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Meds and Marijuana (bad reaction)
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Meds and Marijuana (bad reaction)

I've been smoking marijuana for about 5 years. I've been diagnosed bipolar for about 2 years. I recently had a really bad reaction to pot. REALLY bad. I almost killed myself, screamed at my friends, and vomited for 2 days. No one else that smoked it had a bad reaction. I haven't had a medication change recently. I'm on lamictal, seroquel, wellbutrin, cymbalta, and adderall (adderrall). I don't know what happened. It wasn't laced or else everyone would have gotten sick. My meds haven't changed so they should not have reacted differently. Everyone that smoked it said that it was awesome pot. I've always been really sensitive to it and have always gotten high really easily. Could it just be that I couldn't tolerate the potency? I've stopped smoking for the time being. I want to be able to smoke again but I don't want to get high and have this happen again and end up killing myself. Does anyone have suggestions, explanations, reactions, or anything?
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585414_tn?1288944902
People react differently at different times when a person has bipolar or any other psychiatric disability but in knowing people with bipolar who have tried it and it has caused them full psychosis (that took a while to stop) and people of whom it hastened the onset of schizophrenia it would be best to just realize this might not be able to be part of your life anymore.
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1134609_tn?1269275800
The interaction between weed and psychiatric medications is a total unknown; for a lot of reasons. I know that my brother tinkered with it for awhile and it turned on him; making him extremely paranoid, bordering on delusional.
I was with him at the time; we almost took him to the hospital.

It's a dangerous road to go down, even if you obtain it legally, in the U.S. You're on a substantial amount of medication and the interactions between them could be enough, without introducing something else in your system.

Another issue become dealing with the psychiatric community if you have a know history of substance abuse. You may get a dual-diagnosis between addiction and mental illness, but docs have a harder time treating people who have used any sort of illicit drugs. Many won't treat you aggressively because their afraid that you'll abuse some of the medications that they prescribe.

I have a friend who has been laid up for over a year with BP disorder and has been pretty beat up. But, because of his past history of weed and alcohol use, his docs have a hard time treating him. His anxiety and agitation levels go through the roof, but his docs won't prescribe any PRN medications like Xanax or Ativan because they're afraid they'll abuse it. And, they haven't been wrong about that one; he has done so in the past.

Although, I can empathize with you, it's very tough to deal with BP disorder and when folks are hurting, they'll turn to things that will give them relief. Mental illness is often the major cause of substance abuse; I've seen it repeatedly. Several years ago, when I was just on Celexa, I tried to pull myself off of it and drank to deal with the aftermath of taking myself off of medication. But, it all ended up in a bad place; I always ended up back on my Celexa because I became more and more unstable.

So, it's a tough road to go down and to keep going down. IMO, I would come completely clean with your shrink about all of it and go from there. I wouldn't continue to smoke, as you have already seen what it can do to you. It's not uncommon for folks who aren't dealing with mental illness to become paranoid while smoking weed.
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607502_tn?1288251140
Psycho active drugs are a bad idea for people taking other psycho active drugs, the list of possible events that it can cause are arms lenght long.

Contrary to popular belief marijuana is not safe.  Its a dangerous drug which can do very bad things to people - in the UK admissions for marijiuana users to mental facilities went up somewhere in the mid 60% range in the last 5 years, it can cause pile of things including schizoprenia and psychoses as side effects.

Sorry but from where I sit you're playing russian roulette smoking weed and taking meds, forget the image of it as safe and do some reading on real risks not the watered down version the pro dope sites and advocates push.

It sometimes seems the whole of the US patient community is self medicating with weed regardless of the risk factors, legalisation of Marijuana will be the worst thing to hit the medical community in decades.
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1134609_tn?1269275800
The legislation with weed is mainly tied into the alcohol and tobacco industries here in the U.S. I can't vouch for other countries, but alcohol is a severely abused substance in this country; people that drink in this country rarely know how to do so in moderation. Tobacco use is way down, because it's been nailed in the media and it's so expensive. But, alcohol abuse remains high, so those that are pushing the legalization of marijuana have firm ground to stand on. Alcohol is at least as damaging to the body as weed, so they're managing to push it. Plus, the idea of being able to subsidize it has many in the government drooling. People in this country hear some sensationalized media report that drinking a little bit of red wine is very healthy; so they hammer back a bottle of it a day.

I have a close friend whose brother is BP and smokes heavily when he's in a down cycle. It has caused a lot of problems; he doesn't stay on his medications during this time and has been shipped up to the state mental institution twice. The state mental institution is for those with serious mental illness that cannot control themselves; it's a very rough place to end up. When dealing with MI, you do what your shrink tells you to do, you go to therapy, you live healthier life-style and take responsibility.

