Dec 29 2012

Is Quitting Smoking Weed ((Marijuana) the Same As Quitting Smoking Tobacco (Cigarettes, etc.)?

Reefer Madness/The Burning Question (1936)Vol. 181, December 29, 2012

Smokers truly believe that they are “addicted” to nicotine. However, the truth of the matter is that they are more involved in a habit of “trigger-response” with triggers leading to the use of cigarettes. The trigger can be anything from drinking alcohol to being bored to the people with whom one associates. As soon as that stimulus is present, the person is triggered to use the tobacco. Interestingly enough, very few people are actually addicted to nicotine regardless of what the medical world would like one to believe. Think about this truth: How many people have tried nicotine patches found themselves going back to smoking even with the patch attached to their skin allowing for the chemical of nicotine to enter the pores of the body? The patches are only about 15% successful. If the body truly “required” the nicotine as a hard drug addict  requires their drug it would be 100% successful and all the testing done proves that it is  not.


The studies do show that it is more difficult for woman to stop smoking than men given the average percentage of fat on women is higher than that in men. However, one needs to think of all the women who are easily able to stop smoking for the multiple months they are pregnant once they are aware of their condition. If one were truly addicted to nicotine, it would be much more difficult for these women to stop smoking. The reason they can do so is because the health and wellbeing of their baby is more important than their smoking habit.


Realize that a bit of irritability is vastly different than a drug abuser who goes through full blown withdrawals the body requiring the substance, thus the term of “addiction” being used. In some cases these symptoms can be life threatening. Having worked with both smoking cessation clients and abusers and addicts of hard drugs, I can tell you that the difference is startling at least during the duration of their pregnancies.


When one stops smoking cigarettes one may become irritable, feel the urges to have a cigarette, and feel uncomfortable. However, most smokers are able to make it through the night without a cigarette. Many are able to handle very long cross country and cross the globe flights without being able to have a cigarette. For a true addict this would not be possible. Their bodies would go into a sort of shock without the dopamine being released into their body’s systems with the use of their chosen drug. Most people who are addicts have to use their drug just to feel “normal” having lost the normal dopamine pleasure response. Without the drug, they become unable to function in any way, feeling depressed, anxious and steadfastly seeking out their drug of choice no matter the cost to themselves financially, personally and even risking losing their job and perhaps even a term in prison. Sadly, most of the people in prisons in the United States are indeed people who are drug abusers/addicts these days.


In the case of weed, it has gotten a bit more complex as those selling the weed have added all sorts of other chemicals to stretch the weed giving different effects which can be experienced in very scary ways to the user.


I had a young client who came in to see me last year to stop his smoking of weed. He was 19 years old. He told me that he was so scared by the ill effects of the weed he smoked that he drove himself to the emergency room. It was with this experience that he sought out my services. I spoke to him about the fact that the weed of today is stronger than that which was smoked when I was his age, about 30 years ago, and is now laced with all sorts of harmful chemicals, one of which may have brought him this terrible experience.


What one needs to understand is that smoking weed is not something that is as easy to let go of as smoking of cigarettes. About 90% of my smoking cessation clients can stop in one session. Nicotine is not an addictive substance as the THC is in weed and there in lies the difference in how one has to treat the two substances.


In my treatment of weed I do a full scale substance abuse treatment. The client is going to have to get rid of all the negative emotions, limiting beliefs and do the forgiveness work and inner child work necessary to have them give up the main reason for their using the substance. Unlike the smoking of tobacco products which are usually begun to fit in while in the teen years, the smoking of weed is used to stop the negative feelings, the depressed feelings, as a self-medication akin to the way many abuse or get addicted to alcohol. As such it is a much larger problem that needs to be addressed with the due respect it requires. Anyone who tells you that they can help you to release the smoking of weed with one session is telling you something that is untruthful and will most likely lead you to feeling a great disappointment as you find yourself relapsing, never having gotten to the root cause of its use. It is akin to having a person who suffers from anxiety being told that increasing self-esteem will handle the problem. Increasing self-esteem is only one step of many that needs to be addressed when healing one of anxiety that has stopped one’s ability to live a joyful, fulfilling life.


Hypnosis is a viable method to stop smoking weed, however one must understand the brain chemistry involved and more importantly, the underlying reasons why one would become addicted to the substance in the first place.


I just did some work with a 24 year old heroin addict, one who was shooting up the heroin who successfully went through her withdrawal with very few if any withdrawal symptoms. Think about this a moment? One can actually use one hypnosis session to easily come of whatever drug of choice is being abused or is addicted to. However, the physical addiction is the easy part. The emotional addiction to the weed is the hard part because one needs to get to the root cause of the abuse/addiction of the weed to make sure that the client is no longer interested in ever using it again. For that reason I would always do a complete drug addiction removal program to keep the client from ever going back to using it for any reason in the future. As a part of the program one would be wise to have a compelling future with something of true passion and interest to focus one’s energies on, that is more important than the abuse/addiction was to keep the momentum of health and wellbeing going for the rest of the newly non-addicted client.


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