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Illegal Drugs and Psychotherapy Discussion

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Like it or not, many people use drugs that the authorities frown upon.  Some can provide fun.  Some can provide deep personal, spiritual, philosophical insights.  Some can affect your mood or abilities, serving as non-prescribed psychomedication, perhaps better than any medication on the market today.  For whatever reason you choose, responsible use of sadly-illicit drugs can be a positive and healthy part of life. 

Furthermore, a lot of us with some mental dysfunction or whatever we'll call it are those very same responsible drug users.  But because these drugs are illegal, there just isn't all that much scientific information out there on the subject.  As such, I imagine lots of us (me, certainly) are wondering a lot about how recreational drugs affect us, taking into consideration whatever psychological issues we're having.

How does (recreational drug of choice) interact with (psychiatric drug of choice)?  Is it dangerous to combine the two?  Will one intensify the effects of the other?  What effect does (RDOC) have on my problems?  Does it help?  Does it hurt?  If nothing my doctor helps me, can I look to recreational drugs to find some way of coping?  Is smoking pot, if it calms your nerves, better, worse, than any conventional anti-anxiety drug?

These are just some questions I'm hoping will spur discussion.  I want people to share their personal experiences.  When there's such a lack of scientific studies on the subject of recreational drugs and how they are relevant to psychology and psychopharmacology, the next best thing may be a pooling of everyone's personal experience.

Here's what I can bring to the table, to start off: I'm dealing with ADD, by going to therapy and for about two weeks now, taking Adderall XR, with a lot of success so far.  I also like to smoke a little pot here and there.  Ultimately I cut back on the stuff because I found it made any ADD-related problem I might have, which was already pretty bad, even worse.  I can get lost in hyperfocused internal trains-of-thought and lose track of the world, even while a friend is right next to me, talking to me.  Haven't really had any appreciable amount since beginning Adderall because I just don't know how the two will interact.  I've worried on the one hand that the combination could potentially be very unpleasant and anxiety-ridden, but on the other hand, I've wondered if the addition of Adderall to the mix would allow me to enjoy cannabis without the usual ADD problems.

So, I suppose I'll start things off with a pretty specific question.  Who here is dealing with ADD and also likes to get stoned here and there?  How does it affect ADD for you?  Have you had to decide to stop, even if you like it, because it just makes you too dysfunctional?  If you've been on any ADD medication, how does pot interact with it?

I'm not saying just answer this question, of course.  Let's just get some personal experiences on the subject out in the open!



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Well, hey, a reasonably prudent person would rightfully say that psych meds and recreational drugs don't belong in the same brain at the same time.

[insert standard lecture here]

That being said, it's also reasonable to assume that all people are not prudent all of the time. I take meds for depression. I also like to have a drink or two with my friends occasionally. Here's what I have learned. I get drunk faster. I am depressed and hung over as hell the next day if I have more than two drinks with lots of water in between. Over the last few years, I've probably reduced my drinking by more than 50%. The side effects just aren't worth it.

So, with respect to pot and ADD and Adderall, if you just have to spark up, do it at home, with friends, preferably with a day off the next day. See how you do. You may find that you have to regulate yourself a little more carefully - less pot, less often, but not an out and out ban.

Just my $.02


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It would figure that this would be my first official post on these boards after lurking for 3 months, BUT...

Before meds, I used to self medicate with all kinds of things, legal and not so legal. If someone had told me a year ago that I would be pretty much sober now I would have laughed my ass off. As far as pot and Adderal, I recently had the opportunity to try this one out at a rare sleepover with the girls where we decied to get a little crazy. It was not good. You would think pot would mellow out the effects of the Adderal or something, but it didn't for me. It made me paranoid in a major way. I've never been one to get paranoid and it wasn't fun. I agree with the alcohol thing too. I am BP and after drinking I just end up depressed as hell. So, I'm a goody-two-shoes now I guess.


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Erowid has a number of 1st-person accounts of psychmed +

recreational material combinations. Generally, they do NOT play well together and the dosing

gets even dodgier. 

I would think klonopin a better anxiolytic than pot if you're on a stimulant. It seems to be the

preferred choice for the folks with anxiety problems who are taking  Wellbutrin. Pot seems

to be a rotten combination with stimulants and/or with ADD.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's easier to screw with GABA receptors (klonopin) than it is with the cannabinoid receptors (pot).  But that's just my opinion, look it up in the scientific literature if you want to know more.  This ends this test of the Emergency Dorkage System.  Had this been an actual Dorkage Emergency, your head would have asploded by now.

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I straight up asked my pdoc if everything I said was completely confidential and she said so long as I wan't contemplating hurting myself or other people it was confidential.  Then I asked if using drugs was considered hurting myself or my family and she said, "No".

So I told her what I use and when and she was very cool about it.  She strongly recommended I do not drink and take klonopin at the same time (potentially deadly) and she said my drug use sounds like its done responsibly and she didn't nag about it at all.

So I'd suggest talking to your pdoc about it.  After you make sure it will remain between the two of you.  I know that there isn't a lot of research into mixing illegal drugs with rx'ed drugs, but if you'r pdoc or tdoc has seen quite a few people then they have probably heard enough stories to give you some insight.

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