Many people in this country self-medicate with alcohol (not so much marijuana) and it's acceptable to do so in our society. Smoking weed isn't as acceptable in this country as people over-seas think; it's still very taboo. Even in places where it has been legalized, it isn't prevalent. And, it's going to become less so when people get their green card and basically have to go into a 'pot-pharmacy' to get their script. No more of this buying weed from a legalized dope dealer.

When I was in high school, I did a lot of illicit drugs; mainly to try and cope with my MI, and in some ways, to experiment. I found out very quickly that it was a bad path to go down; it made everything worse. Even when I did feel better when smoking weed, I started to look forward to being sober because I good actually think straight.
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607502_tn?1288251140
Alcohol is a major problem in Australia - this is a country with a tradition of being big beer drinkers and the sheer volume of advertising for alcohol has led to levels of binge drinking beyond pretty much every western country - beer consumption per capita is around 112litres per person which consistently sees us in the top 4 globall behind Ireland, germany and the czech republic - On a population of only 22million.

Drinking is a major issue, self medication with alchohol is dangerous for a lot of people but it doesnt come close to marijuana as a problem - beer gets you drunk but its not a psycho active drug.

We have a serious drinking culture here but in younger age groups (15-25) marijuana is now a drug of choice and they believe the likes of High Times and the "its completely safe" crowd.  not coincidentally there has been a spike in mental illnesses in the exact same group.

Marijuana is being pushed by many many advocacy groups as a solution to all sorts of problems, ive never see anyone who is BP have a good run on weed but they keep doing it.

I did illicit drugs when I was much younger as well, most terrifyingly speed and LSD which could have really messed me up, these days due to the drugs 1 glass of beer is my limit for anything self inflicted.
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1134609_tn?1269275800
I have way more of a problem with alcohol than weed, it least from a societal perspective. You are correct, weed is a psychoactive drug, but so is alcohol; people tend to forget that. In the U.S. the rats of crime related to alcohol is astounding; particularly violent crime and traffic issues.

IMO, I feel that both are just as damaging to a population; but people that abuse alcohol tend to be far more violent and erratic, at least from what has been studied in the U.S. A heavy pot smoker will have his fair-share of issues, but violence hasn't been one of them in the U.S. There are serious mental health consequences that go along with taking in cannabis, but your average pot-head is far more likely to be apathetic than violent.

I have been able to view both populations; I lived in a fraternity for five years.Considerd it a mini case study of heavy substances abusers, if you will.

There was a gradual switch from alcohol abuse to smoking weed over the space of those years. We had far more problems with people getting out of control and violent with alcohol. With weed, we had about a dozen heavy smokers and they were just basically worthless. However, both population dealt with the damaging effects of both substances; particularly the depression caused by smoking weed. But, I had several friends that had terrible drinking issues and should've been in a treatment center for alcohol abuse. Several of them developed tremors when they tried to quit drinking; it wasn't pretty.  At least with the pot-heads, they were just too useless on a day to day basis to become a liability to anyone but themselves.  

I disagree strongly with self-medication, no matter what you're using. And honestly, the push to legalize weed is at a stand-still; the docs in this country aren't willing to prescribe it for much. They will dish it out for those that have a history of chronic pain as the alternative is generally opiates. And, by all means, opiates are one of the most dangerous substances out there. Pot is only addictive on a psychological level, not on a physical one; opiates are extremely, additive, on both fronts, as is alcohol. And, there are a multitude of studies that show that weed isn't addictive physically.

The only way weed is going to legalized on a broad scope is if it is well regulated. And, there are states that are learning their lesson the hard way; Cheech 'n Chong 'pharmacists', dealing weed out of head-shops.
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1134609_tn?1269275800
On a second note; even if weed does become completely legal, it's going to be a fad. People are going to buy into it in a hurry and realize that it's side effects far outweigh the benefits. Even on a recreational level, people in this country will grow weary of it. Far too many people become lumps on a couch when smoking it. American recreational culture isn't about 'chilling' out, it's about being able to 'chill out' and still hit the bars and night clubs hard. Most folks simply won't be able to do that with weed and they'll also find that mixing weed and alcohol isn't fun.

Unfortunately, this country has far worse drug issues to deal with other than weed. Meth is running like wildfire all over the country and has triggered a comeback of cocaine. I live in a state where meth was considered the epicenter of the producing and selling of the drug; I have seen first hand what it'll do to people.
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1192491_tn?1265035429
You know that is debatable, after prohibition, how many years ago and how many people suffer from alcholism (alcoholism), dwi, family issues and work issues due to alcohol.  Some people may run to the nearest pot store for the novelty for awhile but I think is here to stay with or without good side effects or legality.  Hey, how many people have a beer after work to chill out?
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707563_tn?1395081210
Hi there -

This is a fascinating topic and you all are very well-spoken, but it's gone off-course from the original question, which was how/why he reacted that way to smoking marijuana.  

If you'd like to debate the use and/or legalization of medical marijuana (or recreational use), please visit our Medical Ethics forum - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Medical-Ethics-/show/684

Thanks,
Emily
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