Is Smoking Weed after Rehab a Good Idea?
I have far too much personal experience on this topic than I would like to admit. For anyone who has been to treatment before, you’ve probably heard the heroin addict, the meth addict or the cocaine/crack addict talk about their plans to still go out and drink or smoke weed because they’ve never had a problem with those drugs before. “I only had an issue with opiates, I’m still going to go have a few beers with the boys and smoke weed” or “All of my consequences were a result of doing coke, so smoking weed just helps me relax.” That’s fine in theory, and I’m sure many people believe that to be true. However, that doesn’t make it a good idea. In fact, in my experience, it is a very bad idea, and here is why.
One thing I had to do in order to overcome my addiction was first identify why I started using drugs in the first place. I didn’t need to know why I used heroin, or why I did coke, or why I drank until the bottle was gone. I already knew that answer. I used those substances because I liked the euphoria they created, I liked to feel high and I liked being drunk. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have done it. Let’s be real—I enjoyed getting high—a lot. I certainly didn’t like myself before or afterwards, but I loved to get high.
“The first thing I had to do was stop pretending the drugs didn’t feel good. That would be a lie.”
That said, there was an underlying reason that had nothing to do with the substance itself that kept leaving my life in a wake of destruction. It wasn’t the drugs—it was the addiction to the drugs. If I was going to finally beat this thing, if I was ever going to truly live a drug-free life, I wasn’t going to have to overcome my heroin addiction, or my cocaine addiction, or my alcohol addiction, or my Adderall addiction. I was going to have to overcome my addiction. Period. That meant changing my whole way of thinking. I used to go back and forth as an addict. First it was alcohol. I cleaned that up and got hooked on painkillers. I cleaned that up and got hooked on coke. I cleaned that up and went back to alcohol. Ok, that’s cleaned up—now it’s time to try heroin…. You get the point. That was my old way of thinking. Sure I liked some drugs more than others, and I got hooked more quickly on some drugs than others, but what never changed is that I was using those drugs because I was running, unwilling to be content with who I was or do something to improve my life. I kept running from my problems, and it didn’t matter what drug helped me do it as long as it kept me away from them.
Sometimes in life you learn the hard way. That was me, but it doesn’t have to be everybody. Here’s the thing: once I truly got to a place where the light bulb went off, where I had finally made a decision to not just say I was going to live drug-free but mean it, I became willing to do whatever it took to follow through and make changes. And once I allowed those changes in myself to finally happen? Surprise. I no longer desired to see if I could smoke a little weed or have a few beers on the side. I no longer wanted to see which mind-altering substance was the best choice for me, because I finally realized the best choice for me, the safest choice for me and the best feeling for me is to live drug-free. That’s where I get my peace of mind. That’s how I wake up in the morning feeling good. And that’s why I no longer worry about making one compromise after another until it’s too late.
It takes a commitment and it takes some work, but that’s all it really is—getting to a place where that realization becomes reality. If you or anyone else you know is seeking help, please reach out.
JP—Narconon Suncoast Graduate