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Hi folks,

Just a quick note in regards to the moderation of the group. Sometimes if I am a bit short on time or if we get a lot of posts at once I may have to just skim the overall gist of the posts rather than reading them word for word before I approve them, also we all have a different perspective as to what is acceptable and thus there may sometimes be the odd post that gets through that you may feel is inappropriate. And while this doesn’t seem to happen very often if there is anything that anybody reads and feels is inappropriate then please feel free to either shoot me a PM or use the contact form to let me know and I will always be happy to take another look at it.

Please keep in mind however that a post does have to be quite bad or harmful to the group as a whole for us to delete it, I don’t like to be too heavy handed with that kind of moderation and try to reserve it for only when it is absolutely necessarily as generally I like people to be able to have their say and most things can be ironed out with dialogue and often we can all learn from it, that said if you feel something is inappropriate like I say please feel free to let me know and I will be happy to take another look.


All the best,

Cannabis Rehab Admin

If you wish to Use then Use, Your Body Your Choice, You're NOT a Criminal and I wish you well!

My Choice is to be Drug Rehabilitated for 15 years because I Chose to be free from its Control on me!
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  • Keep me honest

    marijuana withdrawal symptoms relief
    Today is day one of me quitting - for the millionth time! It was only yesterday that I found this site, and hopefully as a result there won't be attempt number one million-and-one.

    I have been smoking on and off for about twenty years, but the last five have been pretty bad. In the last year I have been smoking virtually all day, every day whenever I don't have unavoidable things to do, and I am great at making excuses to myself why things can be put off just a liitle longer. I have tried to detox a lot in the last year, and the longest I have gone is about three weeks. I have had to do it all by myself, without even being able to tell anyone I am quitting - as no-one knows I even smoke, let alone how much - and it has been so hard. That's why I need this cannabis rehab site to keep me honest.

    It wasn't untill I read a lot of posts on this cannabis rehab site that I reaslied I had an addiction - until then I just thought I had a "bit of a problem" and needed to cut back. I have been aware for some time before finding this cannabis rehab site that my cannabis use is not actually the problem, but a symptom of the underlying problem, and I think that physically stopping smoking might be hard, but fixing the underlying problem is going to be REAL TOUGH. I have basically been smoking so much to blot out the emptiness in my life, and it does do a good job of that, but I know that this can't go on forever. But what am I going to do with my time? I already have FAR too much time on my hands, and if I quit smoking dope, I easily could have another fifty empty hours to fill each week. The worst part of it is that when I'm getting stoned, all I want to do is read a book. I absolutely devour books when I'm using heavily, and won't even go out and score some more until I know I have an interesting book to read with it. Somehow I find that being stoned makes me so much more able to focus on what I'm reading and really get into it. But as reading is so closely tied with smoking, I'm going to find it hard to fill in the time without turning to a book, and this will just make me crave a smoke. Both times this year I have relapsed after several weeks of being clean has been because I have come across a book that I just knew would be so much better stoned (and they were), but then it has been so hard to stop once I finished those particular books. My social life is practically non-existant, so I can't just go and hang out with a friend instead. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to hang in there.

    I am so not looking forward to the withdrawal symptoms - it has been so horrible in the past, particularly the sleeplessness and soaking night sweats. But, having read enough on this cannabis rehab site I have a much better idea of what to expect, and for how long, and that things will eventually get back to normal. I used to think that it would all be over in a week or so, and when I felt unbelievably tired and dizzy beyond this, even though I was now sleeping better, I thought that there was something wrong with me - now I know that this is just part of what I must go though. The feeling of hopelessness is going to be tough, as apart from my two children (4.5 & 7) who I only have custody of for three days a week, I have very little else in my life to give me hope. In the past, when I have relapsed, I have convinced myself that I can easliy afford to keep smoking at the rate that I do, that it is not interfering with the one or two days a week I work, and that as my life is so hopeless then I may as well be hopeless and stoned. I hope to find that I'm wrong.

    I hope to give updates, even if I relapse.

  • #2
    Hi Notmyrealname and welcome to the forum.

    I am glad you have found us, it sounds like you are having a pretty lonely and isolating experience, no one else knowing about your problem must be tough, it may be a good idea if you could find someone who you can confide in face to face as you may find that it really helps, although I know it is not easy as it’s not the kind of thing that everybody wants to share, anyway at least you have found others here who are going through a similar thing, we will try to be as much help as we can.

    You are not the only one who hadn’t realized just what a habit it has become, I think the drug use has become societies silent addiction, there are so many out there who have been so convinced that it’s not possible to have a problem with it that they haven’t even considered it may be the case, many of whom are doing it every day without even thinking and have not even tried to go a significant amount of time without it. It’s quite a shock when you realise hang on this is the behaviour of an addict, if I was like this with anything else I would see it as an addiction. Anyway recognising the problem is the first step to solving it, so at least you have made progress in that respect.

