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May 21st by under Your Stories

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I am a former or recovering marijuana addict, I consider myself an addict as I had to smoke at least an eighth of really strong weed a day, Which here in the UK we call skunk. Not only that but it had to be strong skunk, the kind I believe that you guys in the USA would call the chronic. I mention this because I have read that weed called skunk in America isn’t the really strong stuff, but low grade commercial strength. Well here in the UK the term skunk means the indoor hydroponically grown, loads of massive THC crystals, strongest you can buy stuff.  

I went on like this for a few years, spending at least £600 a month on cannabis. So you could say I was a long term heavy user. I just couldn’t stop, the very idea of not smoking that much every day would send me into a panic. If I went too long without a spliff I would get a bit shaky and really desperate for a smoke.  

Anyway after a few years of chronic marijuana addiction, it really started to rot my brain. My memory and cognitive ability really started to become affected. It became like I was in a constant daze, everything was always cloudy. In fact I have since discovered the unofficial term of brain fog. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_fog Which best describes my symptoms. I knew cannabis was responsible for the decline in my mental state and mental health, it was starting to give me anxiety and depression as well, I knew it was damaging my brain, but I just could not stop. Things started to get really bad, so I did start to reduce the amount I smoked over a period of months. But the brain fog, depression and paranoia did not get any better, even when smoking a small amount my mental abilities were still really impaired, I was struggling really bad to think my thoughts in terms of words and language and couldn’t remember hardly anything. I felt like a living vegetable as if someone had removed 90% of my brain, trying to stumble about confused and in a constant cloud. I had to stop driving as I was no longer safe behind the wheel.  

Any way I carried on like this for a while smoking only a very small amount at the end of the day, but gradually getting worse. Until one night I went to bed and woke up a few hours later in a state of panic, I was used to feeling high levels of anxiety and paranoia but this was something I had never felt before. My whole body felt really wrong, as though I was in some sort of state of shock. It’s almost impossible to describe but I felt really messed up, I didn’t know where to put myself. It was light outside so all I could do was go outside and try and walk it off. I walked around for hours still in a state of acute anxiety. After a good few hours I got back to a state, that was close to what normality had become, which was still very mentally ill and messed up. That was the last time that I smoked weed. Finally it had got to the stage where I was physically unable to smoke marijuana, due to the effect it had on my body. It was far more unpleasant to smoke it, than to go through the withdrawal of not. 

Any way it’s been a few years now since I stopped, and I have recovered partially but not fully. I still feel like I am in a bit of a trance, I still feel like I am in a cloud of brain fog. My intelligence, memory and cognitive abilities are significantly poorer than before I started smoking cannabis. I still am no longer able to drive; I know I would not be safe on the road. I am in no doubt that skunk weed has caused me serious brain damage, from which I have never properly recovered. By the way it’s taken me ages to write this and if it weren’t for Microsoft’s word’s spelling and grammar check, I may as well have wrote it in Chinese. It’s also left me with serious mental health problems; the anxiety and depression are still pretty bad. It has made my ocd which I did have before smoking cannabis allot worse and I have also developed social phobia, I have often felt suicidal. 

All I can say to any one experiencing any minor mental impairment or mental health problems, as a result of smoking cannabis is to stop now, the more you smoke the worse it will get. Brain damage is a serious thing, you only get one brain, and they can’t be transplanted or easily fixed once their damaged. And that’s not to mention the damage it has done to my lungs, which is also permanent.  I used to think marijuana was the best thing in the world, I was so pro cannabis it was untrue, when I first started I thought it was harmless, now I know it’s one of the most harmful and dangerous, wolf in sheep’s clothing things, I have ever encountered as a young person, particularly as it’s so much stronger than it used to be. I have learnt the facts about marijuana the hard way. Richard

108 Responses to “I am a former or recovering marijuana addict”

  1. August 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Admiring the commitment you put into your website and detailed information you provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  2. Short story
    August 4, 2013 at 4:10 am

    Hello!

