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Beating Synthetic Weed Addiction: Beginners Guide

Posted: May 22, 2013, 2:31 PM

I scour these pages still from time to time. While I appreciate the place to live, I am more isolated than I was before I got here. Their reasoning behind this rule is for one, apparently it's unhealthy to have my only network of support be strangers over the internet; and they think all this is doing is spreading "negativity," and they don't appreciate my spreading "gossip" about them "for the whole world to see." I have been to one NA meeting since I've been here, partly as an assignment for a class and partly just to be around others in recovery, but it's an hour's drive and they make a family outing out of it; I really don't wanna go back. Also, it's the only meeting around here and most of the people there are there against their will (court mandated, I think.) So... now I have 0 support network. I have tried to tell them how much it benefits me to be able to be around or communicate with other people in recovery, that there are some things I just can't share with them, that they wouldn't understand, and I kinda just get brushed off. Also, until recently, I haven't even been able to spend any time alone. I like alone time. It doesn't mean I'm in a mood, doesn't mean I'm up to something, I just like the quiet time. I can hardly shut the bedroom door without it offending somebody or having someone knock on the door and ask me what I'm doing. I'm in school (making straight A's, by the way) and I can't concentrate when other people are talking in the next room and walking in and out. *sigh.* My step mom had a friend come down for a few days, so I've been able to go off and do my own thing more without it bothering her; that may soon change though. I love them, am glad for the place to stay, but I kind of hate living here. I hate not having any privacy whatsoever. I hate having to walk a tightrope 24 hours a day, trying to make sure nothing I say or do offends anybody. I had a job interview today, I should know sometime next week... Adam has a good job at Olive Garden; we're trying to get our crap together ASAP so I can get out of here. It's no vacation for them, either. And they have never met him, but see him as my enabler (which he was) but I think are pretty open to meeting him. The plan initially was to save up for the airfare to get him down here for a few days so he could meet them and then us fly back together (also, I've never flown before...) but we've kind of scrapped that plan and are just trying to save up enough money for an apartment and to get me there. Hopefully, if I get this job, I should be able to leave sometime in July/ early August. That's what we're shooting for. And no, he doesn't agree with the methods, either. And yes, I am almost 30, but don't act like it and need to earn the right to be treated like a 30 year old. I told them I wouldn't be on here and they said they haven't read it since the last time. I'm sure they will be upset if they know I went behind their back and posted anyway...

Other than that, it's going great! We get along fine, just my recovery has been put on the back burner for awhile.

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Posted: May 23, 2013, 12:54 AM
Dac, I TOTALLY agree with everything you have said, and the itchy sore is a great example, descibes it perfectly!!!

Yes, my goal is to strive for a more balanced life, to find and stick to people that REALLY care about others, not just how THEY feel, and leave those types behind, (or just have as little interaction as I can!) and do the same, be the person I'd like others to be...and start being honestly me, not what others want me to be, so it's basically turning the way I have always lived on it's head!!! lol, and believing I can!!!

And for anyone new here, read all the threads, you will learn so much from others who have had and are sharing your experience, I think a few miracles are happening here, so feel free to stay and keep trying, if I can start getting better, so can you!!!

This post has been edited by mermaid66 on May 23, 2013, 12:56 AM

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Posted: May 23, 2013, 1:07 AM

Hi Andy :), I so hope it works out and you can get a place of your own asap...the people you are living with, while they may have good intentions, 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' and I'm afraid they are doing you more harm than good, and basically setting you up for a relapse!!! I hope you can detach from what they are saying and doing...really its just not acceptable, and when you said you need to 'earn your right to be treated as a 30 year old', that just sounded like they are drilling you with totall controlling disfunctional parent stuff, you ARE almost 30, and they need to back off and treat you like a decent human being, whatever problems you may have had or are dealing with, with rights like any other adult!! makes me really cranky and my heat goes out to you...sending love and hugs, you are a wonderful and worthwhile person, whether they see it or not!!!! God doesn't make crap!!!

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Posted: May 23, 2013, 8:35 AM

I just came from what used to be a bible study. It has turned into 4 - 5 guys getting together and talking about issues that they dont really talk with much to others. Most of us have known each other for years, but havent had much time to really sit and talk. We get together at 6:30 am which is not my thing, but I have really come to appreciate it. I almost always leave on a laugh and with a good attitude about the day!

It is important to connect with people in some way. When self medicating I would not venture out for anything. I stayed home with my medication.... In recovery, communicating - whether by writing, on the phone, or in person is something we all need to do. But it should be with people who will listen, offer help, and not judge! If we communicate with the wrong type of people we will become frustrated and end up back in our cycle of use. Having a couple of outlets where you can vent, be yourself unabashed, and give details without the fear of repproach I believe speeds up the recovery process and makes it far more likely to heal in a way that will truly make the dependence on a substance far less likely!