    Getting on top of addiction often does involve addressing other underlying issues that are at least contributing to the problem, although once you have been using drugs for a long period of time the brain can get addicted to the actual drug it’s self and this aside from any other contributing problems needs dealing with by its self, but yes we often do have to address other issues as well, many of which may have caused us to use in the first place. Dealing with issues like a feeling of emptiness in life can be a major challenge which masking with a chemical sticking plaster rarely solves, it’s going to be a major challenge and will probably involve making some major changes in your life, what these changes will be will be something that you may have to learn as you go along, we don’t always know what they are before hand, for some it may be sport for others religion for others it may be a change in your social life, often it takes a combination of many different things, it can be different for all of us, but now is the time to start thinking about what it is you want to be doing and where you want to be going.

    Try not to worry about the withdrawal symptoms too much they may not be that bad, they are something that can be different for everyone.

    Anyway take care, thanks for posting and please keep us posted on how it goes.

    Good luck and all the best.
    Cannabis Rehab Admin

    If you wish to Use then Use, Your Body Your Choice, You're NOT a Criminal and I wish you well!

    My Choice is to be Drug Rehabilitated for 15 years because I Chose to be free from its Control on me!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the support, BFB. I know it would be good to find a real person to talk to about this, but I really don't have anyone. I have thought about seeing a psychologist, just to have someone to talk it through with, but as I am a doctor (!) and there are pretty strict mandatory reporting laws in this country (Australia), I am worried that I would be forcibly roped into some sort of "impaired practitioner" programme.

      As I said, giving up the pysical act of smoking will be hard - I know, I've tried so many times before - but the real issue of why I smoke in the first place will be the big one. I would rather get clean before I see some professional.

      Day one was OK, but it was always going to be. It is from here on in, with the awful sleeplesness, that bis going to be tough.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi NotMyRealName,

        When I first found this forum, it also was like an enlightenment to me to understand what I was going through. For years I lived in a hell where I had given up all my hope in life and future, and wasn't aware of that was the nature of addiction. When I came here and started to read the stories of people, it was very surprising for me to see how common my feelings/emotions/mental state were among the other addicted people. And then I realized that addiction was some solid thing that were causing all these common problems to many different people.

        As Rehab Admin states, there might be underlying reasons for some people to get addicted but then addiction itself can become even a bigger problem than this underlying problem. I have a bipolar mood disorder, and I lived through very hard times because of my disease, committed suicide, had 3 major depressive attacks. i.e., and but after I get addicted (and ofcourse, I was very vulnerable to getting addicted because of my disease), I lived in a mental/emotional state where the hardest times of my bipolar thing weren't nearly as bad as my addiction. What I'm trying to say is even there is an underlying problem, addiction itself might complicated your mental state more than you would think and once you're recovered from addiction, you might see that you can deal with anything underlying it much more better that you would imagine.

        One of the most common underlying issue behind addiction I guess is the emptiness and meaninglessness of the life for some people, that was the case for me at least, the drug was a great thing for me to continue living where I couldn't find much meaning on anything, but after living through the addiction, I now understand that I don't need to find any meaning, life is a continuous flow of ideas and emotions and to get the best out of it is the most meaningful thing I can do, and addiction was such a virus that comprimising my emotions and cognitive abilities, so it's the best thing for me to recover from my addiction to get the best out of my emotions and ideas.

        If to talk about why you tried million times and failed to quit, it's because addiction made some profound changes in your neurology to make you relapse. Since you're a doctor, I don't need to talk much about this but I suggest you to go through the sticky rehab group 'very useful websites' to understand the core of the problem. Even long after withdrawels are gone, the sick curcuit in our brains will always remain there, always seeking for opportunities to popup (like your relapse to when you came across a book), and hence, recovering from addiction needs a very carefull study on ourselves (like identifiying high risk situations, coping strategies with cravings, understanding the nature of our disease, full commitment to quit, i.e..).

        You say that you don't have much hope in your life, and may as well be hopeless and stoned. That's a vicious cycle, as long as you're stoned you will be hopeless, and than may as well be stoned, that can continue forever and your best chance to find some hope is to break this loop. Life is such a diverse thing that we can never know what we will be feeling/doing two months later but when we are addicted, we damn well know what we feel/do 20 years later and that's exactly what some will call wasting our lives. Recovery is not a very easy thing, we may not begin to feel normal in a short time scale but, not being recovered will hold us in this prison forever. So, I believe that it certainly worths to try to achieve long term soberity, we may have hard time for some months may be but it's nothing compared to our lifetimes, of which we can waste all of it with addiction.

