Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Zoloft & Marijuana

Posted by Levi on August 9, 1998, at 1:08:32

In reply to Zoloft & Marijuana, posted by Joel on July 29, 1998, at 17:45:18

> I am a 27 year old male who is on 50mg of Zoloft per day. I also smoke
> >marijuana daily (once a day, small amounts). I am scared to ask my current
> >Dr. the effects this could have for insurance reasons. The only info I have found
> >said interaction was highly variable. Can anyone take a moment and elaborate
> >further on this? I have noticed no effect from the combination, and the
> >Zoloft seems to be working for the anxiety, or at least reduced it. Any
> >info would be greatly appreciated.
> >
> >A sincere thanks for your valuable time,
> >
> >Joel (North Carolina)

-----------------Joel, I went through the same thing. Smoked everyday, and was on an SSRI a Benzodiazepine(s) and even a neuroleptic. I'll tell you the truth about all this, inasmuch as my experience can be related. I don't know why you take Zoloft. I'm assuming for some affective (depressive condition, or OCD - maybe something else.) Perhaps there are other meds you take perhaps not. I'll deal with the question as I dealt with it. I was Highly addicted to pot. Every day. Years on end. I too took an SSRI, but we diverge because of other meds - but I can still relate what I have come to understand. I, too, was not just a "social" smoker. It was before I did something. And a treat afterwords. Always had a bag - wasn't "bumping" into pot, I was chasing it - basically, and I hate to sound pc - but I think it was, at least when I was closer to and then on meds, a form of self-medication - as you have already pondered extensivelly, I assume. In truth, there were benefits to smoking while on a med (The Docs won't like it, but I'll limit to an SSRI, for in the beginning that's pretty much what was happening.) Cocaine, which I have always thought of as "evil" (I won't mention my actions) is the perfect antidepressent - even Freud was caught up in it - but he had his head in a whole - PUN intended. Pot can turn a mediocre, average, boring "brain state" into a new insight, a new exitement, a relief, a "clearer" perspective - It goes on, as you well know. I stopped - after many, many years of everyday usage. I was not any other "heavy" user of anything else - but I always had a bowl and weed. After, say, a year of being off pot I got positive responses from people who knew me when I was smoking, who noticed the difference. I too notice a difference - now there is 2 questions - Do I give a damn if someone says I'm "better" now? Also, what about my internal state. On this I'd like to say that there are things that I cannot do, or understand in depth as I could on while I was smoking. Anybody who demands that pot dulls the brain and ceases creativity is either a moron who has no history of use, or some know-it-all who is an"ex" user and has to justify his life by fighting pot promotion,etc. I'm neutral. My case is, of course, different than yours. Feelings aside, if you are accomplishing something that is productive - which helps you or your family or friends - could be money, could just be charity - than tell the NA people to screw off. Tell them to screw off anyway - I had minimal contact and they are a cult, although I guess some people benefit from it - good if they can. On a different note, if you are "stuck" in a pot "rut" (you understand) and you look carefully and see that you are not doing what you want or think you should be doing, and then attribute this limitation to smoking, then I think you should take the issue as a benefits/disbenefits spectrum. When one has more associated disbenefits, then one can say that the smoking is habit, the person wants to stop (but really doesn't) - it has become rote. Taking Zoloft every day/night is also rote. But it's benefits are strong enough to warrant the usage. With the addition of pot, it could be working better - although this is not "scientifically" "proved" and no MD. is going to endorse it. The question is - how do YOU feel about the combination. Perhaps like me. I got benefits from both the med and the pot. But I got this constant "we can't really get a clear picture of 'what's going on' because smoking pot is interfering." From all sides!! My diagnosis could not be clear because symptoms of pot in many ways mimic symptoms of a "psychiatric" disorder. Perhaps they are contributing to the disorder, perhaps they are helping. The POINT is that you don't know (I'm speaking as if I am you) - and you can't come to any "valid" conclusions concerning disorder, addiction, medication, life circumstances when you don't know if the pot is good or bad. Tha's why I quit. Now Ican say I have this brain Disease...My Brain goes like this, etc. - and I have the relief of leaving pot Out of the picture - and that, to me is a comfortable thing. The pressure is gone - and its relief just a different relief from the effects of smoking. This is respectable relief - not that I live by what is or is not "respectable". But it does say something. Disorders and pot don't work - even though I still stand by my neutral position. It just makes the situation clearer and gets pressure off your shoulders.
I never thought I could quit. It took about 3-4 mos. before I started to "forget" that I smoked pot. From then on, It was easy, or at least not so difficult. BUT - there is one point that everybody makes and I, myself, must agree - don't be around people WHEN they are smoking. If they come to your house stoned, good for them. But don't look at it, or smell it, or be near a bowl, bong, or joint. This, I think, is a real Rule in order to succeed. If you chose to quit, you obviously have your own personal reasons. But it sucks in the begining, but you will notice the "laziness" of smokers - even though they may be creative, fun, productive hippie or yuppie whatevers. If you say "some day I'll quit - I'm not ready" don't quit!! Believe what you say. When you are ready you will quit. The best advice: just quit and get the damn thing over with. If you honestly feel that it is more of a negative than a positive - than take the giant, quite (initially) depressing leap, and hands off. But watch out for the cults like NA - a pot smoker doesn't usually need that crap. One more thing, perhaps there is a medication that will, so to speak, fill in the 'gap" if you quit. I know many people who quit and end up being prescribed legal addictive, controlled substances. You are supervised by your Doc, and its legal - and, most importantly, you may feel that one or another Med is just what you needed...




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