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Featured Self-medicating and autism.

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Major Tom, Feb 11, 2020 at 4:48 AM.

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  1. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Hey everyone. I have a question and a story to tell.

    My question is: Do you self-medicate? If so what works the best for you?

    My story: I've always felt anxious, different, and like I'm living on the edge. This led me to start self-medicating at an early age. I think the first two beers I drank were some Miller Ices at around the age of 10. It tasted like crap and at first I didn't understand why adults I knew drank it. Once the buzz hit me though, I understood. I felt great for about 45 minutes, then I barfed my guts saying "I'll never do this again.." Alcohol never did agree with me, however now I will have a night cap or two now and again.

    Then when I was 12 years old, I scored some cannabis off one of my older friends. I remember making a pipe out of a coke can and smoking that bud. I enjoyed the smell and the flavor right away. (The friend had taught me how to inhale it properly and I did actually catch a buzz.) I then proceeded to have the most enjoyable lawn mowing experience I'd ever had up until that point. I felt so relaxed, everything seemed brighter and more colorful, my mind drifted pleasantly. I thought "This I really love."

    I pretty much stuck with cannabis from then until I was 16 or so. (Infrequently).

    At around the latter part of my 16th year I tried both mushrooms and LSD. Both I enjoyed, but I didn't get the relaxed feeling I did from cannabis. That didn't stop me from doing shrooms or LSD any chance I got until around the age of 22.

    At around 18 I had my first experience with cocaine. Unlike the people I was doing it with, it focused me and calmed me down. (I have ADD, so this makes sense). I really enjoyed it, but never could afford it. Any time it was around and offered, I'd do it though. Unlike many of the other people I knew that tried it, I could take it or leave it though. I never became addicted.

    I always loved music and this led me to travel around the USA following bands and seeing concerts. There was always drugs and alcohol around. One day before a show at a hotel a guy I was traveling with was cutting up lines of white stuff and asked me "You wanna do some K?" I thought that was just the lingo of the area for coke, so I said "Sure!" Boy I was in for a surprise... "K" was short for ketamine, which is a horse and other large animal tranquilizer. It sent me to a different world quite literally. Anyone who has seen the movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" probably thinks that the movie was surely just imagery, but I can assure you it was not. The "K" sent me into what frequent users of ketamine call "The K hole". In my mind I thought I was either dead or in an insane asylum. I opened my eyes once and everyone in the room looked like they were from a Picasso painting... Needless to say, I skipped the show that night, because when I came out of it, I was just happy to be alive and not in the loony bin. Little did I know it, that would be the day I met my wife.

    After the "K" incident and meeting my significant other, I pretty much just stuck with cannabis for a long time. I was enthralled with it and eventually saw a video on YouTube about Charlotte's Web, a strain of cannabis that was created not to get high, but to treat people with untreatable epilepsy. It seemed to be a miracle. About that time I saw the video "Run from the Cure" as well. Which is about how cannabis oil when orally or topically ingested can be used to shrink tumors in people with cancer and sometimes put them into remission. I thought "This is what I want to do and learn about."

    From all my show going and travels I knew some people who were growing "medical cannabis" in the Emerald Triangle of California. I contacted them and they said "Sure you can come farm with us." I thought I was headed for some utopia of natural medicine and a cure for cancer and epilepsy. I was sorely disappointed when it turned out they were into it for only the money, and there was nothing medical about it. The chemicals they used to both fertilize and control pests on the plants were down right lethal and if anything would give you cancer...

    Anyways while I was there I met a guy with a southern accent who was also a small time grower and we became friends or so I thought.. One day he asked me "What kind of drugs do you do?" I listed the plethora of drugs I had tried and he said "Cool, you wanna do some blow?" I of course said "Sure!" Enthusiastically. He chopped me up a line and I thought to myself "Why is it so shiny?", but since I trusted him I didn't think too much about it. I sure should have... I snorted the line and this God aweful bitter gagging flavor entered my mouth and nose and I said "What in the exact F-bomb was that?" He said "It's crystal." I said "What the F-bomb did you make me do that for?" I was pissed, but only momentarily. It was like the best coke I'd ever tried x100... Needless to say, because of that little trick, unlike cocaine I did become addicted to methamphetamine. I did it every day for 9 months straight. Only when I had to come back home did I stop.

    Quitting methamphetamines was THE hardest thing I've ever done. I've seen research that something like 99% of meth addicts can never quit.

    I kicked that habit though and am now living a relatively sober life, just a little alcohol here and there, and some prescribed meds. It's been almost 6 years and I'll never go back.

    It took a lot of courage to write this, but it's a weight that has been on my chest for a long time. If you are going to self-medicate be careful of who you trust. I think ultimately living a drug free lifestyle is the best and safest choice. Be well everyone and wiser than I have been.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020 at 5:25 AM
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  2. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    There was a time when I self medicated with cocaine and ketamine. I quit doing that a few years ago, but I miss ketamine sometimes.

    I still use alcohol as a social lubricant and a mood enhancer. I don’t think I’ll ever stop drinking completely, but the consumed quantity and frequency have gone down drastically in the past years.
     
