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  • Marijuana Anonymous | 12-Step Recovery For Marijuana Addiction

    Marijuana Anonymous | 12-Step Recovery For Marijuana Addiction

    Marijuana is a popular drug that comes from the cannabis plant. About 30% of people who use it experience some degree of marijuana addiction

    When you’re addicted to marijuana, you feel unable to stop using it. Even if you do manage to stop, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression, sweating, and stomach pain. To end these symptoms, you may feel tempted to relapse. 

    Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options for marijuana addiction, including Marijuana Anonymous.

    What Is Marijuana Anonymous?

    Marijuana Anonymous (MA) is a 12-step recovery program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Founded in 1935, AA is an organization that holds meetings across the United States and other countries. 

    The meetings serve as support groups for people recovering from alcohol addiction. 

    Although MA is a newer and smaller organization than AA, it operates the same way, the only difference being that it’s for people who struggle with marijuana addiction. 

    For many people, MA is the one place they find true support. That’s because some people don’t believe that marijuana addiction exists, despite scientific evidence. Even a person’s family and friends may not take their addiction seriously. 

    Thus, MA can help people feel understood and cared for as they navigate the twelve steps to recovery. 

    What Are The 12 Steps?

    People who attend MA meetings are encouraged to follow these twelve steps: 

    1. Admit you are powerless over marijuana and that your life has become unmanageable. 
    2. Come to believe that a Power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity. 
    3. Make a decision to turn your will and life over to the care of God, as you understand God. 
    4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself. 
    5. Admit to God, to yourself, and to another human being the exact nature of your wrongs. 
    6. Become entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
    7. Humbly ask God to remove your shortcomings.
    8. Make a list of all the persons you have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 
    10. Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong, promptly admit it. 
    11. Seek through prayer and meditation to improve your conscious contact with God, as you understand God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for you and the power to carry that out.
    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, try to carry this message to people with marijuana addictions and to practice these principles in all your affairs. 

    All of these steps are based on three main ideas:

    1. A person who attends an MA meeting has a marijuana addiction and cannot manage their own life.
    2. Probably no human power can relieve their addiction.
    3. A person’s Higher Power can and will relieve their addiction if sought.

    Is Marijuana Anonymous Religious?

    Because the twelve steps mention God and a Higher Power, some people assume you have to be religious to attend MA meetings. This isn’t true.

    The first step that mentions God includes the phrase “as you understand God.” That means you can define “God” (or “Higher Power”) however you see fit. 

    Some people define their Higher Power as a religious God or gods. Others define it as the universe, nature, love, humanity at large, or any other source they find meaningful. 

    How Do You Join Marijuana Anonymous? 

    To join MA, you just need to attend a meeting and want to quit marijuana. There are no other requirements.

    Depending on your location and needs, you can attend in-person meetings, phone meetings, chatrooms, or online meetings via Zoom. 

    Many people find that MA meetings work best when they’re used alongside a substance abuse treatment program. Available on an inpatient or outpatient basis, these programs offer recovery-focused services such as:

    • medical detox, where a team of medical professionals can help you manage withdrawal symptoms as you get marijuana out of your system 
    • behavioral therapy, where you can work with a mental health professional to understand the reasons for your drug use and develop healthy coping skills
    • family therapy, where you and your loved ones can learn how to best support your recovery

    Continuing to attend MA meetings even after you complete treatment can help you maintain your sobriety, as you’ll receive regular support and encouragement from people who’ve faced similar challenges. 

    You’ll also have the chance to help others by sharing what you’ve learned on your recovery journey.
    To learn more about treatment options for marijuana addiction, please reach out to an Ark Behavioral Health specialist today.

    Find A 12-Step Support Group Near You

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Alcoholics Anonymous World Services - Historical Data: The Birth of A.A. and Its Growth in the U.S./Canada
    Marijuana Anonymous World Services - The Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Is Marijuana Addictive?
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Marijuana Withdrawal Is Real

    Medically Reviewed by
    Lauren Weinand, M.D.
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