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Marijuana withdrawal effects – What will my son feel?

Posted on 18 March 2014 by admin

Question by Heartbeat: Marijuana withdrawal effects – What will my son feel?
My son just graduated college. He can’t get a job because of the economy (he has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a 3.7 GPA from Rutgers), but you probably would not guess that he is an ‘enthusiast’ of cannabis. He also would probably (unfortunately) not be able to get a job anyway because of his smoking pot. He’s been a “pot head” for a while now. My husband and I became aware how often he was smoking it. When we confronted him he said if he stops smoking now he feels uncomfortable and anxious. His doctor prescribed him a medication like Xanax called “Ativan.” What will that do? Will it help or will he feel better? Also are marijuana withdrawal effects that real? I never guessed they would even exist.

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Answer by i need $ $ $
Let me tell you about my experience. I started smokin when I was 12 yrs old and stopped before my 18 b-day. After I stopped smoking I now Have a short term memory. Now I don’t know if this will happen to him as well but it probably might. Now Xanax is a highly addictive pain killer but i don’t know about “Ativan” Never heard of it before really. If it has the same effects as Xanax then I don’t know why did the doctor even prescribe that type of medication in the first place??? Now I stopped cold turkey. It was hard and peer pressure made it harder for me to quit smokin marijuana but its all a mental issue that your son has to fight. Hope this helps You!

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6 Responses to “Marijuana withdrawal effects – What will my son feel?”

  1. cnbbn, says:

    He needs to be careful with the ativan, it is highly addictive. But on the plus side, it will help.

  2. HeyJude! says:

    Well from personal experience… Weed gives absolutely no physical withdrawl (sp?) but it’s definately psychologically addictive. I crave weed to this day and it’s been about five years since I’ve smoked. I mean it’s not intense and I wouldn’t hold up a liquor store to get some..
    Long story short, he will be fine.

    The Ativan on the other hand, I’m not sure of. If it’s anything like Xanax, then it’s going to be hell getting off that stuff.
    And no, Xanax is NOT a pain killer. It’s a benzodiazapine, which is used for anxiety, insomnia and seizures. Since the doc knows that your son is a drug user, he wouldn’t prescribe an actual benzo because of it’s abuse potential. So the Ativan is probably a non addictive, non abusable sleep aid.

    Your son will be fine:)
    He just needs your support and of course motivation.

  3. Dave says:

    Yes, he will have withdrawal symptoms not serious as hard drugs with they will certainly be uncomfortable to him.He will be anxious, nervous, irritable and just feel unable to relax. The medication he has been prescribed, Ativan,belongs to the same drug family as Xanax, which are called Benzodiazepines. These medications have a short acting calming and tranquil effect on the CNS. Ativan as compared Xanax to has more of sedative effect to compared to Xanax but not quite as potent in its side effects. Most of the time it is used a a “as needed Medication” meaning when ever he feels these negative withdrawal effect coming on strong he will be able to take the medication which will significantly relax him and make the process a heck of a lot easier to go through and help him kick his habit

  4. sogen24 says:

    There are no real physical effects other than he will probably find himself sweating a little more for a while, especially during sleep. He will probably experience some weird and vivid dreams for a few days, maybe a week or so at the most. He will feel anxious, fidgety, restless and incredibly bored with everything for a while but it will pass.
    These are the experiences I have had anyway and I know that my friends have experienced the same thing when they quit (most of us have a cycle where we quit for a few weeks every 2/3/4 months when we feel that we are over-using). There is a certain level of mental addiction to cannabis but no physical addiction. Personally I would be weary of using a physically addictive drug to get over a mental addiction, but I’m no doctor so I won’t say not to use it. I will say, though, that it is not hard to quit marijuana if you want to, you just need some willpower and something to keep you occupied. Suggest to your son that he take up some activities (preferably outdoor physical type activities) while the restlessness lasts to try and help take his mind off it.

  5. Ryan says:

    Marijuana is generally assumed to be chemically / clinically non-addictive, but someone can still form a psychological dependency on non-addictive substances.

    It sounds to me that he is an example of someone who was self-medicating an underlying psychological disorder such as social anxiety with marijuana.

    However, much is still not known about THC and particularly the pathways in the brain affected by consistent heavy use.

    What is known is that in regular, heavy marijuana smokers, the hippocampus of the brain is 12 percent smaller and the amygdala is 7 percent smaller – but this change is thought to be reversible with long term abstinence.

    What this means scientifically hasn’t been fully tested – but theoretically, a 7% smaller amygdala may be partly responsible for antisocial behaviors as a smaller amygdala has been associated with bipolar personality patients, etc. (not to say for one second he’s bipolar, just that its been associated with certain disfunction and is one theoretical reason for marijuana increasing the likelihood of psychosis in those already predisposed to it)

    That said, THC and marijuana are also less directly damaging to the brain than many other drugs and substances… which brings me to Ativan…

    I am not a fan of treating Marijuana withdrawal with drugs per se. First, marijuana withdrawal is not well understood – despite the many studies on marijuana.

    But Ativan has been shown to be addictive…

    I don’t know why you’d trade one clinically non-addictive, natural substance that moderates anxiety for a chemical pharmaceutical that has shown far more side effects, is chemically addictive, and has harsh withdrawal symptoms that will leave you back at square 1?!?