    I’m 25 and turning 26 soon. Smoked kush for a good year with a few months here an there off. It’s
    Really hard to explain individual experiences but there are two things I’ve learned from Marijuana;

    - It can fcuk you up.
    - It can change your life (for good)

    Before I found weed I was hopeless and lost. Weed gave me a purpose in life. It showed me my true potential. I was obese but now I’d rather die than miss my workouts. I’m in shape, have a stable business, love my family and generally a very spiritually positive person.

    HOWEVER; With use comes abuse. My rule was never to smoke
    When the sun was out, only at night. It helped but when you’re rolling
    Big fat ones every night, for months, you need to stop. Keyword is
    Moderation as many others have stated. Find your inner-being and always remain in control. I went
    full on schizo cuz of weed but i fixed myself and
    Turned it around. Its called willpower; use it!

    Weed will make you the smartest, most productive person on the planet but ONLY if you WANT to be that person. Don’t be a bum, find some self-respect and dignity and tolerance. You’d be fine!

  3. Tim
    August 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I’ve read a few of these posts and one thing I’ve noticed is the dramatic polarization of opinions and how some peoples problems and stories become the platform for other peoples opinions and rationalizations. Most of you have chosen a corner to fight out of based on your own experience, got defensive immediately, and then filled in your reasoning with “factoids” and countermeasures for some self assurance to support your predetermined ideas.

    As for my opinion, well, my opinion is that all of your opinions appear to be directly related to the quantity of Marijuana you intake.

    If you’re a young person concerned about Marijuana effecting your brain, remember that it’s never too late for change. Trust how you feel, and don’t let other people think for you, including me. (Paradoxical, yes, but you get it)

  4. Jaz
    August 5, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I don’t know if you will ever read this, Richard, or if this story is real but if it is you should strongly consider seeking medical attention, your experience is not normal.

  5. T Miller
    August 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    When I first saw this I knew there would be so many people saying pot’s not addictive. I grew up in an environment that was very open about drug use/abuse. I’ve heard both sides of the argument and I know people who showed no signs of addiction at all to any drug including pot and I’ve also known people who after dropping their tray knelt down with tweezers and a magnifying glass to pick that herb out of carpet fibers; if that’s not addiction… lol So, the addictive nature of a person as well as the core belief system is probably a contributing factor in how they respond to drugs. In other words, if they were a certain way before drugs, they will be that way even moreso with drugs. And the way they are, may make them more likely to use. Sadly, the fact that people are not willing to quit even for those they say they love, whether addicted or not, shows a lack of self-control, regardless of the damage it causes their brains. Perhaps it is that same lack of self-control or self-discipline that makes the majority of them seem like slackers. So, imho, seems justifiable if a person is taking as food or tabs medicinally but from a health aspect, smoking pot is irresponsible.

  6. August 6, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    i am sorry for all those of you supporting pot smoking.i smoked for barely a year,i was 18 by then.today after 3 years i still have a cloudy mind and forget easily,i stay away from people i have a horrible lifestyle all these though i consecrated much time for detox ,exircise lots of water drinking diet etc.how i wished i never touched it.one thing ,you may not actually feel all these things when smoking but just when you quit and the earlier the better for you

    • Grantley
      January 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Are you sure marijuana is the cause of this? I don’t think it should be clouding your mind years after you’ve stopped. It’s possible there’s another factor involved.

      • Frost
        August 21, 2014 at 9:52 am

        To the people who think his experience is not normal or caused by something else, my wife was a heavy user as a teenager and years after quitting, experiences the same symptoms he described here.
        There were no other substances involved in her weed, neither laced or cut, mostly organically grown.

        It happens to quite a few heavy long term users, as I’ve seen myself (am a non smoker a weed seems to have absolutely no affect on me, subject to medical testing even) in quite a few friends and family members.