        As Rehab Admin states, of course it's best to get help from some professionals, but here also we will be of help as much as we can. By the way, may be it's good for you to analyze the big picture of your addiction, how was your life and mental/emotinal state before it, how it changed your life, what are the main reasons for you to quit, what things you can do in your free time (doing exercise will be great forexample) i.e.. I believe we should gather all the pieces and then we can start to solve the puzzle.

        All the best and please keep posted on how it goes,

        Comment


        • #5
          Just hang in there, you will do it. I have had a horrible time but I was smoking the "herbal incense" for about 13 months due to the fact that I had random drug screenings as I am a medical professional as well in the states. Currently I am day 12 of being clean, I stopped smoking cigs the same day as well. Today I am feeling my anxiety is down, I havent taken a xanax for 24 hours, but I have a light head, feel slightly dizzy, and have pain in my right temporal area of my head. The light head feeling has been going on for the past 5 days. All my vitals are good, bloodwork is good, so I am chalking it up to either the cannabinoid or nicotine withdrawal. I have heard by week 4, alot is better.

          Prior to these 13 months of herbal incense use, I used MJ daily for 11 years, it took me 70+ days to have a clean urine specimen before accepting my new position. Just as you couldnt find anyone to convey your thoughts with, I found multiple outlets online that enabled me to remain safe professionally while still having someone hear me. I check the boards every day, feel free to post like a diary and we will be here to help you through anything. Good Luck

          Comment


          • #6
            Once again, thanks for the support, especially the post from abiogenesis - from the other threads I have read, you really seem to be a great support for people, and I want to thank you for not only what you have written to me, but also to thank you for being there for others.

            One of the reasons I titled this thread "Keep me honest" was that deep down I know I will need the support of the people on CannabisRehab.org to persist, because basically I am not sure if I really want to detox (shock! horror!). I am not talking about cravings that come when you are quitting, when it is so easy to justify to yourself that it is OK to have "just one more, and then I'll really quit" - I'm talking about my relationship with mj, and how I want to end (or not) it. I read in some other thread someone (I think it was "Forever Quitting") who described mj as being like his lover - I totally identify with this. I have recently got divorced, a divorce I didn't want, and can honestly say to myself was not caused by my smoking. I didn't want the divorce, as I felt it would be best to try to save the relationship for the sake of the children, but I am so glad I am out of what was a physically, psychologically, and I'm afraid to say, sexually, abusive relationship (see, all you feminists out there, women really can do anything a man can do). But despite this, I can't pretend to myself that there wasn't a time when I didn't love my wife, and I can't pretend that even now there aren't bits about her I like. Same with smoking - the relationship got pretty toxic, and I know it is time to get out. But there are bits I really liked (loved?) about it.

            I am already (I am ashamed to say) telling myself that once I've been clean for six weeks (seems to be the average time by which most people's withdrawal symptoms have gone) I'll go and score just enough for one day, and read an intereting book. I know this is so wrong, but as I said, there are bits about it I just like so much. I did actually relapse for just one day earlier this year, and then quit for about another month. In that case, the relapse was brought on by an argument with my nasty wife (as she was at the time), and I just needed to "escape". But sometimes I feel, when I'm stoned, that I get such good ideas and insights, and I really like this. I know I need to re-invent my life, and have been encouraged by the only two people I met this year (more acquaintances than friends, but getting close to being friends), quite co-incidentally, as they don't know each other, to do a Visual Arts degree. This is something I am seriously considering, but virtually all my art ideas (hard to explain - more conceptual installation stuff than pretty paintings) come to me when I'm stoned, and I worry that I won't get any more good ideas if I'm straight. It's the stuff like this that makes me question whether I really want to end the relationship forever.

            Anyhow, I'm rambling. I have my children with me for the next few days, so I know that just being with them will help me deal with things. It's the long term I'm worried about. That's why you need to keep me honest.

            Thanks, again, for all the support, and finding this cannabis rehab site was the best thing that's happened to me all year.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi NotMyRealName,

              You're welcome ofcourse and I hope my messages are helping people.

              "I'm talking about my relationship with mj, and how I want to end (or not) it. I read in some other thread someone (I think it was "Forever Quitting") who described mj as being like his lover - I totally identify with this". I totally understand this and it makes quite sense actually. When you're in love with someone, everybit of your thoughts/emotions are reserved for this person, you continously admire the every minute spent by this person and you want to live it again and again and again. And that can also be the case for weed. But with one big difference: our love with the drug is formed by weed's addictive properties, which actually messed up all the hormones in our brain. We no longer have real emotions, because they are not caused by real stimuli coming from life itself, it's a virtual state where we don't have real connection with the world. Ofcourse one may not be connected to world, may want to live his life in this single state, but what is the difference than between being alive and being a person in a coma who is fed by drugs?

