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Question
Posted by: Alicia | 2012/04/12

Marijuana

Hi there,

My brother uses marijuana, and ended up being arrested when he was matric 4 years ago for having it on him.
It was incredibly difficult for us as a family to deal with, especially my dad. we are from a small town in the country, and you will not believe it, but this also made front page of the local newspaper:"  Bekende sakeman se seun gearresteer vir dagga besit" .
I know that he is still using, and also failed his second year in Industrial design last year. the problem is, he is very shy, he has social anxiety, so I suspect using the drugs makes him feel more at ease with himself.
He is now staying with my sister and I for a while as he is working at one of my father''s shops. Last night we smelled the marijuana, and descovered that he was smoking it out of the window... in OUR flat.
He is 22 this year. what do we do? I honestly do not want kids anymore.
Furthermore, we have depression and anxiety in our family from both my mother and father''s side. My sister and I are on Cipralex, me for anxiety and my sister for depression. My parents decided to take him to a psychologist who also suggested that HE use Cipralex. So now he is mixing Marijuana and anti depressants. He is moving to another pshycologist who is more equipted in dealing with social anxiety, but only in May.
How do we handle this? Please help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dagga ( cannabis ) isn't good for the brain, though those who regularly use it insist it causes no problems, and the lawmakers and police greatly exaggerate its dangers to similarly justify their own actions. One problem with the law as it stands, especially when clumsily and selectively applied as in the case you describe, is that it can make the young used feel a rejected outsider, more likely to cling to the use of the drug to reduce those unpleasant feelings.
And then of course, as you also describe, people often self-medicate with cannabis or alcohol or similar chemicals, when they are suffering from a disorder that needs proper treatment, like social anxiety disorder or depression. Yes indeed, like alcohol, cannabis often makes such a person feel a bit more comfortable in company, a bit more confident, and thus a temptation to use.
The combination of Cipralex ( or any other antidepressant, which on their own may indeed help social anxiety, though adding Cognitive-behaviour Therapy / CBT is also strongly adviseable ) with cannabis is untested in research, but unlikely to be helpful. We do know that combining such antidepressants with alcohol reduces their benefits, and increases some side-effects.
At least he is prepared to accept the expert help, which is a good sign, even if he is so far choosing to continue using the one substance he presumably knows from experience gives him some help and relief.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/04/12

Dagga ( cannabis ) isn't good for the brain, though those who regularly use it insist it causes no problems, and the lawmakers and police greatly exaggerate its dangers to similarly justify their own actions. One problem with the law as it stands, especially when clumsily and selectively applied as in the case you describe, is that it can make the young used feel a rejected outsider, more likely to cling to the use of the drug to reduce those unpleasant feelings.
And then of course, as you also describe, people often self-medicate with cannabis or alcohol or similar chemicals, when they are suffering from a disorder that needs proper treatment, like social anxiety disorder or depression. Yes indeed, like alcohol, cannabis often makes such a person feel a bit more comfortable in company, a bit more confident, and thus a temptation to use.
The combination of Cipralex ( or any other antidepressant, which on their own may indeed help social anxiety, though adding Cognitive-behaviour Therapy / CBT is also strongly adviseable ) with cannabis is untested in research, but unlikely to be helpful. We do know that combining such antidepressants with alcohol reduces their benefits, and increases some side-effects.
At least he is prepared to accept the expert help, which is a good sign, even if he is so far choosing to continue using the one substance he presumably knows from experience gives him some help and relief.

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