        It’s important that weed is smoked in moderation and ONLY after teenage years to avoid heavy long term damage to a still developing brain.
        It is also important to note that it will exacerbate existing mental illnesses if present in the individual prior to the habit. My wife being the prime example.

  7. Ben
    August 8, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Hey thanks for writing this story. It might not help everyone to read what you put but it’s helped me! Going on 7 months without smoking, time is flying by and I’m still dealing with the effects of my habit! I know how you’re feeling and I can’t believe I used to kid myself that cannabis wasn’t making a difference to my mental health! I am so glad to hear of someone going through something similar so I can start to put this behind me. I am so happy some people manage to smoke cannabis and not feel the way I felt by the end of my year long binge because I wouldn’t want ANYONE to feel the way I felt. I have no idea if it is something to do with me that makes my brain react so strangely when I used to smoke but again knowing I’m not the only one who experienced this and is dealing with the consequences!

    I’m not sure if it’s a preexisting mental condition, a genetic variant, the stuff I was smoking, or some environmental factor that made me so susceptible to the negative effects of smoking weed but it happened and there is no doubt about that. Now I’ve stopped my life resembles something close to normalcy and I’m glad! I can’t say my personality hasn’t taken a bit of a bashing and I’m not a different person because of it but I’ve settled down and I don’t feel like I’m living the life of someone quickly descending into schizophrenia!
    I won’t be choosing to smoke weed any time soon because I can’t and be ok. If I smoked a joint now I would be back in that same place for a day, and be shaken up for a week. So that’s a bit of my story. I hope it helps broaden someone’s knowledge, helps them make a decision, or makes them feel like they’re not alone if they’re dealing with some of the problems of smoking a lot of hemp!

  8. September 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    There is a lot of stormy debate regarding marijuana, and whether or not it should be legalized in different countries and states. Regardless of what pro-marijuana groups may say, there are some facts that can never be ignored.

  9. Polargrow
    September 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Most heavy cannabis smokers have some kind of underlying condition they are trying to selfmedicate, even if they are not aware of it. I am 35 years old, been smoking more or less daily for 14 years, but never more than 0,5-1 g hashish or 1g a day. I have had the same panic attack feeling when I was trying to finish my master degree paper, and smoking became unbearable. I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 33, and for me weed is my “afternoon” medication when my concerta is out of the system.
    I cant imagine a life without this sacred plant, but it can be abused. Moderation, tolerance breaks(even if the first 2 days are hellish), excercise, balanced nutrition intake and enough sleep. All those factors are just as important. If you feel depressed and smoke 4 grams a day or drinking a case of beer for that matter, you will feel ten times worse. You are sedating yourself, refusing to fade yourself.

  10. Danny
    March 6, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Hi Richard,

    My brother is having the same problems you had, only he also has angry outbursts that almost escalate to physical violence. He never used to be like this before he started smoking pot everyday. I know this is not what people consider the “normal” pot reaction, but this is what has happened to him. If you would have told me 5 years ago he would be acting like he is now, I never, ever, would have believed you.

    I’ve tried talking to him calmly, using all the communication tips that therapists say to use. Nothing’s worked. I had to cut off all interaction with him 6 months ago as he was hurting me too much emotionally (also, he tried to push me out of his car while he was driving us on the freeway).

    Richard, what would have helped you when you were smoking? What should I do?

    Thank you.
    Danny

  11. March 15, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Thank you for writing this story Richard, I’m starting on day one today of giving up and it does help reading your accounts. I’m a little bit scared my brain will never get back to normal, but I’m more rested now in the assurance I wont make it any worse keeping smoking.

  12. March 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    well well well!!!

    I couldn’t agree more with you Richard.
    I live in Saudi where Hashish is the dangerous thing to have specially outside. Kingdom impose strongest of penalties to both users and dealers over here which could cripple ones life in imprisonment for at least 5 years.