              With all these creative ideas caused by drugs, yes I also believe that it's something real. If it wasn't for LSD, I don't believe there would be the Pink Floyd as we know it now. But, but, but. Does it worth it? If I was still living my drug addicted life, it wasn't only the drug for me that I was in love. And when it comes to the doors of perception and creativity, the drug is nothing compared to stuff like LSD, mescalin, magic mushroom. But what does this new perception give us and what drugs actually do the our brains which is the most complex organism in the known universe? It lockes us a single state in life where there is no continuity of emotions. It's like being locked in time and space where we are in a different mental state than normal people. Experiencing this different mental state where comes creative ideas is something we all love. But the problem starts with addiction where we want to live in this state forever. And the definiton of "we" changes in this state as the state captures the every single neuron in our brain. So is it us to choose to stay in this state? I don't think so, it's the drug itself choose for us to stay there. And when we think about staying clean for some time and then making a choice about using it again or not; it's still not us. It's because of the profound changes in our neurological system. For some people all the withdrawels can go off after 6 weeks when the THC leaves their system. But it's long after than we find our trueselves.

              What I'm trying to emphasize is I have respect to everyone's choice but I try to make them aware that the choices are corrupted by the profound changes that the drug made in our brains.

              I really would like to hear more opinions of you in respect to what we discuss. I don't believe making a reply to one's message means a lot; I believe that the deep discussions that we would make might have a real meaning for people. That's why I try to keep in touch with people and discuss more.

              I try to put rational and objective ideas about addiction in CannabisRehab.org but ofcourse my approach to the problem is also limited to my subjective experience with addiction. So all my saying are with all due respect

              All the best,

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi abiogenesis,

                last night, sleep deprived for over forty hours, and my brain fuzzy as all hell, I struggled to write a long, detailed reply to your post, but this cannabis rehab site timed me out whilst I was doing it, and for some reason I couldn't log back in. It frustrated me to death! Anyhow, here are the main points of what I was going to say, from what I remember.

                Firstly, the "lover" comment - I think we have different views on the meaning of the word (in this context), and hence differing views. I meant that, just as in real life, a lover can give you so much pleasure, but at the same time is probably the one person who can hurt you the most. I also meant that, and considering CannabisRehab.org is all about quitting, even when a totally toxic relationship is over, it is dishonest to pretend that there were never any good things about that relationship, and that the "lover" who is no longer your partner has no redeeming features. As I said previously, I have got out of a destructive, abusive relationship - for which I am so glad - but at the same time I am always going to hold a special, confused, place in my heart for my ex-wife, even if I never want to talk to her again. My relationship with marijuana is marred by the same ambiguities.

                Interestingly, the take you took on "lover" - i.e. someone who is constantly in our thoughts (wanting to light up again) has not occurred to me once since I decided to detox this time. The only thoughts I have had of the drug are when reading/posting on this forum, and apart from this, I have not craved it once. But, I have my children with me at the moment, and so don't need anything else to make me feel good.

                The bit about the drug choosing, rather than us, to stay in the place we are I, on one hand comletely disagree with you, and on the other I completely agree. Let me explain. During the last year I read a book called "The Brain that Heals Itself", a book mainly about new understandings of brain plasticity, etc. This book didn't, from memory (which is shot to pieces now that I have quit, although that could just be the sleep deprivation) really discuss addiction much, apart from internet **** addictions, but even at the time (and I was going through a few weeks of "straight" at the time) it made me think deeply about my smoking habit. The book made the point that whenever we engage in an activity that we find pleasurable, neurotransmitters re-inforce that neural pathway, making it stronger and stronger each time the activity is performed. The book likens it to a cart wheel passing over a rut, making it deeper and deeper each time, and hence more and more unlikely that it will be erased. It also makes it more and more likely that a whell near the rut will easily fall into it - activities surrounding our drug taking become associated with the "high", and make it more likely that we will relapse. Reading the book, I thought that each time I performed the rituals that I, and probably everyone here, did when smoking made it more and more likely that I would want to keep doing it. I suppose I wasn't quite honest in my first post when I said I only realised I had an addiction when I came across this cannabis rehab site - the idea was forming in my mind already.

