces are gone, a person will continue to experience marijuana cravings, which can make it that much more difficult to remain drug-free.
Behavior-Based Coping Strategies
Addictions have both a psychological and a physical component. Behavior-based coping strategies help to eliminate the psychological or behavioral issues that fuel marijuana addiction. Whether a person uses drugs to overcome boredom, escape from difficult emotions or fit in with peers, certain belief systems underlie a person’s decision to keep using.
Changing your behavior in terms of habits and routines can help make marijuana detox easier. Avoiding the people and places that remind a person of using is a good and essential first step. Changing habits and routines can help re-shape a person’s beliefs regarding his (or her) sense of identity and purpose.
Physical Coping Strategies
The physical cravings that go with marijuana detox can be just as difficult to deal with as the psychological urge to use. Ultimately, marijuana detox allows the body to heal from the damaging effects of drug use. Exercising on a regular basis can help the body along in this process. Cardiovascular exercise in particular produces the endorphin chemical secretions needed to help the body feel better in general.
Another physical coping strategy for marijuana detox involves taking up meditation and/or yoga practices. Both practices enable a person to refocus his or her thoughts and energies on physical relaxation, which offers a healthy distraction from withdrawal cravings.