Quitting Cannabis a 30 Day Self Help Guide

The information in this self help guide is twofold; first, it provides some of the more recent information on cannabis provided through research. Second, if you are a cannabis user and wish to stop using, the manual provides a self-assessment and daily program to support that decision. Confidential assistance is also available through the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, 204 Saint Liam Hall. You can call 631-7970 to consult with a professional.

Cannabis has been one of the most popular and one of the most controversial drugs throughout modern history. Arguments have existed for years on several topics concerning cannabis use: is it addictive, is it safer to use than alcohol, is it a gateway to other drugs? Hopefully the information on this website will provide for you a better understanding of cannabis and the key points in these arguments.

A good place to start is to explore one of the first myths heard during the early years of prevention. For example, in the 1970s, advertisements showed someone jumping out of a second story window after smoking cannabis. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, advertisements aimed at prevention continued to show that if you got high, something bad would immediately happen or those that smoked cannabis were morally bad. Nothing probably happened the first or second time, and maybe nothing too horrible has happened yet, and then you begin to question what everyone has been telling you. You maybe barely felt anything the first time you smoked, the police didn’t show up to arrest you for drug use, and your friends still seemed to be the good people you knew. As with alcohol many times something bad doesn’t happen for awhile. Or, eventually things may happen but they occur to different degrees for different people. Addiction with substances such as alcohol and cannabis is slow and progressive. As with any substance initially it may feel good, and so use continues to increase and possibly become more abusive. It can and eventually will make “bad things” happen to “good people.” The biggest deterrent that seems to stop students after first use is the anxiety and panic that some people experience with initial use of cannabis.

Before going on, complete the self-assessment to help you explore your use.

Cannabis and/or other Drug Questionnaire

Harmful consequences are unwanted, negative complications resulting from drug use. Listed below are some typical examples. Check yes or no to the ones that are true for you or have ever been true for you.

Social Self

“Social self” is defined as the way one relates to others and the ability to feel comfortable with other people. Initial use of cannabis may seem to enhance certain experiences. People may seem more accepting or less judgmental, and you might experience “fitting in.” You may convince yourself that experiences are more enjoyable and conversation more intellectual or philosophical. These beliefs can help rationalize the negative experiences that might also occur.

Question Yes No
1. My girlfriend/boyfriend has expressed concern about my use. ____ ____
2. I have changed friends to be with people who use like I do. ____ ____
3. My friends have sometimes called me a “burn out.” ____ ____
4. I have argued with friends about my use. ____ ____
5. I have done things to my friends while high that I have regretted later. ____ ____
6. I have made plans with friends, but didn’t show because the opportunity to get high came up. ____ ____
7. I have lied to friends about how much I use. ____ ____
8. I have lost friends because of my use. ____ ____
9. Some of my friends have avoided me since I started using. ____ ____
10. If I had a choice between being with my straight friends or getting high, I would get high. ____ ____
11. I have endangered the lives of my friends through my drug use (driving while using, taking foolish risks). ____ ____
12. Being high makes me feel less shy. ____ ____


In the beginning stages of cannabis use, the experience and effect can be subtle on school work, which may explain why students of all ages initially feel they can concentrate better, it helps them study or they believe they think more in-depth thoughts.

Question Yes No
1. I have a reputation in school for being a drug user. ____ ____
2. I have come close or have gotten caught at school with drugs. ____ ____
3. I have skipped or missed class because of using. ____ ____
4. My grades are not what I expect them to be. ____ ____
5. My motivation for school work has been declining. ____ ____
6. I skip class more often since I have been using. ____ ____
7. I can’t concentrate on school as well since I started using. ____ ____
8. School/administration has asked that I have an evaluation. ____ ____


Families often do not know what is going on but they begin to mention changes they are noticing. You may tell yourself that nothing is different and your family is just being paranoid or picking on you. Denial of these changes can negatively affect family members and family life.

Question Yes No
1.Parents have asked if anything is going on due to mood. ____ ____
2.Parents have asked me if I was on anything. ____ ____
3.Parents have found my stash or paraphernalia. ____ ____
4.Parents have waited up to see what I was like when I got home. ____ ____
5.Trust with my parents has changed. ____ ____
6.My siblings have expressed concern or seen changes in me. ____ ____
7.I find it harder to talk to my family since I have been using. ____ ____
8.I avoid family functions because I want to get high. ____ ____
9.I isolate myself more from my family. ____ ____
10.I have lied to my family about my use. ____ ____


Money can become an issue with the need to support your habit. This stress can sometimes lead to dealing enough to ensure you a steady supply. Stress about money can become an issue in taking care of personal needs and appearance as it might be spent on use in place of basic necessities.

Question Yes No
1.Many times I am broke because I use money for cannabis or other drugs. ____ ____
2.I owe people money for cannabis or other drugs. ____ ____
3.I have stolen or sold things to support my use. ____ ____
4.I have put off buying things I need to use the money for my use. ____ ____
5.I have gambled to get money for cannabis or other drugs. ____ ____
6.I have dealt or sold some to get money or support my own use. ____ ____
7.Most of my money goes for or I have begun to spend more money on my use. ____ ____
8.I have done things I am ashamed of in order to get money for my use. ____ ____


Though you may not have experienced any legal problems resulting from your use, you may have had some close calls. Legal consequences often affect future opportunities such as jobs or admittance to academic programs.

Question Yes No
1.I have done risky or foolish things I could get arrested for while under the influence. ____ ____
2.I have gotten in a fight and come close to or been arrested while I have been under the influence. ____ ____
3.I have been fined by the courts for drug/alcohol use. ____ ____
4.I have had legal problems related to my use. ____ ____


Effects of cannabis or other drug use can influence your life in many ways, ways in which you are afraid to maybe admit to yourself, let alone anyone else. You may not always recognize them until somebody else points it out. Even with awareness, denial can play a role in finding other excuses for things that happened or blame placed on others.

Question Yes No
1.I have done things I am ashamed of while under the influence. ____ ____
2.I have given up interest, sports, hobbies, and other events I used to do for fun. ____ ____
3.I have had blackouts or memory loss while using. ____ ____
4.My memory is not as good as it was before using. ____ ____
5.I get anxious when I run out of pot. ____ ____
6.When I am not high I think about and look forward to when I can get high. ____ ____
7.I don’t seem to care about things I used to as much. ____ ____
8.My goals have changed since I have been using, it is hard to set new goals. ____ ____
9.I have hurt myself physically when high. ____ ____
10.I find it harder to talk to friends/other people since I started. ____ ____
11.I have done things while under the influence that when I thought about them later, it really scared me. ____ ____
12.I have overdosed. ____ ____
13.I have had to go to the hospital because of being injured while using or because of using. ____ ____
14.I have had suicidal thoughts since I have been using. ____ ____
15.I have seriously thought of suicide. ____ ____
16.I have tried to cut down on use because I have worried about what it may be doing to me. ____ ____
17.I have tried unsuccessfully to quit in the past and question if I can do it successfully. ____ ____
18.I have done things that I am ashamed of in order to get drugs. ____ ____
19.I have found myself hooking up more when high. ____ ____

Hopefully this self assessment has helped you to evaluate your use and make decisions that will best work toward your success as a student, a leader within your community and family member. The following information will help you to sort through fact and fiction about drug use and provide some recent statistics. In addition, the manual provides self-help tips and strategies that can aide in quitting and also what to expect should you decide to quit.

*We apologize, but the author(s) of this content are unknown. If you are aware of the author, please email us at mcwell@nd.edu, so we can give them credit.