withdrawal symptoms from marijuana?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by recovering doormat, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    difficult child 2 is in residential for treatment of substance abuse and anxiety/ODD. Right up until the night before he left, I'm pretty sure he was smoking at least once a day, probably more. The second night at the facility, they had to wake him to receive my phone call, because he had such an horrendous headache that the only relief was sleep. He has complained of having no appetite, not being able to fall asleep, and feeling depressed and despondent.

    Wondering, how much, if any, of this malaise is due to the sudden shutoff of THC to his brain, or is it just a spoiled, homesick, heartbroken kid who just wants to go home?
  2. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    It is real symptoms. I have a brother who went off drugs after 20 year without a program. He complained a lot of those symptoms, but he wanted his life back so he stood up to them and are now clean for almost a year now.

    The reason for using drugs in the first place was permanent pain from a work related accident and it is now back but as he stated: He has been through so much, so it must hurt.

    Just support him and encourage him to stay strong.

    Visit him if possible. The depression symptoms are "just" mood depression unless he was depressed before starting on drugs. They can be fixed without medication if you see to that he are involved in a lot of sports once released from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He needs such an activity for two reasons. First exercise can help with less serious cases of depression. Second: Spare time means time for the brain to think about drugs again.
  3. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I have a friend who was a huge pot smoker. She smoked daily, sometimes more than once, for years. She quit and had very similar withdrawal symptoms. She had a headache and had trouble falling asleep. Her body could not relax without the pot as she was so used to being high every night. It took her a while to be able to fall asleep without it. The headaches went away pretty quickly.

    He probably is also homesick and sad. He'll be okay. He is where he needs to be. He is getting the help he needs.

    Hang in there mom. :)
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I did have a friend who smoked pot every day for years. When he had to quit he said the hardest part was the psychological habit. He did not go into rehab, but did it out of rehab and said it was quite hard and that anyone who says pot isn't addictive in some way is lying. I don't smoke it and never did so don't know first hand, but this is what he told me. Good luck!
  5. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Thank you, I thought perhaps he was undergoing withdrawal symptoms.

    He misses me terribly so I am going to visit him again this weekend. He turns 16 on Wednesday but the facility was not able to accomodate me on that particular day (they did try to be helpful, and they will have a cake for him on the 14th, visitors are not permitted to bring in outside food or drink to patients) so we'll mark it on Saturday.

    When I start to feel sorry for him about being homesick and forlorn, I have to snap myself out of it. I spent the past six months praying for some facility to take him off our hands because we could not give him the structure and supervision he needs to turn his life around. He made a suicidal threat to me after our first family therapy session, conducted Tuesday afternoon via conference call with me, dad, son and therapist at the facility (I really like the therapist, he totally gets it), during which he attemtped to bargain his way back home, promising the moon. Son cried, dad cried, I was composed but in anguish. As soon as I got off the phone with him, I called the unit and told them that he had a thought about hanging himself with his belt, he was so homesicka and sad, and they immediately put him on suicide watch. He's sorry he made the threat because they took away his clockradio (cord) and iPod shuffle (cord) and his only entertainment were the books and magazines I brought him.

    I think he will start to settle in. They have a gym and an indoor pool, a game room. Last night he asked me to visit Saturday because Sunday at 1 p.m. the Philadephia Eagles are playing! He must be feeling better.
  6. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    There are generally 4 strategies for youth wanting to return home according to several parents manuals:

    Denial, Guilt trips, Anger, Negotiation

    He did try the guilt trip on you. He knows that you will sleep poorly tonight by using such a powerful statement.

    If you want to avoid the risk of him trying to run address the issue by going there and go all over the intervention again. It shows him that you care enough to visit him while you also stand firm on his placement.

    While his suffering and pain are real, he forgets why he got there and what the alternative given by the court could have been. He need to be reminded about that but he also need your physical presence and your comfort because it is the struggle of his life so far he is about to take on.

    Unfortunately it is a battle he has to win on his own. All you can do is to stand firm on descisions already taken.
  7. compassion

    compassion Member

    Hang in there Recovering Doormat. DETATCH!!!!! I know how easy it is to get manipuated by the self pity thing of difficult children. It is acutally growth that they are feeling, my difficult child daughter in early recovery is going through the same thing. It is important to let me let her feel her pain and not take it over and fix it. I try to put stuff back on her, over and over and over. It is not easy!!!!
    Keep the focus on me and be supportive and not an enabler!!! Compassion
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Withdrawal symptoms from pot are varied, but they are very real.

    I was a pothead for a long time, and I had trouble sleeping for a long time when I quit. My brother was a pothead for an even longer time, and when he quit, he called me in the middle of the night because he thought he was dying. Thankfully the symptoms did not last very long for either one of us, and I hope that is the case for your son.

    As was already stated, now is the time to learn some detachment. That of course does not mean you don't care about him, but it means that you are allowing him to fight his battles. Any enabling you do is counter-effective and will hurt him in the long run. Let him have natural consequences as often as you can. It is the only way he will learn.

    I do hope he settles in and can have a good experience there. Addiction can be a very cruel mistress.
  9. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    My difficult child had headaches, sleep problems, panic attacks, depression and malaise when he came off of pot (some stimulants too but the pot was the big thing - he was using multiple times daily). Definite withdrawal.

    I'm sorry your son has had a hard time but it sounds like he's starting to perk up (not wanting to miss the Eagles game is a good sign!). It's great that you've stayed strong and gotten past the first therapy sessions. You're doing a great job! All the best as your son continues in his program.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad your son is in the facility, and I know it must be terribly hard for you. You did very very well alerting them to his suicidal thoughts. I know it must have been heart-wrenching to have to do that.

    As for pot withdrawal, unless you are growing your own, it is very often mixed with other things. So he may be having withdrawal from the pot, and poss from some unidentified stuff that the pot was mixed with. So the withdrawal is real, and may be very different from person to person.