Cannabis: real stories 

Smoking cannabis can lead to cannabis psychosis, causing you to lose touch with reality. Two men describe how it happened to them.

Find out more about the dangers of cannabis

Transcript of Cannabis: real stories

The fact of madness is that you don't know you're mad.

It's the rest of the world that's mad.

It took me a breakdown to actually discover,

"I think it's the drugs. I need to stop."

My body could still smoke it.

My brain couldn't. It was turning into mush.

(Man) Cannabis psychosis is interesting. People lose touch with reality.

They start to become paranoid.

They think people are after them for no apparent reason.

They start to see things or hear things which are not really there.

That's experiencing hallucinations.

Ultimately, they lose touch with reality so much

that they can't continue with everyday life.

That might even lead to them wanting to harm themselves,

occasionally even other people,

because of these irrational fears.

So people are brought to hospital

and are treated for their own safety and wellbeing.

I was travelling to work and it was a Monday morning.

I was on the train just commuting.

There weren't too many people in the carriage.

Just like that, I could not breathe.

And I'm thinking, "I've got to get out of here."

I was panicking. I was thinking, "Am I going mad?"

At that point it felt like it wasn't going to go away.

I was tortured by it. I was so scared that I had to speak to someone.

They thought it was anxiety.

When you're doing drugs on a regular basis,

you are in a different state of mind than other people,

even when you're not on drugs.

To you that's your reality at that time.

So you're not, like, shocked that you're crazy or something.

I look back now and I'm shocked

but at the time it's just normal.

And you do, you seclude yourself, you know.

You distance yourself from people

to a point you don't need anyone, just your drugs.

I would have been smoking weed all day, every day.

I actually went on this mad trip to Nottingham

and a few days later I was brought back by the police,

covered in blood and all this kind of stuff.

I think I'd actually been hurting myself

because I was just too far gone.

There's quite a lot of the psychosis I don't remember a lot of at all.

Your mind just blanks it out. It's too scary.

My mum came and saved me, really.

She took me to the hospital

and she was trying to get them to give me a sedative

and they were trying to section me and I wouldn't take the sedative.

She managed to convince them,

"Let me take him down south so he can be sectioned near to where I am."

I was on anti-psychotics and all this sort of stuff.

It took about six months, really, to get back to normal.

The doctors said it was a miracle recovery.

They were very much aware that I wasn't crazy

and it was just this psychosis that's to do with the weed.

They'd seen it a hundred times before.

It's also very important to look at the attitudes of those around

because our attitude is shaped by those around us.

So it's very important to talk to people

that might have a more sensible approach to drugs,

rather than those who say it's not a problem.

We don't want to stop people experimenting with life.

We want people, especially young people, to understand the risks.

Luckily for me I've found my career

and photography.

So it was OK. That's really what saved my life.

That's what people need to find.

A positive outlet or a positive way to find a buzz.

If you can't get out of it yourself, you can go get help.

There's places that can help you. There's a lot of programmes set up.

Don't let the world influence you

in thinking that drugs are cool.

I would tell people, "Don't do the drugs

because you will lose years of your life on those drugs."

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