Glad you feel better....


Welcome to the board;) Your going through a tough time I know. I write things that sometimes come across as advice - but they are really my reactions to people I have interactions with in 'real life'. I say this so that if some of my comments come across as abrasive it is important to reiterate that I do NOT know these people I am making the comments to - I am voicing an opinion (often a strong one) to others who have affected me.

That said, If I were in your situation I would remind those trying to 'help' you of a couple of things. The 'help' is in minor parentheses because they are really helping themself more than you. I have no doubt they believe they are doing the right thing, that they love you, they want the best for you, and that they want you to get past this trying time in your life. They are just doing on 'their' terms - not yours.

You are in what essentially is a forced 'rehab'. Instead of a facility you have a home, instead of a counselor you have parents, and the opportunity to relapse is absent so even though that possibility is not 'currently' possible it could eventually make things worse. The evidence is all over these forums from many sources on how treatment forced on an individual often fails. I would make sure they are aware of this...

The N.A. meetings only work if they work for you. If you are not wanting to go - or if you do want to go but feel stifled and unable to expess yourself at the meetings - they are probably a waste of time. Would they drive you there and let you go inside on your own? Or would they be worried that something might come out that they dont want said? I have no knowledge of these people other than what you have said but THEY need to be aware that a person like me will deduce that their interference with you talking to others seems to suggest that they have something they want to cover up. Something they dont want to others to know. Just me grasping, but if it were true it would explain a lot of your behavior over the years and would be something you needed to talk about in order to heal. I say 'explain', not 'excuse'. Big difference in those words. But talking about something that you feel cant be talked about is the only way to get past these feelings...otherwise they will haunt you time and time again!

As for the isolation thing, that screams at me the loudest as something which could very detrimental to recovery. I feel it - and I have people around me all the time! People want my take on things, they come to me for advice, they seemingly 'trust' what I have to say as long as it is not about myself....then I am just bringing up the past - rehashing old memories. My problem is that I have never heard an acknowlegement of any of my points that I bring up. Like last year, I had a safety net in place for me to have avoided jail. A guy who I would have considered my best friend at the time had the opportunity to intervene and give a defense for me that I could not give for myself at the time. But that safety net bounced me IN to the system instead of keeping me out. Should the tables have been turned? Say, his wife come to me all upset about a 'picture' on his cellphone??? I would have bent over backwards attempting to cool her down and get her to not jump to conclusions... I would have been his biggest defender in that moment...My big secret was not even secret - my drug use. But they just seem to validate each others arguments about how I had such a 'problem' that I ended up going to jail and beginning a truly deperate time spent in isolation because now I felt like I had no one to talk to! Once I did go jail, the need for them to 'justify' their actions only led to a more obstinant refusal to ever consider my intial claim - that a mountain was made out of molehill and that the 'drug use' was only the tip of a much larger iceberg!

Sorry to keep coming back to that, I was really trying to concentrate on your situation...

As far as it being 'negative' or 'unhealthy' for you to come here to the internet and express yourself - I find that completely selfish. Again, it's about them , not you. This is a textbook control argument and is why I make the point of you almost being 30. I wouldnt treat my 12 year old like this! Especially if I had access to what they were writing...unless I had something to hide...It is a counter productive argument. They have an ability to learn things about you they would have never been able to under normal circumstances. They should also be able to see first- hand how you have been able to grow from expessing yourself in an environment where people dont know you and WONT judge you! Anonymnity allows people to divulge their true feelings to people who wont be there to give them reproachful or dirty looks the next day - or perhaps the rest of their life!

ANY support network that encourages you to bring forth issues you have struggled with is one that should be treated as healthy. What gives strength to one in our situations is that we often have no one immediately available to bear the weight of these problems. The need to 'fix' someones elses problems with a quick solution only leads to frustration for the one giving the advice because they grow tired of hearing about the problem. When the problem is that no one will listen? That will then reinforce your frustration and isolation by making you feel it does no good to voice your concerns...leading you to internalize the frustration and take it out eventually through drug use!! It is a vicious cycle!! It is only broken WITH communication - by whatever means available!!