    It makes zero sense to me, but then I’m not a doctor …. (The cynic in me thinking “if I was, I’d be getting paid money under the table by Pharma companies to tell you to take a product that is probably worse for your son)

    Personally, I would suggest Piracetam… mainly because it acts in ways that would seem to counter act THC. Plus is not addictive and a far less “scary” drug with fewer side effects. The added benefit is that it seems to work both on “brain fog” and anxiety together – so it seems like a more direct solution than messing with a drug like Ativan that “has all five intrinsic benzodiazepine effects: anxiolytic, amnesic, sedative/hypnotic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant.” (stupid doctor!!)

    There are other broadly categorized “Notropics” that might also be of consideration – particularly because you want a drug that reverses the memory loss associated with THC and helps rebuild the brain (i.e. not Ativan)

    Additionally, I would put him through some sort of nutrient program. My suggestion (though only because a colleague of mine in Mensa recommended it and its shown a lot of benefit) are the four nuerotransmitter supplements that PathMed / Total Nutrients markets – Brain Calm, Brain Energy, Brain Memory, Brain Mood. Take those for 1 – 2 months. They work on the concept of nuerotransmitter precursor loading and generally help balance brain chemistry by providing the nutrient precursors your brain uses. (Personally, I don’t care if you chose this company, I just think they have good ratios of the various components at a decent price for the quality)

    Finally, exercise. As with anything, if he does exercise, particularly cardio, it will help carry oxygenated blood to the brain in higher amounts and restore the body back to a pre-drug state.

    Overall, though, I wouldn’t be too worried. I wouldn’t entirely be fearful of compromising on some form of “step down” approach either – as sacrilegious as it might sound! THC is far from being the worst drug in the world (not even worse than some of the psychiatric drugs) and I actually think step down would probably be better than Ativan.

    Frankly, he isn’t the first kid to be a pot head, and most reach a point after college where they put the bong down and join the real world.

  6. J R says:

    Its possible that if he used cannabis consistantly for such a long time, that his brain may have adjusted to it.

    Since he was experiencing anxiety, Ativan (Lorzepam) has been approved for just that, anxiety.

    It will simply calm the nerves a bit and hell probably fell just about normal, less hyped, not much, not anything drastic, he just wont have any sort of sudden adrenaline rushes or such.

    Note: I used Xanax (alprazolam) for 2 months, It saved, my life… I mean, literally I might have died from multiple tooth infections that accumulated in years of isolation, my anxiety had progressed to severe agoraphobia. Xanax isn’t for everyone but there are legitimate uses. And when I quit, I just a bit agitated for 3 or 4 days, and craved sugar. And that was it, NOTHING compared to the agonzing 10-12 month “brain zap” withdrawals I see friends and families going through on the “non-addictive” SSRI’s

    The reason I almost died, was because most doctors totally overblew the whole “addictive” benzo thing, in favor of SSRI’s (renaming SSRI withdrawal “discontinuation syndrome” instead of the hell that it really is” Doctors tried SSRI’s on me that were supposed to take weeks to work, utterly failed, had side effects that were untolerable, All to avoid the “addictive benzos” (which are older and less profitable). None of these SSRI’s were even approved for agoraphobia (Like Xanax). I finally got Xanax, after very long suffering, and tooth pain, teeth falling apart, constant pulsing throbbing pain…And you now what? My VERY first day on Xanax, actually within a few hours I went straight to the dentist, AND went shopping (After 2 years of isolation)

    A few stupid addicts that abuse Xanax, AND a few that use it more than 4 months (which your not suposed to do), and those who dont use it as their doctor says so, are the problem. Benzo’a are a fine class of drugs, and are usefull, IF you are willing to follow doctors directions. Its a shame that so many of us suffer because of all the scared doctors terrified of this overblown “addiction” stuff, instead putting people on SSRI’s that people remain hooked on for decades.

    I wouldn’t worry so much, EVEN if the agitation of withdrawal irritated him to much someday from ativan, (agitation being the key word here, not even withdrawal) Just intense short term uncomfortability, The doctor can just switch him to Valium while tapering him off because of Valiums long half life.

    I wouldn’t worry. You are very very lucky he got a benzo instead of an SSRI. It is rare these days. I know many on SSRI’s , all have compared “discontinuation withdrawl” to say, heroin or worse. Getting off of a benzo properly takes a few weeks, but is not horrible, just a few moody weeks, a little tense, no year long electrical convulsions, or “brain zaps” / permananent damage like the SSRI crowd

    Ativan has been around for a long time. I quite frankly would trust an older drug more before the massive FDA changes of 1982 and profit became motivation number 1, before safety, and public health.

    *** Wow some of these posts are amazing, how many of you actually used a benzo? Now compare it to an SSRI.

    Nevermind me, just do a search on youtube or something of “brain zaps” and you tell me iff SSRIs are still better than Benzos. Check SSRI Discontinuation), check Yahoo answers if you want.

    Youll see references like benzos are addictive… Ive heard.

    But youll also see many posts like Paxil withdrwal is hell, or another year of Zoloft Brain Zaps will drive me insane etc. All I can say is search everywhere. I just actuall testimony above rumor.

    This misinformation causes peoples lifes and makes them suffer.


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