Week of:
Mar 15, 2019

Using friend's muscle relaxant — Safe?

Dear Alice,

I originally took a muscle relaxer because I was experiencing very bad back pain and could not sleep. I was not prescribed the muscle relaxers. My friend suggested I take one of hers. So I did, and now I will take one sometimes before bed if I can't fall asleep or if I want to actually just relax. It makes me just want to sleep, and I feel really calm after taking one. Is this bad that I take them for this reason? What are the side effects? Is it harmful?

Miss Dazed and Confused

We take ecstasy and then pass out on purpose — What's going on here?

Dear Alice,

I am an ecstasy user, and my friends and I, while on this drug, like to pass each other out. We do this by inhaling and exhaling at a quick pace, then take a deep breath and hold it while crossing your arms on your chest. When you do this, someone wraps their arms around you, lifts you off the ground, squeezing until you exhale. It feels like you have been out for an hour when in actuality, it was only a few seconds. It creates an incredible rebirth-like experience when you finally come to that is the draw to doing this. Anyway, my question is this: What permanent damage does this cause, particularly to the brain? I know this is a dangerous practice, as is taking ecstasy. I just want to know what is happening to my body.

— Inquiring minds want to know

Friends are double dosing: Marijuana and Prozac

Dear Alice,

I have two friends who were recently diagnosed with depression. They were both prescribed Prozac by their respective doctors. Both of them are heavy marijuana users and both failed to mention that to their doctors. One has been on Prozac for two months and the other for six weeks. I have noticed that their behavior has become strange: mood swings, paranoia, oversleeping, fatigue. They continue taking their Prozac (20 mg a day) and continue smoking pot. I am afraid that there might be some negative interaction between the substances, one being an antidepressant and the other a depressant. Can you provide some insight?

— Concerned Friend

21st birthday coming up — Should I drink?

Dear Alice,

My 21st birthday is coming up. I've already had two sets of friends and my mom's boyfriend offer to take me to the bar for drinks. The problem is, I have never been drunk before, let alone consumed alcohol. I chose not to drink for a few different reasons and am not sure if I should change anything for my birthday. On the other hand, I feel that I am obliged to go out drinking on this "special occasion."

— Sober 'til 21 (or maybe later)