Writing out ones feelings is such an underappreciated tool of recovery. The whole 'not wanting to offend' part of conversation is allowed much more freedom. From that freedom comes an exposure of what you really think and feel about your situation. I know when I write I put out what I 'feel' more than I worry about the contentof what I write. I briefly check the spelling, but really dont change much at all about what comes out firsthand. Since I now post early, and then hit edit frequently to add more, I can see how long it takes to write some of these long posts. The faster it comes out - the more honest it is!! It is exactly how I feel at the moment, and when I hit 'submit' it often feels like a weight has been removed because I have said something that I needed to clear from my mind. To know others read these musings, and that to some they have offered a degree of comfort? VERY helpful to me!!

So THANK YOU all for being there!!

I still have much more to write but it will have to wait till later...gotta work...no rest for the wicked??

And Andy, just keep fending off those 'bull queers' with your mop, your words, or even your feet....if you just give in, you wont be able to 'sit' with yourself without experiencing much 'inner pain'.:)

til later...

This post has been edited by DAC on May 23, 2013, 9:21 AM

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Posted: May 24, 2013, 10:16 AM

Your best argument about this forum being unhealthy? When did you first decide the synthetic was a problem? When did you decide to open up to family about this problem? Why do they know what they know at all?? If it had anything to do with coming here I would point that out... Months ago you were without solutions, werent in school, and had no plans of breaking out of your situation. Now you are on a path to improvement, you've moved on, your in school and making progress, reconnecting to loved ones (though difficult), and have plans of adventuring out into life without the aid of a substance that has kept you in one place for so long. If ANY of that had to do with your self discovery, and attempt to find answers here it should at least be mentioned.

If just one of these positives were influenced - this site couldnt be considered 'negative'!

I see much you should feel proud of!! Keep your hopes up!!

This post has been edited by DAC on May 24, 2013, 10:19 AM

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Posted: May 24, 2013, 12:20 PM
Sorry to get off topic, but I was wondering if any of you had any advice on how I can help my son during this aweful phase. I know it's all really up to him, but is there anything your family or friends did that helped at all. I realize that you've probably discussed this many times, but I am going blind trying to read everything! He's been smoking for over a year (possibly more), he's a 22 year old skinny thing on his fourth day...

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Posted: May 24, 2013, 12:25 PM
...and I've already got him on Josh's items for the actual withdrawal, just talking about beyond that.


Posted: May 24, 2013, 1:11 PM
I can tell you from experience, most parental intercession is completely counter productive, no matter how good their intentions are. The best thing you can do (and really the only thing you should do) is send him the care package, tell him about this site if you want, and then BACK OFF! This is his problem, not yours. It has nothing to do with how much you care about him, but you are not trained or qualified to understand what he is going through. Let him know you're there for him, check up on him, but that is IT. Don't put more pressure on him than he is already under.

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Posted: May 24, 2013, 1:53 PM
Luckily he lives on the other side of the state, or I'd probably be fighting the urge to try and scoop him up and try to "fix" it. I do know I can't do it for him and will try and focus on the things I can help with. He says his roommate smokes it and is trying to quit and another friend is in the hospital with complications from it. Having a 17 year old girl and a 22 year old boy, I actually do know the value of "butting out". I feel he should find a new roommate or get a place of his own but all I think I'll do is offer to help if he wants to move. Sure wish I could just send him to his room without tv!! Those were the good ol days...

Posted: May 24, 2013, 6:14 PM
My parents wish the same thing, except I always liked it in my room better anyway... And yes, getting out of that environment is a necessity...

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Posted: May 25, 2013, 11:05 AM

What state do you live in? I ask because many states have banned it and many others have pending legislation. Knowing it will become unavailble will help. If he has smoked it a long time he wont be able to just go back to pot...so he might just stop everything if that scenario presents itself...

let us know if you have any specific questions you want answered - I am a dad with adult children as well. Of course, unfortunately I also have many personal experiences to speak from as well...

This post has been edited by DAC on May 25, 2013, 11:06 AM

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Posted: June 3, 2013, 12:37 PM
I have been away from marijuana for almost a year. I had an opportunity to use a limited amount for about a week and I noticed several things that were different from the synthetic.

The urge to write was not the same - not the same at all. Pot seems to make my thinking slower, where the synthetic made me hyper-creative. Also, pot makes me sleep deeply with few memorable dreams. No 'fever'dreams. My appetite is off the charts when smoking! I actually gained wieght this past week. But overall, the biggest difference is just in the energy level. Pot makes me tired! If I smoke all day I will fall asleep early and sleep til morning only waking briefly. The synthetic seems to 'give' energy and the resulting interruptions in sleep make it possible to get by with very little if on a busy schedule.

Last year when I made my 'peace' with my use it was with the synthetic. I dont think I would have made the same compromise with pot. Pot makes me lazy....the synthetic at least gave the impression that it helped me stay up longer!

