Medication Addiction Is Not As Simple As It Seems, #TriggerWarning for the #MentalHealth Community

Disclaimer

Legal Note: You must be of legal age, or have a medical dispensation to use cannabis in your area. The information here is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional and is only intended for educational purposes from one patient to others.

End of Disclaimer

So recently I got to talk to some people about the difference between me before I use cannabis in the morning, and after.

The difference is absolutely night and day, and honestly, I didn’t even think about it until yesterday when I found myself completely stuck to the couch after inadvertently not choosing to use cannabis first thing in the morning.

WAKE & BAKE Is Not About Being High First Thing In The Morning. It’s About Getting Your HEAD On Straight and Setting The Day Up So You Can Be Successful.

Yesterday I didn’t smoke cannabis first thing in the morning, I didn’t sleep the night before very well, and I wasn’t feeling good.

It wasn’t until well after three pm that I had my first oke and suddenly I was up and ready to work. Imagine that. Cannabis actually helps me to be productive and without it, I am completely useless. I never realized how much I’ve come to depend on cannabis.

When we’re dealing with mental health issues that include but are not limited to anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other serious mental health issues, it can be really difficult to regulate your medication. Regardless of what kind of medication you take, (pharmaceutical drugs or cannabis or anything in between,) it can be difficult to regulate your medication.

Period. Please read that again.

No Matter Your Situation, It Can Be Difficult To Regulate Your Medication From One Day to the Next.

One of the things that many doctors do not take into account is that one day to the next your triggers change, what bothered you yesterday won’t bug you today, and the amount of medication you needed today isn’t necessarily going to be the same amount of medication you’re going to need tomorrow.

BUT here’s the rub: If you start taking a medication like Rexulti, or other anxiety medication or anti-psychotic meds, you can’t just decide that today you’re only going to take 25mg when tomorrow you’re going to take 50mg.

There isn’t enough time to really sit down and “test” the medication on yourself for a few weeks before you decide if you’re going to be on it forever, and what works for Jane isn’t going to work for Mary.

So how do we figure out what works and what doesn’t? How do we keep track?

Tom Cruise once went after Brook Shields for talking about life with PTSD from dealing with Post Partum Depression, which is a life-altering disorder that only happens to women after pregnancy. I’m not going to go into how utterly offensive it is for a man to comment on Post Partum depression, because that should be obvious, but what I will say is that deciding what medication someone should be on when you aren’t in their support system is INCREDIBLY dangerous. And absolutely borders on Abuse.

Some People THRIVE On MEDICATION, Others Will Drown Without The RIGHT Medication. Open COMMUNICATION with Your Support Team Is A HUGE Tool To Staying Successful In Your Life.

I check in with my doctor and psych nurse every month. They know that I’ve been smoking cannabis since before I got arrested on the airplane, and have absolutely no interest in stopping the use of cannabis. It helps, more than any medication I’ve ever had and I’ve been on everything from Ritalin to Adderall and many horrible medications in between.

I take my medication every night before I go to bed because I know that when I don’t things get downright weird. I start singing and dancing and acting out at all hours of the night and I have no impulse control when I don’t get a goodnight’s sleep.

Someone recently suggested that I stop using cannabis, and their reasoning was that they were worried that cannabis would lead me to hard drugs. But here’s the thing they forgot. I spent 18 years working with folks who live(d) with addiction disorder – which is what they are now calling drug addiction. Among some of the drugs that they consider “hard drugs,” when talking about addiction disorders you’ll find heroin, cocaine, opioids, crack cocaine, and fentanyl listed quite openly.

People Who Say CANNABIS is a GATEWAY Drug, Honestly Have 0 Clue What They Are Talking About. They Are REPEATING Old Stigma-Filled Education Because That’s What They Have Been TAUGHT To Do.