                The THC (and all the other active metabolites) gives us the pleasure, but it is the re-arrangement of our neural circuitry that gives us the addiction. Even if every last molecule of THC is out of my body, the altered neural pathway associated with pleasure and all the other things about my use, will remain. I am trying to say that it is not the drug that wants me to keep using - it is my brain, me. But, this book also made the point that, with the right approach any neural pathway, good or bad, can be altered. The deeper the rut, obviously the harder it will be to alter, but nothing is set in stone. Yes, I have found myself, when attempting to detox previously, thinkingthoughts about re-using that, whilst I know are "mine", I also realise that they are not what I want to be thinking. I am often amazed at how easily I have been able to rationally convince myself that it is OK to go and score "just a little bit more", when I know that, rationally, this is not what I want at all.

                I am going to post this now, in case I get timed out again (as it would kill me), and will probably continue in another post.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi abiogenesis,

                  this is a continuation of my last post.

                  Addiction is not something to do with drugs - it is something to do with brains. I actually know someone who became addicted to an internet rehab group - this was fifteen years ago when the internet was pretty new, and perhaps those who were into it were very into it. She told me that her rehab group use was interfering with her relationship with her husband, that she had tried to set limits fo herself that she just couldn't stick to, that it was becoming the one thing in life that she "really" wanted to do (log on). One day, when she had told me that she had decided that she wasn't going to "use" at work I heard her laughing. I poked my head around the corner to see what was so funny (the work we were doing was pretty dry) to see her blogging away, getting high. Cahnge "internet forum" to "marijuana", and we'd all agree she was addicted. Does this mean that internet forums are bad? No, it just means that, for her, the pleasure given to her brain by communicating on-line was re-wiring her brain so that she wanted to do it again, and again, and again. As far as I know, she is fine now, and it was just a phase.

                  Despite this cautionary tale, I think most of us here would accept that CannabisRehab.org is very unlikely to become a problem, but for her it was different. Studies of GI's during the Vietnam war found that, of those who used heroin on an at least daily basis whilst in Vietnam, the vast majority stopped as soon as they returned to the USA. A few, however, went on to become lifelong (or short) addicts. Why? It was postulated that the heroin use in Vietnam was a reasonable (within the context) response to a very stressful situation, and that for the majority, once the sressor was removed, the need to aleviate it was also removed. But for some, the need to use had been hard-wired into the pleasure centres of the brain (they developed a deep rut), and the neural circuitry took over. There are probably all sorts of reasons why some people are more prone than others. Personally, I have had one brother die as a result of his drug addiction, and the other would have definitely followed him had not the law caught him in time and, basically, forced him into treatment/re-hab, etc. Given this, I have always accepted that I am probably much more likely to develop addictive behaviour than the average person, and hence have always been aware that I need to constantly, and honestly, evaluate my use, and stop/ cut down when I can see it getting the upper hand. Lets face it, some people can learn to play a piece of music having heard it only once or twice, and others still can't get it even after reading the sheet music and practicing many, many times. Neural circuits are, I guess, re-inforced to a greater or lesser degree in different people.

                  The "real emotions" bit may also involve a semantic diffence between our understandigs of the phrase, and so I amy, or may not, agree with you. As I said initially, no-one I know has any idea I use, let alone how much. I honestly believe I would have more chance of convincing my work colleagues that I was an alien from another galaxy than get them to believe I have drug problem. I can interact perfectly fine with the outside world, experience emotions (but are they "real?), and even at my very worst, if I run into a neighbour I can have an animated, normal conversation, and then go inside and continue my smoking to oblivion. I am aware that, despite what I have said, my emotions/interactions are perhaps not normal. I can me Mr Happy, outgoing nice-guy at work, and the second I leave it is like AI take of a mask and the real, empty me is revealed. I believe, and this may be just the neural circuits talking, that my marijuana use is preventing me from creating the "me" I want to be (which is why I have quit, at least for now), but I don't believe that it is th cause of my problems. There are other issues in my life that I believe are far more likely to be tha cause for my inability to fully reach my potential (I have hinted at one of them), and I need to address these, and I know I won't be able to if I am stoned.

                  I could go on forever, but I should go now. I will leave you with this analogy that I think reflects my ambiguous relationship with mj. Everyone probaly knows the legend of Ulysses and the Sirens - the song of the sirens was so enchantingly beautiful to any man who heard it that, against all better judgement, he would bring his ship closer to the shore where they lurked, hoping to hear it even better, and ultimately wrecking his ship on the rocky shore (which was the plan of the Sirens, as I think they ate the sailors, but I could be wrong about this bit). Ulysses, wanting to hear the song of the Siren, but also wanting to make it home (eventually) in one piece, ordered his crew to block their ears with wax, tie him to the mast under strict instructions not to untie him no matter how much he indicated he wanted it, and sail the ship past the shore wher the Sirens were.