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Posted: June 3, 2013, 7:32 PM

Might as well make good use of my homework from rehab to through in a little scare tactics, for those who still think this is not a big deal. if you want to know how damaging this stuff is there are countless reports from the CDC, NIH and others, linked in my report regarding the dangers.


Psychosis, depression, suicidal thoughts are the least of your worries. This can lead to serous acute (permanent) liver and kidney damage!

Please read the report if your even entertaining smoking synthetic weed or bath salts. I really would like to know why this stuff is legal?!?!

Patient at NLTC
One day at a time.

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Posted: June 17, 2013, 1:05 PM

How is your treatment coming along. Are you done yet? I was curious if you had any of the depression or strange dreams that still happen about a month away from the synthetic. I think that some of the effects from the withdrawals can last for as long as a couple of months. I also think that it has to do with the sleep cycle.....let me know if you have noticed any of the same things.

Posted: June 28, 2013, 12:51 AM
Thank you so much for posting this survival guide!!! My fiancee went through a withdrawl today and has come to a realization that he is done and wants to quit

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Posted: July 1, 2013, 1:16 PM
I recently watched a biography on Richard Pryor. Many of his experiences I found similiar to my own. On stage he was outrageous, offensive, and he made people laugh by pointing at his own pain. During the documentary it was mentioned that he was a very sensitive person. Sensitivity can often make a person see things that others overlook and is something that many comedians have in common. However, another thing was pointed out during the documentary about his sensitivity that I found interesting. Sensitivity leads to an increased tendency to 'self-medicate'. It was argued that sensitivity makes people try and handle things themselves - that way no one else can 'hurt' them. Many times this will include turning to a drug....after all drugs promise relief...not more pain.

Only in the last year have i realized just how sensitive I am. I think when I try to be funny I am just trying to insult myself before others have a chance to do so. As for the self-medication? I have done this most of my life so anything that gives me an insight to my behavior is something I want to explore.

Understanding ones self is a critical part of recovery. Knowing that the drug is often just a symptom of a much worse problem is helpful to know. Once the drug use stops, many times these problems come back full force - with nothing to mute them!

I only put this out there in the chance that maybe it helps someone else understand themself better.

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Posted: July 9, 2013, 1:22 PM
I just wanted to put on here that when quitting, I have a problem about two weeks out. The problem is mood related - depression. It seems to kick in for a few days really bad at about two weeks and then it subsides. Many relapses in the past were at this point. Another really trying time from quitting synthetics is around the two month mark as well. Not sure why, or what any of this means, just passing on the info.

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Posted: July 17, 2013, 12:21 PM
Synthetics induce shallow sleep. People easily wake up during the R.E.M. stage which occurs every hour and a half to two hours. When awake it can be hard to fall back to sleep so we will just smoke a little more to help get back to sleep. But this perpetuates the problem, and the problem can last for months after quitting. For me, this was the hardest obstacle to overcome in quitting them altogether.

Bad sleep = depression

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Posted: August 4, 2013, 2:08 PM
Be prepared to go on an emotional roller coaster when trying to quit. The anger, irritability, and impatience with life is an almost certainty during the first week. I believe this is why people find it so hard to get past the first couple of days. The physical part isnt as bad as it may sound. But being angry, depressed, and unstable when you first quit combined with the physical downside is really a lot to handle if not prepared. Get through the first 24 hours and you have made much progress. Get through 3 days and you've overcome the worst of it. Get to a week and the physical will be gone. Now you will feel more in control and will experience a 'quit euphoria' that can last for a week or two. But then, be prepared for the mental battles that will be constant. Once the quit euphoria is over you may start wondering why you quit in the first place. Be careful at this point because it might sound OK to just 'smoke a little'. If you do you will just have to start all over again......but with less resolve to stay sober long-term. This is where I am at now after multiple stops. Two weeks, a month, and two months seem to be relapse points for me. The problem for me is that I dont see it as the problem I once did. I know how to put it away for a time, and hopefully I wont be afforded the possibility of another relapse. But if I do I hope I can get to the point where the desire is so little I stay away for good.

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Posted: August 7, 2013, 11:26 AM
There are many videos of people having bad trips while on spice on youtube. I watched a couple of these the other day and really couldnt identify. But I read that there are some 250 different combinations that are currently being sold. When you consider that only 5 chemicals have been banned - you can see the problem. No-one really knows what is one batch from another , let alone what the differences are between the brands. On top of this , many bags have 'hot spots' because of the mixing process which can make one hit super powerful , while the next hit does very little.

Check out some of these videos and you will see people acting VERY wierd!
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