Citation: AlterEgo. "Insight Into Amnesia: An Experience with Lorazepam & Cannabis (ID 61600)". Erowid.org. Nov 2, 2007. erowid.org/exp/61600
The past six months of life have been completely screwed up. I was diagnosed with depression and was given an onslaught on psychiatric medications, starting with Wellbutrin, then Celexa, Trazadone, Abilify, when the diagnosis was changed to bi-polar type 2, and finally Klonopin for anxiety. Shockingly even though most of these medications have low side effect profiles I had serious adverse effects which caused me to discontinue use of all medications. During the experience my body had been clean for about a month of all medications except the Klonopin as needed for anxiety attacks, and I hadn't needed it except for one use (.5mg) four days prior to the experience. This according to half-lives means that I should have been fairly well detoxed of most substances, except cannabis which I had been smoking fairly heavily for the past 4 months, in an attempt to self-medicate my depression.
Past substance experimentation includes: Cannabis, LSA, opium, nitrous, Klonopin, Ativan, kava, and salvia divinorum.
I had gone to the hospital for some blood work, as requested by my psychiatrist, although due to a serious phobia of needles I was prescribes 2mg of Ativan to ease my anxiety. This was the third time I had been prescribed it for this exact reason, so I was familiar with the effects, although a combination with another substance had never been tried.
I went to the hospital and checked myself into the blood work area already starting to feel an anxiety attack coming on, my heart started racing and I went to a water fountain and took the Ativan. I then went back to the check-in area and informed the secretary of what I had done, she laughed and told me I should sit down and relax and whenever I felt that the medicine was working I should let her know and she would tell the doctors. I sat down trying to calm myself as I knew it would be embarrassing having a panic attack in front of so many other people. It was packed in the blood work center that day for some reason.
I waited for the feeling of relaxation to kick in, and decided to go to the cafeteria to get a drink as a mixture of the medicine and anxiety was giving me a bit of dry mouth. Walking down the stairs I felt a slight loss of coordination and my muscles start to give way to the benzodiazepine. I bought a can of iced tea and drank it, apparently titration of these medicines is very important as chugging a 24oz bottle took me from slightly calmer to feeling nice and 'tipsy' within less then 5 minutes, where as in my previous experiences it took about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours for the medicine to take full effects, it was only 20 minutes after oral administration and I was feeling the effects quite strongly. The way I still describe it to others is, 'Imagine a chemically perfect alcohol that only gives you the relaxed and euphoric effects without as much of the negative crap like slurred speech and dizziness.'
The trip back to the blood work center was a nice experience although I had to hold onto the railing with the stairs as I was a having a bit of difficulty walking. I say it was a nice experience because I was now laughing at things which would otherwise seem completely stupid like a large picture of a pink fish that was hanging in one of the hallways, similar to the giggles which can happen with weed. I got back and told the secretary that I could now have blood work performed, I had a large grin on my face and she clearly had seen many people on this drug, as she also had a smile on her face and asked me if I was appropriately high, to which I responded, 'I've had better.'
The blood work was performed painlessly, the phlebotomist telling me to turn my head and fooling me into thinking that he was going to put the needle in on a count of three, when he actually removed it and had the blood sample. I left the hospital and got home, I felt a bit sedated but decided not to go to sleep wondering if smoking weed with this medicine would produce a dangerous combination, hopped on the computer and scanned Wikipedia and Erowid for any information, the only warning being that I shouldn't drink with this stuff. Alright, no mention of the holy herb, guess it's fine to mix them.
I emptied my grinder to find a good amount of weed still in it, and proceeded to grind an additional bowls worth of some pretty strong knock-out Indica I just picked up from the local 'supplier' I prefer sativa but being very hard to get in the Boston area I was content with the White Russian I was about to smoke. I called a good friend of mine and alerted him and told him if I called him during the experience to come over to my house and check-up although I reassured him I was almost positive this was a safe combination and I would be fine, he agreed and I commenced smoking from my bubbler.
The first thing I noticed was the weed seemed to have an almost instant effect, instead of the unusual 5 minute delay I'm used to. I decided to take some notes as I quickly realized my memory was about to be shot in the face by the combination, each drug creating decent amounts of anterograde amnesia for the duration of their effects. I wobbled over to my computer quite happy and turned on some music, opened a word document and hopped on You tube looking for some dumb videos to keep myself amused while I came up on the weed. I have a really slow drug metabolism, so it can be almost an hour before cannabis really hits me. Music sounded amazing and everything in the world seemed to be perfect even with the bad situation I was in mentally and academically. I wrote, 'Highly euphoric effects from this combination, would do this again, vision and time perception very altered, almost comparable to a threshold dose of acid, difficulty encountered while typing, similar to being drunk.' Little did I know this was only the beginning of the experience.
It was now about 2 hours into the Ativan and about 20 minutes after smoking. I decided to adventure over to the refrigerator and get some food. I told myself the 'is your fridge running?' joke aloud to myself and fell to the ground laughing, starting to comprehend how powerful this combo was, and decided it was probably better I had nothing scheduled for the remainder of the night. I walked into the kitchen and started opening and closing cabinets mindlessly playing with everything in sight. I drank some milk and ate cookies. I then staggered back into my room and typed 'Weed + Ativan=probably heroin'.
I guess I was having a pretty great time as from this point on I have little recollection of the night apart from my occasional notes and I did end up calling my friend but I told him 'not to worry, it was snowing outside and I was feeling good.' It wasn’t snowing though, let alone below 60 degrees. Apparently during the whole conversation my speech was pretty fucked, I also asked him 'Have you ever been to Japan? Place seems ill.' Those explicitly were the only two things he remembered although he said I was clearly messed up pretty bad and sounded more like I was drunk dialing him than being high.
I went to bed and while relaxing I tried some meditative thinking strategies although the ‘spinning out’ feeling was quite strong and I saw it as a battle with my mind to overcome it and use this experience to hopefully enlighten myself in my current situation and find some guidance. I do remember thinking how I needed to change and that psychiatric medications weren’t going to cure me, and that I had to take the initiative and start on a new path. While I wouldn’t consider it a mystical experience I would definitely say it helped me slightly in overcoming some of my issues I was dealing with at the time. Everything from that night seems like a total blur now, but I can assure you that it is fun indeed, although if I was to repeat the experience I would smoke less, and maybe drop the dose of the Ativan to 1-1.5mg, I normally like to be more functional than I was during the experience.
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