    I lived in UK for two years and i also smoked Skunk, lemon skunk etc etc, and there where i developed extreme signs of depression.

    Hashish is the less dangerous one than skunk but let me tell you; its is not better either.

    I also have heavy dependence on HASH and without it i cannot imagine how i will survive a night …. I am so much addicted to this stuff…

    Now there is a problem… My brain says Smoke and my lungs say Enough but the addiction is so strong that i still smoke despite cough…

    I am also very much stressed due to this situation and i dont know what i can do to get rid of this addiction. However, WEED/SKUNK/HASH all are the worst softcore drugs on planet earth.

    Before i was following the campaign to legalize marijuana in Canada online, but now i felt WEED Is more dangerous than alcohol and there is no denying in that.

    Alcohol can damage your liver but it takes a lot of time. however; weed can damage your brain in as little as 10 years of strong use.

    Despite all these situations; i am very hopeful that i will recover from this and will lead a normal life like every other person.

    I was feeling sad because of the decision i made when i was 19 but and thought to share my experience in the blog as well…

    Right now i m limiting my intake to see some good results in the upcoming future.

    All the best Guys…
    Umar

    • Jimbob
      July 29, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      “Alcohol can damage your liver but it takes a lot of time. however; weed can damage your brain in as little as 10 years of strong use.”

      I’m sorry but is this a joke? Or is this supposed to be a reasonable comparison that proves a point? It’s been proved that even one heavy binge night of drinking cab permanently damage your health.

      10 years of heavy ‘anything’ is potentially going to be bad for your health.

      There is far too much anecdotal evidence and “bro-science” going on in these comments. I think I’ll stick to medical studies…

  13. Irene
    May 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    my son has been on cannabis since he was 12. he is nearly 15. for 2 and half years i have been trying to get him help; to no avail. he is at the moment in an assessment residence care section 20 (voluntary care) he has been there for 9 weeks and there is no improvement. he wakes up violent smashes the care home up and goes out to get his fix. he has been seen by lifeline doctors psychiatrists psychologists all to no avail… its got to the point where he refuses help. (think maybe because all the help i have got him has not worked so he has given up) he admits he is an addict.. he is abuse towards me very abusive! some of the things he says is very hurtful.. but sometimes and i mean sometimes when he got his fix he tells me he loves me.. the care home are talking about a residence placement with on site education in a rural area where he can not get any where to get his fix. he also self harms sometimes and hates his life so much and i as a parent am trying to get him the help he needs.. if he goes to this rural residence will it have a more adverse affect on him? if he is suddenly taken away from cannabis his ‘SO’ called friends and his family? thanks.

    • Hash
      August 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      The best advise I can give you is go on holiday to a hot country at least for a month. Get him to do sport activities where he will get exhausted and sweat out all the toxins. He will be back to normal after a month I have been through the same problems as you mentioned about your son. and I needed a bit of soul searching and may be your son needs that

  14. Cat
    June 29, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I was a chronic cannabis abuser for a lot of years, especially over the last 20. I finally quit and know I will never go back. I finally had some of the same total anxiety psychotic experiences on very little weed after a while. I lived in Colorado. Most of my friends who are also my age who are addicts are completely stuck emotionally and are having health problems. Their personality disorders are obvious to me by now having quit for over six months. This is not the first time I have quit, but I know I can’t go back to it. Been there done that. Time to face real life. My brain is still having. I have many of the same conditions you have. One of my old friends is now a paranoid schizophrenic from sitting around smoking weed all day and gets violent and is on court ordered medication. It is very sad what happened to him and yet the addiction apologists go around disputing any harm. THC has a strange way of masking and alleviating the damage that abuse of it actually causes. Once you quit, the damage becomes apparent and takes a long time to heal for as much as it can be healed. However, I am much happier and far more able to able to handle my severe depressions. I don’t obsess hardly at all about things people say or get as defensive, reactive, etc. I have learned emotional and mental control. I am taking far better care of myself now and look a lot brighter and more present in my energy. Others have noticed a positive change in me, even my addict friends who don’t want to hear that it had anything to do with me quitting cannabis. Good for you! P.S. I am taking supplements and experimenting with nootropics to help the brain healing and having some success. I practice yoga and meditate too.