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  3. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    I'm glad you were able to stop. I could never imagine doing ketamine more than once.. Alcohol is a social lubricant for me too and a way to calm down after a long day.

    Thanks for not judging me and replying. :)

    Happy birthday by the way!
     
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  4. Rasputin

    Rasputin Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have self medicated some, but never a lot. My first wife introduced me to cannabis years ago, but have not used it in almost 20 years. Occasionally, I would have a drink to help me fall asleep at night. Now I use CBD oil in moderation with medication to help me sleep. So, that's about it for me.
     
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  5. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Happy birthday. This thread arrived just in time for you.

    @Major Tom
    Great thread.

    I tend to use alcohol, more so when I was younger.

    It also hid the fact I wasnt a real person,if you know what I mean.
     
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  6. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I can relate to this so much. Alcohol makes my interactions less robotic and more fluent and I forget to be anxious about everything. Which is one of the main reasons my bar friends didn’t believe I had autism.

    also, thanks for the birthday wishes :)
     
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  7. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    I definitely know what you mean, I think almost all the self-medicating I did in the past was mainly to help me feel like I fit in or was more normal. Stimulants and cannabis in particular. Alcohol to a lesser degree as I can't drink too much or I get sick.
     
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  8. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Sounds like you've lived a good, clean lifestyle. For me, I'd definitely partake in some legal (regulated,organic) medicinal cannabis if it were available to me. It is the best medicine for anxiety and sleep for me if I can find the right strains. I can see where CBD would have a similar effect.
     
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  9. Solphire

    Solphire Learning to drop the mask

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    I lost a little over ten years of my life to cannabis, alcohol, and my special interest at the time: online gaming. My twenties, ....are just gone. I needed to smoke every 2 hours at least (if I could manage it) to be able to function in this world. I would even get up in the middle of the night to smoke, then go back to sleep. Eventually I could not get high anymore, and I had smoked myself 'straight'. That is when the alcohol abuse really took off.

    I am not trying to be y'all's mom, but that stuff is dangerous. Even more so for us. Cannabis use, to me, was just a way to pretend I didn't have a thousand differences from NTs. I could pretend, but they were still there. Everyone else could still see them. I am clean over 8 years now, and going 'through' it is much better than trying to go 'around' it. I have learned MUCH BETTER ways of coping. CBT is legit.

    PSA: Cannabis is 800% percent more potent that it was in the 1960s. And in my case, combined with heavy use, lack of sleep, and postpartum hormone withdrawal, DID cause me to have a break from reality: psychosis. Please do not make the same mistake I did thinking cannabis was a natural plant, and therefore will not hurt you. It almost ended me. I very nearly stroked out. Please take care if you use it, legally.
     
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  10. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I used to smoke a lot in my teens, twenty years ago. These days one or two puffs will literally knock me out. It’s no fun anymore for me. That, and I am sensitive to psychoses, so I just don’t touch the stuff anymore.
     
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  11. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Just about anything can destroy you if you abuse it. I'm in a country where it's highly illegal now so I won't be touching any anytime soon. And you are correct, it is more potent now, but there are strains that are more balanced and they are less likely to lead to psychosis. I think if you are prone to psychosis, you shouldn't partake in it. I.E. people with shizophrenia or BPD. I however don't suffer from those disorders. That being said really high THC content cannabis is not enjoyable for me to imbibe, but a balanced ratio of CBD and THC is a really good anxiety reliever, sleep aid, and anti anxiety medicine for me.

    It's just like any other medication, it works for some people and not others.
     
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  12. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    The media over here demonises skunk. But that's because in the UK weed is illegal. And the tendency for growers has been to grow high thc strains which I find to be quite unpleasant.

    There's plenty of cbd strains that could defuse the media misrepresentation of cannabis, but its easier for them to continue to provoke anxiety and paranoia around the notion of legalising cannabis. Ironic really, as anxiety and paranoia are 2 corner stones of anti cannabis sentiment.

    As for self medicating, I've had a long history of doing so myself. Weed was my mainstay. On and off for 13 years. Alcohol I abused more recently for around 6 years.

    I had a couple of years experimenting with harder drugs. But all of these were never done more than 5-10 times each.

    Experiences were mixed. As soon as I bought my first drug that wasn't weed I realised this was a fine line that'd need careful moderation as I knew how destructive a habit to hard drugs could be. Plus, in the UK they have 3 classes for drugs. Experimenting with drugs in the highest tier felt unnerving and somewhat immoral.

    Over the course of the two years I tried MDMA, speed, ketamine, shrooms, LSD and NOS. Whilst NOS isn't a hard drug, the short, intense high and the fact I bulk bought cannisters and a dispenser meant I went a little off the rails with that substance and it was the only one outside of weed and alcohol that I truly binged on.

    I left all of them behind me except weed and alcohol in my early 20's. I quit both on December 1st 2019.

    I don't think I'd want to go back. At times I miss certain aspects. I think it's mainly the social aspect to these experiences. I had a short, intense burst of socialising in my early 20's. Since then I'm back to how I lived throughout my childhood and teenage years - seeing friends a couple of times a year at most.

