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I have social anxiety and need a joint to maneuver social interactions.

Question : I started smoking weed with my friends when I was 15. At first I used to do it socially, but over the last year I can’t start my day without a joint and I crave one at night too so that I sleep well, so I smoke at home. My parents have caught me a few times and threatened and punished me and I feel guilty for a while but that doesn’t stop me. Now I feel like I can’t leave the house without getting stoned because social situations make me anxious. I’m also underperforming in college because I can’t focus if I don’t smoke one. I’ve tried to stop but I end up feeling really restless. I feel like a slave because I can’t stop! Teentalker , 16-year-old

Dear Teentalker,

It sounds like you’re stuck in quite a frustrating cycle of dependence and talking about it is a great step forward. Let’s work on understanding your need to smoke to deal with social situations and it's relationship with sleep, as well as think of ways in which you can reduce, if not cut out entirely, the dependence. You are perfectly capable to do so! Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • It took a couple of years for the weed habit to become an addiction, so be patient with yourself when you reduce its usage – relapses.....

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