  15. milton nur
    August 11, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Last two years i never pass a day without smoking weed. Last few months I realized it just kill my valuable time and my brain cell as well. I know it’s the poison which damage my capability day by day. I’m trying hard for recovering but seems it’s too difficult………

  16. Can relate
    August 14, 2014 at 10:11 am

    The story you have is very similar to my experience with weed. I have been a heavy weed smoker for 10 years (im 25) strong and when i say strong I mean waking up to a fat joint along with at least 5 more along with various types of concentrates throughout the day then ending with one more, I live in cali so the weed is very strong. Ive been selling and growing it the whole ten years as well, so having it was never a problem. The only thing that ever stopped me was juvenile hall, jail, then prison. As soon as I got out it was straight back to my routine, mainly because it was my source of money and its hard not to smoke when having to reach into a few lbs everyday. I’ve had a year stretch with molly (mdma) but thank God I won that battle. A few years prior too, I fought crystel meth off, the addidtion lasted about 6 months. I got shocked into quitting both which are differnt stories. But through the whole time mary jane has always been my lifelong friend.
    The foggyness, anxiety, paranoria, and mainly depression and social phobias, are all the symptoms I am going through. I used to just not care about what it was doing to me I had a crazy plan to counter it which in short was make as much money as I can so I can just buy expensive things to make me happy.
    About 8 months ago something happend to me that made me never want to touch weed ever again. There was this girl I really liked but oddly I didnt want her just to have sex with I wanted a girl to love. Everytime I was around her I could hardly say a word because i didnt want to play the same game i usually play with them which was basiclly in short I got the drugs u need, im ballen bitch, recognize. She is a party girl so that usually works plus it fit my lifestyle anyway. I developed a very negative personality from being in prison and living a fucked up lifestyle, my social skills to have a girl that actually liked me for I who I am was hardly there. This shocked me into quiting, and dont get me wrong I am very good looking girls aren’t a problem for me, but I now I want a girl that likes for whats on the inside and not the out. Its been hard to change becuase now its like I cant connect with anybody the way I want too now even guys, the guys never bothered me though as long as they were bringing me money I didnt care. But man… the ladies are differnt, and that made me want to change mainly from a social standpoint, I had the wrong type of respect from the wrong type of people.
    Since quitting both smoking and selling I have realized that im very depressed about the way I have lived my life, I dont want to be a bad person and realizing that I had become one also shocked me to change my life around. Its been getting alot better though so thats a plus.
    Its funny, as im writing this it is actually allowing me dig deep inside me to realize what I really want in life and some of the depression is starting to fade because I see the path i need to take.
    If u ask me, depression might have alot to do with what your going through. I’ve been going to church, reading the bible, doing positive activities such as bowling, golfing, weight lifting, getting back into BMX. Meditating on loving myself, God, and others has all been helping me out a lot. Try some of these out if you want too. A couple nights ago I was meditating and asking God to heal me, after about 20 minutes of doing so I went from feeling hopeless and depressed to having a feeling of wholeness inside me. It was like I was one with myself and everything around me is the best way to describe it.
    I hope things get better for you, dont give up hope and keep moving foward. Another thing that has helped me is just letting go of all the bad things you are thinking about, try not to worry about your shortcomings.
    I can probably talk about this all night so il stop now. Good luck and keep your head up.

  17. DJ
    October 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Regular user for about 20 years, heavy user for the last 5-10.

    Have quit for the last 45 days.

    Brainfog seems to be getting worse, not better.

    Wondering how long it will take to return to normal, if that is possible.

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