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Question
Posted by: tulu | 2005/07/05

smoking dagga

My son, aged 21 has been smoking dagga on and off for about 3 years. I have had a heart to heart talk with him and him and his friends don't seem to find a problem with it. They only do it occasionally for recreational use instead of having a few beers they will rather smoke. After a long discussion he has agreed to go and chat to a professional about it but says that the professional will have to convince him that it is a bad thing. He says that it not like alcohol and because it is only occasionally finds nothing wrong with what he is doing. I know that he is not hooked on it but it is still worrying.
I am not sure who he should chat to first. I don't think it is a good idea to chat to our GP because the first person he speaks to should be convincing.
He is doing well at varsity and has been a good kid without any problems to his dad and myself.
Also would like to know whether or not he can be depressed or is he just going through a phase?
Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like he wants to be reasonabl and rational about this, tulu. If they use dagga only occasionally, and IN PLACE OF , rather than as well as, a few beers, it might not produce significant problems, as alcohol very well can. But users usually minimize or ignore the increasing scientific evidence that it DOES do harm, when smoked in strength, and frequently, over years. Firstly, like cigarettes, it's bad for the lungs.
Also, though it's not practical to identify vulnerable people in advance of it's use, it is now really clear that in some vulnerable people it make precipitate a serious psychotic illness, which might not be easy to treat. Keli's cousin could very well have had this sad result, even with using nothing but daga.
And with long-term heavy use, it reduces ones initiative and clarity of thought. There are incredibly few examples of anyone under the influence of dagga or any other drug, actually producing anything of lasting value, though one of the well-known efects of the drug is that you may feel deeply impressed at the brilliance of the ideas you have while under it's influence, they generally look pathetic to any straight / sober person listening to them --- in other words, it makes us feel more impressed with ourselves, rather as alcohol sometimes can.
One does not get physically hooked on marijuana in the way one gets hooked on heroin and other opiates, for instance ; though some, especially solitary folks, may become psychologically dependent, and use it to excess. As several readers have said, excess is harmful, of almost everything.
If he is still doing well in his studies and personal life, he probably doesn't need to see anyone about his smoking. If he might be getting depressed, maybe that would be more worth discussing with a shrink ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lola | 2005/07/05

Wasn't there a study done on the link between smoking weed and mental illness? I think ( and I def stand to be corrected) it causes schizophrenia. It damages the links in your brain. Its definitly not a great idea.

Reply to Lola
Posted by: tulu | 2005/07/05

Thanks to all of you, I get your point. That is why I put the question out there. For a mom it is a difficult one.
I agree that if I make a deal of it he might just be more likely to carry on but the long term use and also it is illegal and what if he is caught, then what?

Reply to tulu
Posted by: Luce | 2005/07/05

Aren't most things we do in life bad for you. Keli, prob your cousin didn't only smoke weed but used other things aswell, and u can't compare having a glass beer/wine to weed, they have different effects, long term use of alcohol is dangerous to ur liver. Smoking weed isn't good for a person and it is only natural for you to worry about your son, as any parent will do over their kids. I smoke occasionaly meaning once a year or so. Sending your grown up child to see a shrink is ridiculous, the more you complain the more you are causing him to rebel, meaning will him smoke more, just because you said he shouldn't.

Reply to Luce
Posted by: Also smoking Dagga | 2005/07/05

Keli, don't u think after 11 years of smoking we would have seen the same results in my fiance as in your cousin if dagga was the problem? Are u sure that he was never using anything else? and also, are u sure that there was never any other problems with him mentally that u guys just didnt know about? My fiance is also not addicted to it. He sometimes just doesn't smoke for like months before he smokes again - no funny cravings or anything like that. I can also tell u about a lot of people i know who r much more messed up than u can imagine because of alcohol...
I think anything, if abused, causes harm.

Reply to Also smoking Dagga
Posted by: Keli | 2005/07/05

I am sorry but dont agree with you guys. What about the long term effects of smoking dagga. Number one it is so addictive and two, its somehow mentally damages people and creates a certain degree of dependency. I have a cousin who was brilliant... very brilliant. He started using dagga... for relaxation, became addicted and now he is in and out of mental institutions. He speaks things like he is from another planet, basically he is just messed up. I dont think one can compare a glass of beer/wine with dagga.

Reply to Keli
Posted by: Paul | 2005/07/05

Guess its a personal choice, like sigarettes and booze, and done in moderation and by informed decision, let him be.

Reply to Paul
Posted by: Also smoking Dagga | 2005/07/05

My fiance also smokes dagga. He started when he was about 16 - he has been doing it for 11 years now. He doesn't drink at all and also only smokes for relaxation instead of using alcohol. He is extremely intelligent and has a wonderful job and brings home a very good salary. He is a family man and a great father. I don't really see the fuss about smoking dagga, in fact, when he is smoking he gets the most brilliant ideas and thoughts. He really is an amazing person... i don't really see why people has a problem with dagga at all.

Reply to Also smoking Dagga

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