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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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My son is 17 years old. he was smoking marijuana for 2

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Hello. My son is 17 years old. he was smoking marijuana for 2 years. He quit 3 weeks 3 weeks ago but he is having a bad psycotic episods. hishans are shaky and he go a repetitive unvoluntary movement of his lower jaw. he is depressed. only bad memories comes to his mind. we dont know what to do. he is so tensed he cant accept us that is me and his father to talk with him. any advice
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 7 years ago.
Hi alwohaib:

Well, there are a few issues going on here.

(1) your son is withdrawing from the marijuana. Of all the drugs, marijuana takes the longest to work its way out of the system.

(2) I am going to guess he was smoking a LOT of marijuana during the 2 years (or more - you don't know if he was honest with you). Given that, one of the withdrawal symptoms is a deep, deep depression. Some folks shoot to the other side of the continuum and get very anxious/paranoid/panicky, but your son's brain went the depression route. I will also guess that your son has addiction somewhere in his family tree, as that would further worsen the withdrawal. This is a critical period for him because one of the "cures" he will reach for is going back to the marijuana to feel "normal" again.

(3) There may have been other drugs laced through the marijuana that may also account for some of the sensory/perceptual issues he is having. Ecstasy is one standard culprit, and will leave an imprint (almost literally) on the brain that will play itself out for (at times) months after the use ceases. If he did do other drugs, then their effect must be evaluated before medication can be adequately prescribed.

In all, your son needs to be in a chemical dependency unit. I know that sounds harsh, but his withdrawal should be medically managed both to keep him from immediately relapsing, but also to help him manage some of the symptoms he is pushing to struggle through. The problem is not ONLY psychological - it is also biological. The marijuana (and the other drugs he may have been doing - whether he tells you about them or not) has possibly done some damage to his brain, and therefore the detox and recovery need to be attended by a physician who understands addiction medicine. Even a regular psychiatrist may not understand the interaction of your son's altered brain chemistry and structural changes with the medicines. Again, an addiction medicine specialist is the most qualified professional to act in this situation.

I am not trying to freak you out - I know this is your son and it is hard to see him hurting - but get him into a situation (if you are able) to have his issue evlauated and treated properly.

If you are satisfied with the answer you have been given, please hit “ACCEPT” so that I may get credit.


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