Home > Ask Our Experts > How Can I Get Help to Stay Off Drugs?

How Can I Get Help to Stay Off Drugs?

By: David Vetter - Updated: 13 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Marijuana Cannabis Treatment Habit Drugs

Q.

I am in year 9 and 15 years old. I have been smoking marijuana for the last 5 months, about 5 times a week. I want to get some help but I am scared to tell my parents and I don't want them to know about my addiction.

What can I do to stop myself smoking pot and cigarettes?

(M.S, 13 May 2009)

A.

Many people are not aware that marijuana, or cannabis, addiction is a serious problem. Much fuss is made about the physically addictive properties of the “harder” drugs, such as heroin, but it is just as easy to become psychologically dependent on drugs such as marijuana. And while it is practically impossible to overdose on marijuana, a dependency can lead people to withdraw from their social life and families, and have a debilitating effect on their work or school life. Marijuana use can also cause serious, long-term damage to the user's physical and psychological health.

But the good news is, you've already taken the first step towards kicking the habit: Recognising you have a problem. Many young people don't address their drug taking as a problem until much later, when it can be far more difficult to deal with. Ingrained habits are generally harder to quit than new ones.

How serious do you consider your marijuana smoking? You may be able to quit without help – but it will be necessary to stop hanging out with the friends who also smoke. Peer pressure is a big factor in preventing people from quitting a habit – from illegal drugs, to alcohol and cigarettes. Think hard about whether such friendships are really worth the damage that drugs will do to you.

Beyond that, if you think you need further help with a drugs problem, perhaps the best place to start is your local GP. Your GP is well placed to recommend a course of action, and will be knowledgeable about the treatment centres in your area.

However, you may be concerned about privacy. As a general rule, GPs are expected to keep patient information confidential. Even if you are under 16, and older than 11, your GP shouldn't inform your parents of your marijuana habit. Having said this though, there is still no actual law preventing a GP from telling your family about your treatment.

If you don't feel able to talk to your GP, it may be possible to go directly to a drugs treatment service in your area. In Britain, your local Drug Action Team (DAT) will be able to provide you with the information you need. Just type your general location and "Drug Action Team" into a search engine, and your local DAT website should appear. You can also try the national drugs helpline, “FRANK”, on 0800 77 66 00.

The next stage may involve assigning you with a “keyworker”. This is a trained professional with whom you will have one-to-one sessions to help you to quit your habit. Expect the period of treatment to last at least three months.

Just as importantly, though, it sounds like you have a good level of common sense and self-awareness. This will help you to manage your marijuana habit to the stage where you'll be able to give it up for good.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopfully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • doughnut
    Re: How to Cope With Your Sexual Identity
    Hi, I've been questioning my sexuality for a while. I'm 15 and female, and tonight I had my first kiss with my…
    16 February 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Contraception: Your Questions Answered
    Sazbo - Your Question:Me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex last night however he did not ejaculate inside of me.…
    16 February 2017
  • Sazbo
    Re: Contraception: Your Questions Answered
    Me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex last night however he did not ejaculate inside of me. We didn't do it for…
    15 February 2017
  • LizzyBeth
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    @Charlo lotter - crushes are great! They make you feel alive and give you hope and optimism. Watch plenty of romcoms, be in the moment and get…
    15 February 2017
  • Hayhay
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    Hi guys. I was a self harmer. I started at 14 and I turn 24 next month. I stopped about 4 years ago but I am here to say be…
    15 February 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    Holly - Your Question:I'm only 11 but I always pick my scabs until I bleed and sometimes just make scabs on purpose so that I can…
    14 February 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    Emily "Chara" Dreemu - Your Question:I went a really long time without cutting, then I used the blade of a pair of scissors to…
    13 February 2017
  • Holly
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    I'm only 11 but I always pick my scabs until I bleed and sometimes just make scabs on purpose so that I can pick them because it…
    13 February 2017
  • Emily "Chara" Dreemu
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    I went a really long time without cutting, then I used the blade of a pair of scissors to cut myself, I also have depression. Who…
    12 February 2017
  • Charlo lotter
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    Thanks and my story goes like,: I have crush on someone, I met him at the campus ..I don't know his name and from the first time I saw him I…
    11 February 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the TeenIssues website. Please read our Disclaimer.