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Question:

From Los Angeles, CA, USA:

My friend has just been diagnosed with diabetes. He is 19 and it is not known whether it is type I or II. He is in a fraternity and has decided to stop drinking, however still smokes marijuana. He is very careful to not eat afterwards when he is not supposed to and it has not seemed to affect his blood sugar. He also says it is not any more dangerous for him than a regular person to do other drugs such as extasy, cocaine, or mushrooms. Is this true?

Answer:

Without wishing to moralize, I think that the short answer is "no". Safety is a difficult thing to discuss in relation to drugs of abuse, leisure drugs and designer drugs. However, a person with diabetes faces particular and specific risks when taking any mind altering substance (including alcohol). The main extra risk is hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars). Forgetting to eat when "high" is dangerous. The symptoms of hypoglycaemia may easily be misinterpreted by the person with diabetes (and others) as simply being due to the ingested/inhaled substance. This view may also be taken by any officer of the law who happens by and more than one diabetic has died in a jail cell. My first advice would be -- avoid. If that's not acceptable then -- eat, before, during and after and make sure there's someone sensible around.

KJR

Original posting 4 Mar 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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