                  I would like to be like Ulysses. I want to hear that siren song, but I don't want to wreck my ship. It may not be possible, it may just be too dangerous - that is why I am here, and am quitting. But I think honest, continual self-examination is also a neural circuit that can be strengthened, and maybe, just maybe, I may have strengthened mine enoug to be able to use responsibly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi NotMyRealName,

                    I just wanted to check in with you and ask how your detox is going today? I did well today (my day 6 for detox) and I am surprised how OK I feel today. I hope I am on the downside of the detox, but I realize it may not be over yet. As saturated as I am with THC from so many years of heavy daily smoking, I assumed I would be feeling a lot worse than I do today.
                    I love your posts, I love your wisdom.........I hope everything is going well for you at this time!
                    Sincerely,
                    Mountainbreeze

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The THC (and all the other active metabolites) gives us the pleasure, but it is the re-arrangement of our neural circuitry that gives us the addiction. Even if every last molecule of THC is out of my body, the altered neural pathway associated with pleasure and all the other things about my use, will remain. I am trying to say that it is not the drug that wants me to keep using - it is my brain, me. But, this book also made the point that, with the right approach any neural pathway, good or bad, can be altered. The deeper the rut, obviously the harder it will be to alter, but nothing is set in stone. Yes, I have found myself, when attempting to detox previously, thinkingthoughts about re-using that, whilst I know are "mine", I also realise that they are not what I want to be thinking. I am often amazed at how easily I have been able to rationally convince myself that it is OK to go and score "just a little bit more", when I know that, rationally, this is not what I want at all.
                      Hi NotMyRealName,

                      I also agree that it's the neural circuitry that gives the addiction. And being addicted means that these neural circuitry is established permenantly. As you know, this neural circutry will go inactive by time as you recover from the drug. But the thing is, when you take the drug again, it will be activated again and mostly, it becomes even more powerful than the previous time. Because addiction is a progressive thing and the proof of this is we get addicted by the time. When we use the drug 1st time in our life, we get a pleasure and we remember it. And if we have the vulnerability to addiction, we strengthen the pathways that leads to compulsive drug use with each use. And when these neural circuit is permanantly established, even you go drug free for 10 years, after you start to smoke again, this circuitry will popup again. So, the thing which gives the addictive property to the drug for addict people is, they can spend years for their recovery, but the drug can take the control all over again after one shot.

                      So I find this statement contradictory with the definiton of addiction: "But I think honest, continual self-examination is also a neural circuit that can be strengthened, and maybe, just maybe, I may have strengthened mine enough to be able to use responsibly." Because you don't strenghten the drug circuitry in your brain during recovery; you develop and strengthen new neural pathways against the drug circuitry which gives you the control to fight against the sick circuitry that try to make you smoke. But when you smoke, drug circuit takes the control all over the again and every piece of the new neural pathways you established during recovery falls apart in a short time.

                      The things I say is true for addicted people. I also know many friends who used to smoke alot, we all used to smoke together passionately at college, then all of them went on with their lives, and they didn't return abusing it even they smoked rarely after that. That's because they didn't develop an addiction like me, which means that their drug circuit was never established permanantly. At this point, I believe we should check out with the definitons of addiction.

                      1. Tolerance. Has your use of drugs or alcohol increased over time?
                      2. Withdrawal. When you stop using, have you ever experienced physical or emotional withdrawal? Have you had any of the following symptoms: irritability, anxiety, shakes, sweats, nausea, or vomiting?
                      3. Difficulty controlling your use. Do you sometimes use more or for a longer time than you would like? Do you sometimes drink to get drunk? Do you stop after a few drink usually, or does one drink lead to more drinks?
                      4. Negative consequences. Have you continued to use even though there have been negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, or family?
                      5. Neglecting or postponing activities. Have you ever put off or reduced social, recreational, work, or household activities because of your use?
                      6. Spending significant time or emotional energy. Have you spent a significant amount of time obtaining, using, concealing, planning, or recovering from your use? Have you spend a lot of time thinking about using? Have you ever concealed or minimized your use? Have you ever thought of schemes to avoid getting caught?
                      7. Desire to cut down. Have you sometimes thought about cutting down or controlling your use? Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control your use?

                      If you answer yes to at least 3 of the above questions, then you meet the medical definition of the addiction. This definition is based on the of American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization. And the people in this forum, including me, in a situation of saying yes to the almost all questions. So, are we all addicted at the same level? Not ofcourse. For example I know that my addiction is so severe that, each time I relapsed, it's like becoming an alien for me. I go 3 months drug-free, almost everything goes back to normal, I regret the years that I wasted, then I have one joint; then I continue to smoke nonstop. Some other person's addiction might be much less severe, he might turn back to his addicted behaviour in a longer time scale after his first use, but eventually he will get back there. Because the addicted circuitry is activated again, and with his each use it will become more and more powerful.

