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  1. Mick Mouse
    When people try to quit smoking pot, they experience withdrawal symptoms that can affect their daily lives, a new study from Australia says.

    In the study, habitual pot smokers who were asked to abstain for two weeks experienced irritability, sleep difficulties, and other symptoms that affected their ability to work and their relationships with other people, said study researcher David Allsop, of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Center at the University of New South Wales.

    The biggest impairment to daily life was seen among users who were most addicted to pot, Allsop said.

    Moreover, the effects of the withdrawal symptoms were on par with those of people going through nicotine withdrawal, Allsop said.

    The idea that cannabis can be addictive has been debated. And although it is generally accepted now that the drug can cause addiction and withdrawal, researchers are not certain whether withdrawal from the drug was severe enough to interfere with daily life, Allsop said.

    In fact, cannabis withdrawal is not included as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-the bible of mental health disorders-although it is being considered for inclusion in the updated version that will be released next year. (In contrast, withdrawal from other substances, such as cocaine and alcohol, are included as disorders)

    The new findings show that doctors should be aware of the disorder, and educate patients about what symptoms they might experience when they try to quit, he said.

    "I suspect that there is a long way to go still in changing popular beliefs about the effects of pot on health," Allsop said. "But education that withdrawal makes you irritable, tense, and anxious, as well as interfering with sleep patterns, is one good place to gain some traction."

    Current treatments for marijuana addiction have shown very little success in terms of their ability to get people to abstain from the drug over the long term. Withdrawal symptoms could be contributing to the low success rate.

    Providing tailored treatments for people who are going through withdrawal, such as stress management and sleep medication, could improve the success rates.

    The study involved 49 men and women from Sydney who were addicted to amrijuana, and used the drug for more than five days a week. Participants were asked to abstain from marijuana use for two weeks. Urine samples were collected to identify those who relapsed.

    Ten participants relapsed during the study. These people were more likely than those who did not relapse to have experienced greater impairment in their daily lives from withdrawal symptoms.

    The withdrawal symptoms that contributed most to impairment were: physical tension, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and loss of appetite.

    The new findings, along with previous work, suggest that cannabis withdrawal should be added as a disorder to the DSM, Allsop said.

    "Cannabis is the most prevalent illicit drug in the entire world-including in America-and current treatment options have very limited success rates for continuous abstinence," Allsop said. "Why wouldn't you include it?"

    Because the number of users who relapsed was small, more research is needed to identify which withdrawal symptoms may predict relapse, Allsop said.

    The study was published on September 26th, 2012 in the journal PLOS ONE.

    This article was published on September 27th 2012 in MyHealthNewsDaily and can also be found at www.foxnews.com

Comments

  1. enquirewithin
    "Current treatments for marijuana addiction have shown very little success in terms of their ability to get people to abstain from the drug over the long term. Withdrawal symptoms could be contributing to the low success rate."

    This is assuming that is really is an 'addiction". People probably show symptoms if deprived of television or prayer beads. "Scientific studies' can prove what they like.
  2. Mick Mouse
    Hey, I just report it, I don't write it! My personal feeling is that it is not much of a study with only 49 participants, but this was all of the information currently available to me, so I don't know if it is going anywhere after this.
  3. nigh
    So wait, this study was conducted by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Center AND reported by Fox News? Nope. I can't imagine there's any bias present at all.

    Of course this might all be unfair criticism, but until I see the actual study and the methodology used, I'm certainly no believer. Even though I think that withdrawal symptoms are quite possible upon discontinuation of cannabis use, I'm taking this study with a grain of salt until I see some more evidence and primary sources. And y'know, 50 non-random people isn't much of a study group.

    Sorry, but the unfortunate fact is that everything Fox reports on is usually 90% partisan bullshit that serves to further its own agenda. They've never relied on science, and they certainly aren't going to start doing so - they're essentially the propaganda wing of the Republicans, after all.

    (note: this isn't an attack on you Toxinreleased, I just really fucking hate Fox News.)
  4. enquirewithin
    Sorry! I didn't mean any criticism of the poster! Thanks for keeping us informed about this type of research. We need to know.

    Yeah, anything reported by Fox News has to be in doubt.
  5. Mick Mouse
    I'm not saying to anyone that I feel as if I was attacked, let me be clear about that! I tend to agree with the opinions about Fox News, but all journalism in today's world is biased to some point. Admittedly, Fox is a bit more over the top than most, but they can also be used as just another source of intel to be used to make up ones mind. I always try to get several different versions of a story from the different reportings, that way you can sort of distill everything and integrate it all into a believable set of facts. For the most part, anyway!

    I know that I am a reasonably heavy marijuana smoker, around two grams a day or so, and every single time that I stop smoking for a while, I go through recognizable withdrawal symptoms, both physical as well as mental and emotional.

    Are they bad? Well, that depends on what you mean by "bad". They are certainly uncomfortable and frustrating,but they are not "bad". More of an irritation than anything else. There is a definite craving involved, although it is more mental than physical. Irritation and frustration are heightened, and I tend to have a short temper, but it is never directed at people, for some reason. I get mad at things. Especially things that don't work or stop working at the exact moment that I want to use them or things that are not where they are supposed to be. Especially after you know that you put the damn things back! Those are two situations that drive me literally fucking nuts!