    Ed
     
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  13. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    I forgot MDMA. I didn't find that all too pleasant either. Made me severely depressed for weeks and my jaw hurt from the clenching.

    Weed is classified the same as heroin or meth here so I don't even bother with it, I have a family to take care of and don't need any trouble.

    Good on you for giving up on weed and alcohol because if in the case of weed it's not worth the risk and alcohol when overimbibed is very damaging to your liver and brain function.

    Thanks for responding. ;)
    Ps. NOS is laughing gas or nitrous oxide like they give you at the dentist? I did a balloon of that and nearly passed out, but others seemed to really like it
     
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  14. oregano

    oregano is living in his own private Jefferson

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    I never did anything that could be considered a "drug". Never smoked weed much less anything like coke or meth. But over a few years in the late 90s I got physically dependent on refined sugar of all things. I was buying and eating LOTS of candy for a while. Finally my mom forced me to go cold turkey in January 2014. The withdrawal was just AWFUL, which really surprised me because I never got "high" from sugar in the traditional sense of an altered state of consciousness. Later I heard that refined sugar is chemically analogous to cocaine, basically blow without the high. Today I'll have one or two candy bars a day, which is a big improvement from eating a dozen bars or a big bag of M&M's in one sitting. At least now I can control it. Today I have a religious belief that says that altering one's consciousness in order to perceive the real world in a different way is a grave sin.
     
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  15. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah mdma is a weird one. Pure, I found it too intense. It was the second drug I tried after weed. A work outing on a pub crawl. I didn't drink at the time, but my boss asked if I wanted any MD. I bought a gram and took half in one go.

    Needless to say that was quite a night. I'm glad my partner at the time was with me because I was off my rocker. All the weird verbal tics and silly expressions and voices I tend to keep to myself weren't held back at all. She had the sense to call my parents and tell me to shut up in the car and pretend to be asleep.

    Other experiences felt more uplifting but that's because at the time I was going to a lit of house parties and illegal raves. MD and music was an amazing combo, but as you said - the comedowns are horrific. Pills were hit and miss as they could be cut with anything and the last few times I had them I was vomiting profusely

    I think a main reason for quitting was the cost, both physical, mental and financial. But also the ongoing depression and guilt. A toke or drink took the edge off, but only for a while and to keep it going I ended up wasted and wasting all my free time. I was living in a fog and I was sick and tired of my behaviour.

    Ed
     
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  16. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I could do with a sugar detox myself.

    Ed
     
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  17. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Addiction is a disease not a sin in my opinion. Just like autism is a neurological disorder and not a mental illness. I can agree that altering one's conciousness can be bad for you, but it is no more a sin than having cancer or a sugar addiction. To each their own though, and if it works for you it's a good thing for you.
     
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  18. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Self medicating for me, hmm, no "drugs" in the sense that most people think of the word. The only thing that might be close to that is caffeine. Mountain Dew, you see. Though I dont drink it for that, I just really like the taste. I dont do alcohol, ever.

    But for things like, say, aspirin or stuff like that, bought at an actual pharmacy proper, sure. If there's something that'll serve a practical purpose, then as long as I understand how it works and how it's intended to be used, I'll do it. I dont like to though. I'm already on enough accursed pills. Wellbutrin, Lamictal, cyclobenzaprine, Tramadol (that one is really strong, only taken when needed). And then Allegra, which I usually refer to as the Sanity Pill. Dont take that one and allergies will break my mind.

    Now as for dealing with anxiety.... most meds dont REALLY do that. You wanna start feeling better in a mental sense, deal with stuff that you're missing. Nutrients and whatnot. What really did the trick for me was the same bloody thing I repeat on this forum alot: Drinking water. LOTS of it. As I've said before, most people not only dont realize what dehydration can do to them, they dont realize that they even ARE dehydrated. It causes both a ton of health AND mental issues. And no, drinking alcohol or soda doesnt count, for this one. Gotta be proper water. Get into a regimen of doing it properly, and boy are you going to notice a difference.
     
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  19. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    I always do drink plenty of water. That is good advice I give to people as well.

    I was also on Tramadol before and after major back surgery and that is no joke either. My main issue with that was not the addictiveness but the opiate itch I'd get. I was able to quit that cold turkey after the major pain after my back surgery abated without a problem.
     
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  20. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have got quite dependant on alcohol sometimes, hand in hand with over working. I focussed more on alcohol after successfully stopping smoking 17 years ago. I do think it was a way of managing high autistic traits or Aspergers effects. I wouldn't say it was unenjoyable though, but I felt concerned especially about the potential likely effects of alcohol on my health. I worked long hours, and drank a bit more than was good for me alone at home at night.

    Sometimes I have mitigated the alcohol use by adopting strong interests, doing therapy, or going on health and exercise plans. Gave up work and excessive use of alcohol last year. Seems to be working well, I hardly ever have alcohol now. I'm doing a writing project and maybe I m a little bit more prone to snack, that's probably my next target. Healthy eating and exercise.
     
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