News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Synthetic cannabis addiction and withdrawal treatment guide

MEDIA RELEASE
May 7, 2014

Synthetic cannabis addiction and withdrawal treatment guide

Canterbury experts have developed a guide to help health care professionals in the community treat a predicted increase in people withdrawing from synthetic cannabinoid addiction.

The guide is a direct response to the Government’s amendment of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013. From midnight tonight all interim approved psychoactive substances will be withdrawn from the market. It is now illegal to sell these substances and none can be sold until they have gone through an approval process, which includes thorough testing to prove low risk of harm.

Dr Paul Gee, Christchurch Hospital emergency and toxicology expert, says he welcomes the changes to the Act but warns regular users of synthetic cannabis may experience some unpleasant side effects when they stop using these substances.

“Common symptoms of withdrawal can include restlessness, irritability, agitation, headaches, mood swings, poor appetite, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting,” Dr Gee says.

“Most users should be able to manage detox at home with advice from their family doctor. The Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department can assist with the emergency care of patients experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. Requests for formal detox are coordinated through local Alcohol and Drug services.”

Dr Gee says people planning to stop regular cannabinoid use should seek advice from their General Practice team.

Dr Alfred Dell’Ario, Canterbury and West Coast DHB Clinical Director of Specialist Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drug Services, says withdrawal symptoms can vary from mild to extreme and last from hours to weeks.

“Most people can cope with mild withdrawal by knowing what to expect, taking extra care of themselves (such as resting and drinking water) and we can provide advice on ways to help people who are agitated and having problems sleeping,” Dr Dell’Ario says.

“However, people experiencing significant withdrawals including violence, psychosis, suicidal thoughts or anything suggesting significant mood or psychotic illness should be referred to the Psychiatric Emergency Service (PES).” The PES contact details are (03) 364 0482 or 0800 920 092.

The Canterbury DHB guide is currently being distributed around the region and is available on our website

Common synthetic cannabinoid withdrawal symptoms:

Restlessness
IrritabilityAgitation
Sleep problems
Low mood
Heavy sweating
Anxiety
Headaches
Low energy
Poor concentration
Mood swings
Vomiting
DiarrhoeaAches and pains
Nausea
Low appetite
Craving drugs

More extreme symptoms:

Depression
Hallucinations
Paranoia
Racing heart
Suicidal thoughts
Anger
Ongoing diarrhoea and vomiting
Aggression and violence
Confusion and memory problems

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: Singin’ In The Rain

Singin’ in the Rain , the wet and wonderful musical production all the way from London’s West End, officially opened at St. James Theatre in Wellington. More>>

Francis Cook: Gallipoli: The Scale Of Our War – First Look

Te Papa today allowed media access to their new exhibition Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War . The exhibition was curated with help from Weta Workshop to deliver an immersive, realistic and even disorienting experience. More>>

ALSO:

Bats Theatre: Letters From The Front Brings ANZAC Letters Alive

Inspired by centenary commemorations, improv troupe Best on Tap is producing a show based on real-life letters sent to and from New Zealand soldiers in the First World War. More>>

ALSO:

Publishing: Unity Books On Plan To Close Te Papa Press

Unity Books is alarmed that Te Papa is proposing to suspend publishing by Te Papa Press for 4 or 5 years. Te Papa Press has proven time and time again that it has both award and bestseller capability and fulfils its kaupapa. More>>

ALSO:

Cinema: ‘The Desk’ Featuring Paul Henry To Have NZ Debut

The Documentary Edge Festival is thrilled to announce The Desk as a late entry to its 2015 Programme. The film, featuring local broadcaster Paul Henry, will have its international premiere on May 21 at 10pm at Q Theatre (book now at qtheatre.co.nz) with limited screenings also on offer in Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Art: Considering Feminisms In Aotearoa New Zealand: Two Projects

Feminism is something that has changed our lives. Recently, the activist Marilyn Waring reviewed the impact of feminism in Aotearoa New Zealand and reminded us that just 40 years ago banks wouldn’t lend women money without the guarantee of a man, ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news