I get a lot of letters on a personal site regarding an article I wrote about Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). It’s one of the primary causes of relapse, and a subject that is poorly-covered in a lot of treatment facilities. Because there’s also very little about it on the Internet, the article gets a lot of traffic.
PAWS refers to a collection of symptoms, related to the use of alcohol and other drugs, that continue for quite some time after we get clean and sober. It’s too complex to go into in detail here, but suffice it to say that it can be the cause of a lot of discomfort and — if not dealt with constructively — can often lead to circumstances where it seems as though we might as well use, since we’re so miserable anyway.
I bring this up because I ran across another article, rhapsodizing about the benefits of smoking marijuana, that totally ignored the downside. I find that extremely annoying. While it may be true that it is no more harmful than alcohol, that’s begging the issue since alcohol can be horribly destructive. So I offer the following letter for your consideration, along with my reply. [Read more…]