Understanding Addiction and Why People Smoke Weed
There are many reasons why people smoke weed however, they revolve around three primary concepts. The first concept is referred to as modeling. This is when someone learns something new by watching another person perform the act. In this case it could be a friend, family member or other important person that modeled the behavior. Many people who abuse weed do so after watching a friend or family member use.
When there is a perceived positive benefit (operant conditioning) it can influence the smoking of weed. Smoking weed produces a “high” effect that many find appealing and this sensation reinforces the act. Smoking weed may occur because it changes the way a person feels, thinks and behaves; just like many other drug addictions. Obviously, the general effect of smoking weed is found to be pleasurable but with extended use the negative consequences of smoking weed are quickly realized and the party is over.
Prolonged use of weed can lead to what is referred to as classical conditioning. Over time, smoking weed may be associated with paraphernalia, certain places, particular people, times of the day and even feelings. For example; if you feel bored you may think about smoking weed to “feel” different or if you are hanging out with a friend you normally smoke with it may trigger the urge to smoke. These are the type of things you need to be careful for when you quit smoking weed.
If you are smoking weed because you are bored then you need to find a new hobby. You need to stop hanging around people that influence you to smoke and you need to avoid places that trigger the desire. Learn how to cope with life, manage your feelings and have fun without smoking weed.
Social determinants of smoking weed
One major reason people start smoking weed is because of peer pressure and its social aspect. If you want to successfully quit you will need to make a major lifestyle change that will direct influence your social life. Here are some questions to consider relating to your social life:
- With whom do you spend most of your time?
- With whom do you smoke weed with?
- Do you have any relationships with people that don’t smoke weed?
- Do you live with someone that smokes weed?
- How has your social network changed since your weed use has escalated?
After addressing these social cues you can determine where you will need to make changes. If you spend much of your time or live with someone that smokes weed you are going to have to consider not hanging with them any longer. Avoiding people and places that trigger your desire to smoke weed is critical. Building a new social network with people that don’t abuse weed is just as critical.
Why do teens smoke weed?
There are many reasons people smoke weed; one of the main reasons is they hear from their friends about how much fun it is or they feel like they need to do it to “fit” in. Curiosity and “because others are doing it” is a strong motivator for whey teens smoke weed. Once they give it a try a few times they begin to do it more and more to feel good. Smoking weed can produce intense feelings of pleasure, feeling relaxed, silly, and detached.
Even though teens react differently to smoking weed they still run the risk of becoming addicted. In the beginning they feel positive effects but over time it takes more and more of the drug to reach those effects and it could even lead to other drug use. Smoking weed is damaging to the body just like cigarettes; the best thing a person can do is never start but so many teens feel drug-use is a way to fit in or feel good; they think they are indestructible.
Keeping teens from smoking weed needs to start at home. Parents need to make the rules clear, provide education and take an active role in their children’s lives.