The idea that someone who smokes cannabis will automatically be searching for that ever-elusive “higher than high,” is not only ridiculous it’s incredibly dangerous. I smoke cannabis during the day, and I use my sleeping pills at night. Occasionally Alleve or Tylenol when I have a backache, headache or toothache, but I have 0 interest in anything harder than that.

I’ve been prescribed morphine for tooth pain, HOWEVER, I have it listed on all my charts that under NO circumstances am I to be given opioids unless it’s an emergency and it’s a conversation EVERY time I have to go to the doctor or hospital.

I tell you all of this because I want you to understand that I am fully aware of what medication abuse can do to a life. I’ve worked with people who started out using opioids the way that one is supposed to, and quickly ended up with heroin or crack cocaine addiction, because of the overprescription of opioid medication.

So here’s how medical malpractice works when it comes to medication.

  1. The Doctor starts by prescribing opioids or other pain medication.
  2. The patient begins using these medications honestly, and purely.
  3. Eventually, the opioids don’t work the way they are supposed to, and so people start looking for something with a heavier reach.
  4. Later on, perhaps they begin breaking down the pills and snorting them.
  5. Once they are in full-blown addiction all bets are off, because then they start finding ways to access illegal prescriptions.
  6. Often times when they are on the street, they will then find the desire to get “clean and sober,” this may but not always include the prescription of Methadone or some other “anti-addiction medication.

More times than I can count I’ve heard the words “I can just go on methadone,” but the problem is that many, MANY people who start on methadone don’t get off the treatment and the main reason why is because it’s over prescribed.

They start at huge doses, and even as they try to come down on lower and lower doses, people don’t realize that their doctors (not all of them but many many of them) are actually getting paid, to provide methadone to their patients.

Often times it’s under the table and illegal, and only contributes to addiction. I remember a few years ago a coworker suggested I go to her doctor, and it’s because she thought he was a really great doctor.

So I did and the clinic was beautiful, but within a few months of my becoming a patient, I started to notice that many of the houseless people I worked with at the church, were showing up at the clinic when they didn’t before.

I quickly found out that it was because the doctor was prescribing fentanyl for things like menstrual pain or mild headaches. When he asked me if I wanted some, I asked him if he was on crack.

So while he’s out there prescribing fentanyl, we now have hundreds more patients who aren’t getting the treatment they need, so that he can pad his bank account, because yes you guessed it, he was getting PAID to prescribe fentanyl.

It’s really difficult when you can’t or do not know how to advocate for yourself, to trust doctors after you’ve worked with those who deliberately get people addicted to hard drugs, on purpose. And whether we like it or not we have to admit that there ARE bad doctors out there.

I decided to switch doctors immediately but not everyone is mentally or emotionally capable of making that choice, largely because they just want, and desperately need, the pain to stop.

Keeping your family and friends in the loop is imperative to you being your most healthy self.

That being said, how much you choose to share about your medications is entirely your choice and no one has the right to judge you, ever.

EVERY Patient Has The Right To INFORMED Consent. You Can Take The Pamphlets From Your DOCTOR, But You MUST Do Your OWN Research Too.

When I reached out to a former connection who runs one of the best recovery program in the city and asked him how he’d feel if I said I was now using cannabis he laughed, “yeah we’re past that,” is what he responded with.

After a short conversation, I learned meant that they were exploring cannabis as a tool for fighting against addiction disorder. I happen to know several people who are a part of various recovery programs but lean on cannabis quite heavily to keep them off harder and more harsh drugs.

There are many days when I use cannabis and I feel good and I get a lot of work done on the blog, on my writing, and on my mental health, and there are other days when I cannot function at all. With or without cannabis.

It’s entirely dependent on a variety of situations and issues that I deal with. The important part of taking any medication however is making sure that you track your progress without allowing yourself the space to feel guilty when the medication doesn’t work the way that the material says it’s supposed to work.

Each and every one of us has the right to choose what we put in our bodies without judgement. I hope that this article has taught you something about medication use and addiction that you didn’t know before. If you have further questions please feel free to reach out.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall