Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

If you could choose pot instead of pills for your loved one, would you?


#1

Here I am up again worrying about my son! Looking out my windows and checking on his house! It’s almost 2am! But I can’t get this question out of my head and was wondering your thoughts on this. Pot is my sons drug of choice. He chooses it over any other kind of drug. And when he is on it, he is happy and laughing! Pcy says no that it makes it worse. He says it makes things better! And it does seem so! Any thoughts or idea?


#2

The question was supposed to be if you could “choose”!!! Sorry! I think I must still be asleep!:sleeping:


#3

I tried that last year and eventually my son became so delusional he didn’t even smoke pot. His Pdoc told us he has a lot of patients that say it helps them but is concerned because of the lacing with other chemicals and the fact it is illegal in our state.
I know they must be getting some relief from it but I personally think some times it makes them psychotic.


#4

I understand where you are coming from with this, and have had the same thoughts many times. The happy mood, the fake sense of being clear and focused. However, time and time again I see the backlash of smoking pot in my son. He is so addicted he will go to any lengths to get it, claiming it is not addictive. For instance, hitching hiking in the rain, in the dark with only enough money to buy weed, no food no money, a backpack with a lot of water and a few essentials. Wanting to work (with his dad), but missing the ride, or leaving after three hours. He worked only three hours this week.The rest of the time he was seeking the happiness he so called gets from weed. Some call it self medicating. I don’t know, I think it is a false illusion and breeds problem after problem. Don’t be fooled like I have been. I can relate to the late nights too. Optimism is good, but beware.


#5

Thank you for your honesty!! I know that’s not the answer! Sometimes I feel like I’m grasping at straws!! Trying to rationalize the fact that you can’t overdose on pot. Boy the lengths we go to huh?


#6

Fiancé used to do the same thing, trust me when I say it makes him worse. On MJ his coordination got worst, hallucinations increased, paranoia increased, his spirit would “jump” out of his body, and he would go days without talking to anyone, plus increased rage. He even admits to being stupid for doing so many drugs nowadays.


#7

One problem is that if you’re not in a legal state, you don’t know what you’re getting - even if it’s not laced with anything. To be honest, I don’t think a lot of pot is laced in the US these days. In Europe, there have been cases where they sprayed it with glass to give it a nicer look & make it heavier. .

If you’re in an area where you have a choice, and you can rely on the information you’re given, the newer stuff with high CBD levels and very low THC might be OK. It’s the THC that causes the problems.

I’ve seen my own son get worse very quickly after smoking - I don’t recommend it, even though I wish it worked.


#8

I think the evidence is pretty clear - while the user may think it is helpful, pot use is not recommended for people diagnosed with schizophrenia.


#9

Thanks again everyone for bringing me back down to reality! I know that’s not the answer! I think I was being selfish in my thoughts bc I’m so afraid he will overdose one day on his Xanax and Percocet! I pray that will never be the case!


#10

He’s probably got such a high tolerance that he won’t overdose as long as he doesn’t add alcohol to the mix.

No kidding - my son took a full month’s worth of klonopin (60 mg pills) in under 2 days when he first got the prescription and promised me he’d be responsible if I gave him the whole bottle. I don’t know what kind of internal damage it did, but he didn’t even have to sleep it off - he was a little wobbly on his feet and that was it.

I’ve heard that people who abuse drugs run into the biggest problems when they’ve been clean for awhile, then decide to use their drug of choice “just one more time” - their tolerance is lower, but they try to use the same dose as before they quit.

All that said, I’ve worried so much about my son at times that I’d walk into his room to make sure he was just asleep/passed out and not dead. Or, I’d stand at the doorway until I could either hear or see him breathe.

Funny thing is that he is more psychotic now that he’s not abusing any drugs than he was when he would push his suboxone and benzos to the very limit.


#11

@Vallpen I am with you on that, all of the studies say it is not for schizophrenics and if someone is asymptomatic but has the gene for sz the chemicals in pot can actually activate dormant sz genes…people in legalized states and everywhere should be aware of this in regards to their children especially. I found this article on it:


#12

Sheyelo,

Pot is my son’s drug of choice too and I’ve had your same rationalizing thoughts for a few years. It’s such a dangerous position for us to take and sadly, we had to learn the hard way. After we hit a crisis, and our son was in jail for trying to kill us when we cut off the money, I read more books on addiction. The high will never be like their initial high so they’ll need more quanity = more money = desperation.

It’s an addiction so if we’re not enabling it, that’s what we can control. We live with a very angry son, however. He was just screaming in the basement a few minutes ago. Which throws me into a feeling of desperation. Our current approach of not requiring anything of him and him being bored is not working. We need to require that he goes to support groups to live here. God please give me strength to hold him accountable to this. I pray for your son and mine Sheyelo. You are not alone and this is a good forum to get the support. Addiction leads to jail. Jail, when you’re mentally ill, is the worse hell.


