The Effects Of Pot Can Linger A Long Time After Getting Clean

I get a lot of letters on a personal site regarding an article I wrote about Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).  It’s one of the primary causes of relapse, and a subject that is poorly-covered in a lot of treatment facilities.  Because there's also very little about it on the Internet, the article gets a lot of traffic.

PAWS refers to a collection of symptoms, related to the use of alcohol and other drugs, that continue for quite some time after we get clean and sober.  It’s too complex to go into in detail here, but suffice it to say that it can be the cause of a lot of discomfort and — if not dealt with constructively — can often lead to circumstances where it seems as though we might as well use, since we’re so miserable anyway.

I bring this up because I ran across another article, rhapsodizing about the benefits of smoking marijuana, that totally ignored the downside.  I find that extremely annoying.  While it may be true that it is no more harmful than alcohol, that’s begging the issue since alcohol can be horribly destructive.  So I offer the following letter for your consideration, along with my reply. [Read more…]

US Moves To Ban “Fake Marijuana”

The DEA has begun a 30-day process to put the “designer marijuana” products in the same category as cocaine and heroin.

The man who created three of the chemicals as part of his government-sponsored research nearly 20 years ago said, “They are dangerous and anyone who uses them is stupid.”

Although they have similar effects, the chemicals are very different from cannabis structurally, and far more dangerous.

U.S. moves to ban chemicals in synthetic marijuana –

So, What’s The Story On Cannabis Addiction And Detox?

Cannabis users sometimes develop a mild physical addiction, with withdrawal symptoms that can last several weeks. These usually include the jitters, occasional other symptoms, and emotional unease. There have been a few reports of psychotic episodes, but it has not been established that those were due to removal of the chemicals. They may have been due to underlying conditions that were masked or controlled by the drug use. If present, these should be addressed by specialists rather than continuing to self-medicate without medical advice.

What is more difficult is to remain determined to stay off cannabis in a society that is becoming more and more accepting of it. Remember that only you can decide if it is a problem, and other people’s opinions (especially those of other users, who may have a vested interest in your continuing to use because of their own denial) don’t count for much. It’s your mind, and your body. Do what is right for you.

Finally, remember that,regardless of any other issues, use of cannabis is still illegal in most places, for most people. There are many folks serving prison time for relatively small amounts of weed. At present the cannabis issue is not just an matter of opinion, but also of potential life-changing consequences.