    But I don't get physically sick or anything like that. No, I think that "irritation" sums up the effects of withdrawal for me personally.

    But it can get very damn irritating at times!
  6. Ubercheese
    i smoked a gram or 2 a day for a year then quit. I experienced definite withdrawal symptoms such as; loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, waking up really sweaty and vivid dreams which weren't all that pleasant. However it was all gone in under a week and easily fought through with the aid of ciggarettes.

    maybe because i always used to smoke before i slept or before eating that i got these specific symptoms, probably felt less irritable than normal.
  7. tdv123
    Of course it's real, how could anybody doubt it's not real? THC is a drug & like any drug that you've used for long periods of time your going to have some sort of withdrawal symptoms stopping cold turkey.

    Obviously a few restless nights without sleep & little irritation isn't much to worry about & isn't anything compared to benzo or opiate w/d's

    I agree with everyone else here that Fox News isn't the best (possibly the worst) place to go if you want information about drugs.
  8. A Mad Tea Party
    I completely agree. I mean, I've read accounts of people withdrawing from World of Warcraft that were far worse. Anyone being deprived of something which they consider important to their daily routine would most likely show at least some symptoms which could be seen as being the result of withdrawals.
  9. profesor
    Yes, this is true with ANY psychoactive substance habitually taken before sleep, antihistamines being the most common case.

    The obvious bias is right in the headline. They did not print in normal straightforward English, "A Study Says Marijuana Withdrawal is Real" That would emphasize that it is only one study, and a scientific study, a method Fox likes to bring doubt all the time (climate change, evolution, any result that goes against party line)
  10. kumar420
    Yeah there's definite withdrawal symptoms, but not in the traditional sense of the term. And the part where they compare it with nicotine withdrawal caught my attention, since most australians chop up with tobacco there is a correlation between the two. Its actually very common for aussie weed smokers to become cigarette smokers as well.
    Last time i tried to quit buds i got quite a few sumptoms and went and saw my gp, and he gave me an oxazepam script. That put me off so much i haven't tried to quit since, nor have i been back to that doctor. Ill take the weed over chancing becoming addicted to benzos any day of the week.
    Also my mate who was a daily smoker for 4 years (30-40 cones a day) quit because he was becoming paranoid all the time, got put on 60mg of valiym for the withdrawals and ended up in rehab because of it. Some shady shit.
  11. Scloud90
    I love drugs and alcohol, and really dont like weed, so youll know when I say this, its completely unbiased.

    Everyone should define addiction when presenting it as a disorder linked to any one thing. Addiction can happen with anything, even the experience of an object not considered to be a drug produces a change in your brain. Every experience changes people mentally, some experiences just do it on a larger scale. As far as what it means for if marijuana addiction can be considered we need to explain where the line is drawn.

    your mind is produced by physical components
    physical addictions tend to produce mental symptoms as a result from physical changes in the brain.
    However mental addictions tend to produce physical symptoms for other reasons, as even psychologically we can cause ourselves to be sick, and we dont need a drug to make that possible. In this aspect marijuana addiction could be chalked up to the user simply being OCD and needing that part of their routine to maintain its consistency.

    Id suggest MRI scans of the brain to prove a significant neural adaptation to the normality of constant marijuana use. As well as additional scans to show a response equivalent to some levels of shock experienced during other withdrawal symptoms experienced by drugs. Drugs affect the brain in different ways, more simple molecules such as the one active for alcohol intoxication can cause more than one reaction due to its simplicity. More complex molecules such as methamphetamine produce a more specified response. Youll notice people going through all different kinds of problems during alcohol withdrawal too, but theyre not always shared between alcoholics.

    I forget if THC is complex or simple, but I assume its more complex. If it was simple im sure this wouldnt be a debate anymore. If its complex it might be possible it affects a part of the brain where withdrawal is experienced but its very difficult to a put a finger on. Which would explain why no one seems to be able to determine the mechanism.

    I think if we can pinpoint the areas of the brain that are "overloading" during abstinence, maybe we could determine more so what is going on in "marijuana addiction" and if it can be likened to addictions such as anything from alcohol/other drugs to gambling or just something like wearing blue jeans haha.
  12. trdofbeingtrd
    If we are......IF we are talking about all of those subjects smoking marijuana then this study gives no true hard evidence considering they are talking about nicotine withdrawal.....IF they were talking about people who smoke to get the nicotine.......and this means that hand to mouth fixation, emotional unwinding, and even just inhaling smoke are factors that don't seem to be present in the study.

    Sorry for the long run on sentence.

    Just wondering when anti-depressants and opiates like suboxone and methadone will be prescribed for marijuana withdrawals.
  13. jazzyj9
    I used to smoke quite a bit of weed years ago and I never noticed any physical withdrawls from it. I would go through an 8th about every 3 to 4 weeks. I would never call myself a weed addict either because I could take breaks from it and use only socially from time to time. It sounds like the study sample was rather small to make those generalizations especially considering the possibility that the weed might be mixed with tobacco. My presumption is that some people do get very addicted to weed and might have significant detrimental effects, but I think this is probably less that occurs with other drugs. In my opinion, though I no longer smoke weed myself, is that it is probably one of the least harmful drugs available and for many people one of the least addictive.
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