#13

My son just recently was smoking pot as he does occasionally. This time because he has a girlfriend that does. Now as far as the girlfriend is concerned I don’t have a problem with it because she has seizure disorder and it does help. My son on the other hand no way. I had to have a talk with both of them about there already being a chemical imbalance in his brain and pot would just make it worse. Luckily for me they both listened and she won’t allow it and he will not smoke it now. Of course I go through this with him at least once a year. I guess it could be worse but I have come to accept the ups and downs of sz. I just deal with whatever is going on and try not to be combative in my approach.


#14

I’m sorry that you have to go through this. Is there anyway he can get some physical exercise? That is what I like about the therapeutic farms. Look at Gould farm for example. They have been around a long time and are a good model. Our son does much better when he works outside for instance. There is no way we can give him that much structure but every bit helps. Also, now that he is stable, we’ve been having more guests over and hearing another person beside their parents is always good. I wish you all recovery.


#15

I read somewhere that Benzodiazepines help the antipsychotics work better. This might explain the difference in his behavior now versus then. Also, the agitation is another symptom. Going off his meds have got to be taking a toll on him as well. Does he tell you how he feels. I think the Sarcasine is helping our son.

Hang in there. I know it is hard not to get mad and hurt. At least it sounds like you got through to him on not accepting the behavior. I never know when I get through. I haven’t tried the leaving mostly for fear of what he could do to the house but if it deescalates things, it has to help.


#16

The leaving is for lots of reasons.

I need to disengage before I lose it, and I have a hot temper. It’s rarely been directed at him, but I can see myself getting close to it.

It also gives him time to calm down and think about what he’s done.

And, finally, we’re in a bit of a power struggle lately. It lets him know I have options.

In fact, I have a list of options –
I can go out in the garage & work.
I can go to the library or office & work.
I can go out to the country where we own some property and hang out - my husband stays there most of the time in a camper we have. Hopefully, in a couple years, we’ll be in a position to put a double wide or something on it, and it’ll be a little more realistic for me to stay there if things got to that point.

However, if I’m gone for a few hours, he usually calms down and calls me to work things out.

He’s kind of got this borderline thing going on, although I don’t think he’s got BPD. He wants to be independent so he pushes me away - but then if I’m not around, his anxiety kicks in and he starts to worry that something terrible has happened to me.

Plus, I can’t stay away forever - I’ve got dogs and cats to take care of too. He’s pretty good with them, but it wouldn’t be unusual for him to forget to feed them or let the dogs out to go to the bathroom.

As far as what happens to the house, what happens is what happens as long as he doesn’t burn it to the ground. I’m past the point of thinking I’ll ever have anything nice living with two men and a live-in zoo.

I’ve told my husband that in my next house, I’m going to have a little section where no one else is allowed to enter - maybe the cats, but that’s it, and if they make a mess, they’ll get locked out too.


#17

Personally, I’m glad he isn’t prescribed the Benzos any longer. I hated always being asked for more each day. There is no way I could give him the bottle. I do feel protective to that extent. Take care of yourself too.


#18

Been there, done that.

Plus, if he gets into this new program, they’ve already told me that the doctor there doesn’t like to prescribe benzos to people with past drug abuse problems even if they have major anxiety problems.

To me, benzos were like alcohol in pill form anyway. He’s not asking for any of them, but he will have a beer now and then.

I know that’s not the best thing for him, but just 2 months ago, he was having that plus 24 mg of suboxone and 5 or 6 of his benzos a day. That’s a major improvement as far as addiction goes.

He has, however, started saying he wants to see a doctor to get a prescription for hydrocodone. I don’t know how he thinks that’s going to work, because most doctors don’t want to prescribe those for anything anymore, and I don’t really blame them.


#19

Interesting - I’ve not heard of them. Do you have experience directly with them?:

http://www.gouldfarm.org/


#20

Generally benzodiazepines are not recommended for people with schizophrenia - they are very addictive and are not generally recommended longer term.

Here is more from the Medical web site Medscape, but just do a search on benzodiazapine and schizophrenia and you’ll see more:

Benzodiazepine Use in Schizophrenia a High-Risk Practice

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/856312

High cumulative exposure to benzodiazepines is common in patients with schizophrenia and is associated with a significantly increased risk for premature death, according to new data from Sweden.

Treatment guidelines recommend that benzodiazepines not be used for longer than 1 month. “Therefore, it is alarming that one-third of the population of patients with psychosis in Sweden had used on average more than 0.5 defined daily dose per day of benzodiazepines, which is equal to more than 5 mg of diazepam or 25 mg of oxazepam every day during the 5-year follow-up,” Jari Tiihonen, MD, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and colleagues note.

“As common as long-term benzodiazepine use was in our study population, the literature indicates that it is probably more common among patients with schizophrenia in other developed countries, such as the United States,” they add.

“When starting benzodiazepine treatment, it would be wise to try to limit the duration up to 1 month and to use antidepressants for long-term treatment of anxiety symptoms,” Dr Tiihonen told Medscape Medical News.

Here is the search you can just click on if you want:

https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&espv=2&q=benzodiazepine+schizophrenia&oq=benzodiazepine+schizophrenia&gs_l=serp.3..0j0i22i30k1.1292.4618.0.4761.14.13.0.0.0.0.155.1526.4j9.13.0…0…1c.1.64.serp…1.13.1520…0i67k1.5ZiPgEuiPxk