                      So, when do we choose to use the drug and when the drug chooses to use us? Let me give a very simple example from my case. Now, I'm over six months sober, I'm very well aware of my situation and the urge to smoking doesn't cross my mind at any instant normally. But, sometimes when I pass along a coffeeshop (I live in the Netherlands), -and this 'sometimes' depend on my mood ofcourse-, automatically I remember the feeling of smoking, then I realize that I start to forget about all the harm that the drug did to my life, then just before the moment that I start to get confused I start to run away from the coffeeshop. That's why actually I try not to pass by a coffeshop. What I'm trying to say is, we have our will powers, but the drug circuit itself has also its power, and it is fed by the external stimuli. But by the time as we recover, we learn to switch of this drug circuitry (like even though I start to feel of the urge, I start runnig away from the coffeeshop, because it gets start to activate and I shut it down before it gains more power and I start to loose control). But would I able to do this if I smoked yesterday? Ofcourse not. If I were to, I could have done this always (so, iwould smoke when i want, wouldn't when i don't want) which means that I wouldn't be an addict.

                      Anyway.. It's been a long post i guess. Your first sentence in CannabisRehab.org was, "Today is day one of me quitting - for the millionth time! It was only yesterday that I found this site, and hopefully as a result there won't be attempt number one million-and-one", so why would you not trust your one million experiences on quitting and failing, but hope that on one million-and-one, you will be able to smoke responsibly? That's what I mean it's the drug talking because the 'hope' is not based on a rational analysis, it's based on your desire to be able to smoke again which is driven by the drug circuit which made profound changes on your brain that makes you think in this way. just to keep you honest

                      Take care and all the best,
                      Last edited by abiogenesis; 01-07-2011, 09:44 PM.

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                      • #12
                        By the way, I don't know much about the other addictions and their neurology but I believe that there is something very specific to drug addiction: you will always get the dopamine high which will activate the neurological disorder even you don't use the drug for several years. But it might not be always be the case for other addictions, people change, things they enjoy change and the thing they were addicted years ago (lets say internet for example) may not give pleasure to them after years. But as i say, for the drugs, we will always experience the abnormally high amount of the dopamine release which is the core reason of our addiction.
                        Last edited by abiogenesis; 01-07-2011, 10:14 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Hi abiogenesis,

                          Firstly, I think that the last sentence of my last post, which you quoted, shows just how sleep deprived and brain fogged I was. On re-reading what I had posted, just now, what I meant at the time, and don't know why I typed what I did, was that hopefully I may be able to strengthen mine to be able to use responsibly.

                          Regarding the bit about the absolute permanance of addictive circuitry - I'm sorry, but I'm not buying it at face value. I'm not saying you are wrong, but I am saying that, essentially, we know so little about the brain that it just is not possible to make such statements with such certainty. I, amongst many other things I have done, was at one stage doing a PhD on a brain disease (I never finished it, but it was because of internal University politics, and not me). When I started I took the view, on reading a paper, that "Well, this has been publised in a scientific, peer reviewed journal, so it must be true." It was only after reading literally hundreds of papers on my topic that I began to see that, especially in an area as essentially unknown as the brain, that basically, the data is ripe for massaging. I began to recognise that various authors, various institutions, had their own views on the topic, and I learnt to factor their bias into what I was reading, especially when another paper might state the exact opposite. Publishing scientific papers (and I speak as one who has been inside the tent) is driven by so many factors - vanity, funding, ideology, tenure all seem to rank higher than "absolute truth". Again, I am not saying you are wrong, I am just saying it is not possible to make a "certain" statement regarding this.

                          Yes, I am happy (!) to admit I have an addiction. I can also tell you that at high school I had a teacher (a really good teacher) who had been a skid row alcoholic, got his act together and resumed teaching, and for, I think about ten years, drank responsibly, until one day he fell off the wagon (I have no idea why), and later died in the gutter. One drink ceratinly didn't do it for him. I will immediately back that up with a well known medical aphorism - the plural of "anecdote" is not "fact". That was him, and I am different from him. You are also different from me, and whilst you find that just one smoke will send you back to where you started, I have on many occasions interrupted a prolonged period of abstinence with a day or two of smoking, and then continued on my abstinence as if nothing had happened.

                          But yes, it is getting more out of hand as time goes by, and that is why I am here, and why I am asking you to keep me honest. You did today, actually.

