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The Life of Alan

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The Life of Alan As Alan walks through the doors of the drop in centre he looks like any other confident young man with his spiked gelled hair, leather jacket and designer trainers. It's not until you look at his face, and into his eyes, that you realise that the carefree attitude he displays to the outside world is a cloak to mask the anxiety and worry in his eyes. As he settles in the chair opposite me I can see he's quite nervous, as his eyes dart all over the room and his hands fidget with his hair. I try to reassure him that if any of my questions make him uncomfortable or uneasy, we can move on or even end the interview. Alan has been clean from drugs for two years, one month and six days, as he proudly tells me, but each day is a conscious effort to stay that way. "I wake up fantasising on the carefree sensation that drugs gave me but, then I force myself to remember that I now have a job, and people who depend on me, so I can't go back there," he says. Back there started 10 years ago when he was 13. "Cannabis was dead easy to get and all my mates smoked it and I didn't want to be left out. ...read more.


He spent three months in the clinic, but as the time drew near for him to leave the old fears returned. "It was safe in the clinic, with no temptations. The daily routines of cleaning his room, having regular meals, attending counselling sessions and talks all helped to fill his days and gave him some sort of structure, something he hadn't had for years. While Alan had been at the clinic his parents had sold up their home and moved to a new suburb. They felt they all needed a new start and clean break, where Alan could start again without his past haunting him with familiar faces and places. As Alan said "I started to look forward to leaving the clinic and starting again and really felt motivated. My parents had put everything on the line for me and I didn't want to let them down." Alan had dropped out of school with no qualifications so his job options were fairly restricted, and having been on drugs from such a young age, it had left him with a limited concentration span and short term memory loss. He'd been told that this wasn't irreversible but it would take time to repair. As he says "I'd brought this on myself but at least I had the hope that if I stayed clean it would get better." ...read more.


What if any regrets do you have? How are your relationships now? Research Material MENTAL HEALTH, BRAIN FUNCTION, AND MEMORY It has been suggested that marijuana is at the root of many mental disorders, including acute toxic psychosis, panic attacks (one of the very conditions it is being used experimentally to treat), flashbacks, delusions, depersonalization, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, and uncontrollable aggressiveness. Marijuana has long been known to trigger attacks of mental illness, such as bipolar (manic-depressive) psychosis and schizophrenia. This connection with mental illness should make health care providers for terminally ill patients and the patients themselves, who may already be suffering from some form of clinical depression, weigh very carefully the pros and cons of adopting a therapeutic course of marijuana. In the short term, marijuana use impairs perception, judgment, thinking, memory, and learning; memory defects may persist six weeks after last use. Mental disorders connected with marijuana use merit their own category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV, published by the American Psychiatric Association. These include Cannabis Intoxication (consisting of impaired motor coordination, anxiety, impaired judgment, sensation of slowed time, social withdrawal, and often includes perceptual disturbances; Cannabis Intoxication Delirium (memory deficit, disorientation); Cannabis Induced Psychotic Disorder, Delusions; Cannabis Induced Psychotic Disorder, Hallucinations; and Cannabis Induced Anxiety Disorder. Above article taken from:- Health_Concerns: WHAT ARE THE MEDICAL DANGERS OF MARIJUANA USE? http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/evidence99/marijuana/Health_1.html WWW.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Hazel McClelland ...read more.

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