What Strategies for Quitting Marijuana Actually Work?

Many self-help websites, publications and helplines list tips to help marijuana users stop smoking.  However, no one has ever scientifically tested if these tips actually work.  One survey asked 65 daily marijuana users who had recently tried to quit on their own, what strategies they used when they tried to quit (Boyd et al American Journal on Addiction 1:35-42, 2005).   The most common ones were: getting rid of my marijuana (28%), stopped going to places where marijuana was smoked (26%), and stopped associating with friends that use marijuana (25%).   None of the strategies were widely used by the majority of those trying to quit.  In addition, only 10%-17% of these users thought these strategies helped them. In fact, none were associated with longer durations of not using when the users tried to quit.  Also, very few reported using any form of treatment to help them stop. Hopefully, future studies will identify which, if any, of these strategies are linked with success.


–Dr. John R. Hughes

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