Watching a close friend or family member become absorbed by their cannabis use can be difficult, and at times quite worrying. While they work hard to convince you that it s only weed, so not a big deal , you can feel angry that they won t listen, frustrated that they argue with information that isn t factual, and even helpless, because you see a change in them but you struggle to do anything about it. It takes a lot of courage to tell a person exactly how their drug use is affecting you and how you see the effects of weed changing them.
Recently, one of the members of our NCPIC team let us know he was having this very same internal struggle one of his best mates was taking part in self-destructive behaviour, including a lot of cannabis use, and despite the obvious changes and effects, refused to acknowledge there was any problem. Our NCPIC team mate was frustrated, angry and felt helpless like there wasn t much he could do. Here is his list of the things he s working up to telling his mate.
1. I can tell you’re high
You think none of us can tell when you re blazed. In fact I know you pride yourself on this idea; I ve often heard you bragging that you function so well when you re high that even the people closest to you can t tell when you are.
Sorry mate, but it s just not true. We can all tell. It might be that I am just so used to you being stoned all the time that the novelty of pointing it out has worn off, I just don t think it s a funny quirk like I used to.
Or maybe I don t want to point it out because, yet again, you ve chosen a particularly inappropriate setting to be baked out of your mind, and I m too embarrassed to mention it in front of my parents/girlfriend/boss. In fact we are all trying to pretend that you aren t high right now, despite some pretty strong evidence indicating otherwise.
2. I don’t want to argue about smoking weed
Talking to you about smoking weed doesn t mean I want to go into a comprehensive debate about the history of cannabis use and legalisation. I m trying to express some genuine concern for you, and this doesn t mean I m some sort of self-righteous purist. It means that I think the amount of weed you are using each day is changing you and that worries me.
This is about you and me, and not about taking sides on an exhausting political debate about how taxing cannabis is going to save the economy .
3. Weed is not the only answer for everything
So you say smoking weed is a great painkiller for your headache/backache/insomnia/anxiety. But you are so quick to reach for this solution , that everything seems like a bit of an excuse now, justifying the next joint/bong/three-day binge.
You know what I use when I have a headache? Paracetamol and water. It works fine, AND I can still drive a car afterwards.
4. Every single situation is not improved by weed
I get that sometimes you want to escape or relax and that at times you find it really hard to do either. I also understand the desire to make boring activities more interesting. But when you feel like you need to be high just to be around your friends it makes me think that you can t enjoy hanging out with us sober. Is it so hard to hang out with your mate without being stoned?
5. Those brilliant epiphanies you have when you’re high aren’t all that brilliant!
Sometimes I reckon I could write a blog just about all the brilliant ideas you have when you re high. Thing is though, they usually aren t that brilliant. Often they can be kind of entertaining because they don t make a whole lot of sense, and you seem to always think you ve just discovered the next big thing. But then sometimes they can be downright dangerous.
Getting high all the time is obviously clouding your judgement and affecting your ability to make well thought out decisions, and that worries me.
If, like our NCPIC workmate, you re struggling with the effect of weed on your mate or family member, give the Cannabis Information and Helpline a call on 1800 30 40 50 it s great for some advice or information, and also a really good option when you just need to vent or chat to someone to get things off your chest!