                          I had another night without any sleep at all, had to load myself up on caffeine (WHAT?!, you may ask) in order to be able to function enough to drive the few hours on a difficult road to get home with my children, knowing that the real challenge was always going to start when they wern't around. I handed them over to their mother, explained how sleep deprived I was, and asked her to bear with me whilst I discussed a few issues (as we are still grinding through the horrible divorce) that needed to be discussed. All I can say is that she really knows how to press my buttons, trying to get me worked up, and doing a pretty good job. I left, my heart pounding, my blood presssure through the roof, the caffeine really not helping, and the sleep deprivation killing me. From where I was I had the choice of two routes home, one of which took me directly past where I scored, and I have to admit that for a second I thought "I'll just get a bit - to help me sleep, to calm me down, etc". Before I came here and said "My name is NotMyRealName, and I am a cannabisic" I would definitely have done so (as I said, who, apart from me, would know either way). But the thought of having to admit relapse, especially to you (well, you do seem a bit "ernest"), immediately put an end to that thought. It was followed, for another second by "I'll drive that way, anyhow, just to show to myself how strong I can be." After those two seconds, sanity took over.

                          If you believe what you post about the drastic changes in neurotransmitters, pathways, etc, on cessation, then cut me a bit of slack - what I posted on day one, when I was still residually stoned, does not reflect how I felt a few days later, which again is different from how I feel today. If I am de-toxing, on next to no sleep at all, then don't take every nuance of what I say as being as carefully crafted as a diplomatic communique. I do appreciate your "tough love" stance, and as I said, it was only the thought of having to admit failure to you that kept me honest. I am entering this with no pre-conceived notions, I am here to learn, both about me as I "become normal", and about the nature of this addiction. Maybe, by the end of many weeks, my views will change to be more in tune with yours, as the real "me" part of my brain takes over.

                          I am so tired, I may even try to sleep, I acan't think any more. Bye.

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                          • #14
                            Hi NotMyRealName,

                            I guess I'm a little overloading the people with the information I believe to be true. It's just that my own battle with cannabis was a very hars and long one, during which I read may be hundreds of articles to have the understanding on the addiction that I have now. I can be very obsessive about things, I spent two years of my life where I was in love with psychoactive substances and for day and nights I was reading about the psychoactive properties of all kind of substances. And then, as a pay off, I spent another two years during which I was giving a battle against my addiction, and had to go through all the search again but this time it was about drug addiction. So, I'm just trying to share the information here, but as i said in the beginning, it's being an overload i guess, people have to go through themselves and build their understanding step by step. But it has been like a mission in me to deliver the one single and very important message that I've learned: addiction is a chronical relapsing disorder, which means that a recovering addict should never ever smoke no matter what, and this is the most widely accepted model of the drug addiction by the scientists. I believe that digesting this message is very important because people will be always prone to relapse otherwise.

                            I also agree that there's not much knowledge on our brain mechanisms, but especially in the last decade with the advancement of hightech apparatus, studies about addiction are quite advanced at the moment, they can image the craving as it appears, they can pinpoint the circuit that switches on when the drug is present, and most importantly the disease model of drug addiction and the experimental studies are very well in agreement. Science is something which doesn't give an absolute truth ofcourse, but as long as the model works, it worths to be trusted in my opinion.

                            I'm again sorry NotMyRealName, if I annoyed you by speaking too much on what I believe, but I'm trying to respond to people in the way that I believe to be the right approach, and it's limited to my subjective understanding ofcourse.

                            But there is just one other thing that I wanna put out my chest, about the concept of detoxification. When we are detoxed from the drug (can take upto 6 weeks for heavy users), it doesn't mean that our brain reached its true capacity, clearity, i.e., it just means that our body/brain started to function without the drug and the real improvements and adaption are just about the start. That's why, I also believe that even if a person will chose to use the drug, he should go without the drug for several months at least to see his trueself.

                            By the way, I never think that relapses are something we should me ashamed of, conversely it is a part of our battle, very few people achieve the long term soberity in their first attempt, I also relapsed around 20 times during which all the purpose of my life was to achieve quitting weed, but I believe that as long as we don't give up on trying, and learning from our failures, we can achieve it at the end.

                            All the best,

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                            • #15
                              marijuana withdrawal symptoms relief
                              Hi abiogenesis,

                              I wanted to reply this morning, even before I saw your post, to apologise if my last post was a bit agressive. I had just been looking after two young children for four days, had had virtually no sleep, and had just been wound up by my tormentor, and all this on top of withdrawing. I just had to let off some steam.

                              I really do appreciate your stance on CannabisRehab.org - if people are here to help each other then I think everyone should be able to openly say what they believe, and you, having I see done a lot of research into addiction, should spread the message as you see it.

                              As I said, my initial view when I came here was to ask for support for a good long de-tox, and then use again responsibly. My time here has already helped me really re-evaluate things, and who knows how I may feel as time goes on and my thinking gets clearer.

                              One day at a time.

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