Once in recovery a lot of people begin to question if they can smoke weed and use other drugs in moderation. This isn’t an uncommon thought, and it’s okay to ask yourself this question. We all have questions about recovery, and it’s important that we make informed decisions in the right direction.
While some people say no you should never use any drugs after recovery, some people respond differently. You really need to examine yourself and your well-being when considering your personal recovery journey.
Reflecting on yourself and your recovery
It’s important to know your limits and think through how it will affect you as someone in recovery. Some people are sensitive when they first go into recovery, and even smoking weed can set them off into a relapse. There are a lot of things you can do to self-reflect. Here are some ideas that could be of help to you:
- Write about your past experiences and the lessons you learned from them.
- Share your recovery story with others and reflect on how you have progressed as a person
- Spend some time alone doing nice things for you and practice mindfulness
- Spend time with friends and family who remind you of who you are
Reflecting on your use is an important part of the decision-making process. It can help you to make the correct choice for you personally whether to use while in recovery. Recovery is a personal experience, and it can remind you of the validities of not using right now. This is very beneficial to the decision-making process.
Another important aspect when deciding to use while in recovery is to reflect on your past relationship with substances. Some questions you can ask yourself are:
- Did you in the past get addicted easily to substances?
- How long have you been in recovery?
- Are you using weed for harm reduction or are you using it to hide from past traumas?
It’s about where you draw the line. Knowing yourself and taking a lot of time to get to know yourself better will help you recognize your toxic traits. We all have toxic traits. And as soon as you can recognize them, you can start to work on yourself in ways that will help you transform into the person you are supposed to be: a healthy person in recovery.
Checking in with yourself
Recovery is a very personal and a profound journey into self-awareness. It plays a crucial role in your physical and mental well-being, which should be one of your goals and focus as you ease into recovery. It’s important to look at the effects that using weed and other substances have on your body. And be honest whether those effects are good or bad.
I use weed prescribed by a doctor to help with certain medical conditions.
Medical marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma, epilepsy, chronic pain, and other conditions or as a way to manage pain. It’s okay and legal in some states to use weed to treat different physical health conditions, but make sure you are checking in with yourself about your use. Ask yourself:
- Am I talking to my doctor regularly about how my use affects me?
- Do I find myself needing to use more and more to deal with the pain or condition?
- Am I using even when I am not experiencing symptoms or pain?
These questions can help you reflect on your medical use of marijuana and determine if it is healthy and good for your recovery.
I use weed prescribed by a mental health professional for mental health conditions like anxiety, PTSD, etc.
Marijuana can be prescribed—in states where it is legal to do so—as an effective way to help people who struggle with negative and debilitating symptoms of certain mental health conditions like anxiety. But it’s also important to check in with yourself when using weed to treat these conditions. Ask yourself:
- Am I self-medicating or working with my doctor to set a plan?
- Do I find myself needing to use more when around certain people, places, or situations?
- Are there other coping strategies that may be just as effective or that I can use as an alternative to weed?
Making sure that you are not crossing the line between treatment and self-medicating will help you stay in recovery.
I use weed for harm reduction.
Some people smoke weed and use other mild drugs as a form of harm reduction method. An example would be smoking weed instead of using meth. For some people this is the lesser of two evils–pot versus meth. Many people find that medically assisted treatment can be helpful in their recovery. But ultimately, it’s about checking in with yourself and knowing what you can and can’t handle.
I use weed recreationally every once in a while.
In some states, it’s legal to use marijuana recreationally if you are above the age of 21 and limit your use to a certain amount. But laws vary by state. If you choose to use marijuana recreationally, then it’s crucial to monitor your use. Ask yourself:
- Why am I using?
- Do I find myself using more and more?
- Do I need to smoke or use before I get up in the morning, eat, go to work, etc.?
- Do I find myself spending more money than I want to on weed?
- Does my use cause problems in my relationships, work, or school life?
It might be a good idea to take an addiction test to make sure that your recreational use is not becoming an addiction.
Talk to others who have lived through it
A lot of times, an outside lived experience perspective can give insight into your current situation. People with lived experience are an asset and can help you make the right decision on smoking weed or using other substances while in recovery.
Being in recovery is about doing what is best for you! Places like Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery offer 12-step programs that can be very useful. They also offer online meetings and resources that can be beneficial to those who can’t travel to a meeting in person.
Finally, don’t forget about peer specialists who have lived through the experience themselves. You can find one in your local area by visiting a local mental health clinic and asking for assistance from a certified peer specialist as part of your recovery. You can also find addiction therapists online.
Remember, you are NOT alone, and you deserve recovery. Staying free of substances is an essential part of recovery and is the ultimate test as you journey into a better life!
- Mayo Clinic. (2021, December 4). Medical Marijuana. Consumer Health. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/medical-marijuana/art-20137855