Symptoms are variable and may not relate to the quantity smoked or duration of use. Most common symptoms comprise:
anxiety, restlessness, irritability
anorexia (and weight loss)
disturbed sleep and vivid dreams
gastrointestinal tract symptoms (for example, abdominal pain)
Symptoms may last one to two weeks
There are no significant complications of withdrawal that would necessitate inpatient treatment.
No specific medications have been demonstrated to be effective in cannabis withdrawal. If prescribed at all, short-term symptomatic medications may be useful.
This may include:
Diazepam 5 to 10mg QID prn for a maximum of seven to 10 days
Metoclopramide 10 to 20mg TDS prn for nausea
Simple analgesia (for example paracetamol).
Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia uses olanzapine 2.5 to 5mg BD prn for seven to 10 days for agitation that is not relieved by diazepam.
Psychotic symptoms should be managed with an antipsychotic medication such as olanzapine or risperidone for up to two weeks. If the symptoms are severe or persistent for longer than this, psychiatric assistance should be sought.
Sleep disturbance can persist for several weeks. The person should be re-assured. The sleep disturbance should be managed without medications. The Insomnia management kit can be used to assist in the assessment, diagnosis and management of patients presenting with a sleep problem.
DACAS provides a telephone and email service for South Australian health professionals seeking clinical information and clarification around clinical procedures, guidelines and evidence-based practice.
Telephone: (08) 7087 1742 from 8.30 am to 10.00 pm 7 days/week including public holidays or email your enquiry to: HealthDACASEnquiries@sa.gov.au. Out of
these hours, medically urgent calls from a hospital based Medical
Consultant or country hospital medical officer/GP will always receive a response.
service does not provide proxy medical cover and cannot assume responsibility
for direct patient care.
You can search through to find related information.
Treatment options for alcohol or other drug problems
Information about the various treatments options people can consider for alcohol or other drug problems
Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS)
Information about the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS), which includes information about the Needle Clean Up Hotline and Gambling Helpline.
Harmful drug use - drug types
The individual characteristics of commonly misused substances and harmful drug use - drug types. Includes common names used
Sleep problems - Insomnia Management Kit
The Insomnia Management Kit is designed for GPs with patients who report sleep problems - includes assessment, diagnosis and management
Substance withdrawal management
Describes appropriate processes for the management of substance withdrawal.
How to stay healthy in the heat
Everyone is at risk of heat-related illness during hot weather and heatwaves.
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