Zvi Gluck

Gateway to Danger

Everyone is doing it. What’s the harm? These common refrains have been a part of our culture since the beginning of time; but as many of us know, they are often inaccurate and can lead to terrible consequences. If we can educate the community and save the lives of those who just don’t have the right information, then we will have achieved a noteworthy victory.

We received a panicked phone call from Zevi*, who was concerned about his brother, Moshe’s*, erratic behavior over the prior few weeks. Moshe was praying for hours each day, saying that he was going to bring Moshiach and end the Jewish exile. Zevi was at a complete loss; until recently, his brother had been a “chilled, happy stoner.”

Our case manager took a complete history and learned that Moshe was using a vape pen with high concentrations of THC. His brother never saw him without that vape pen, which he inhaled constantly. Suspecting that Moshe was suffering from drug induced psychosis, our case manager recommended that Zevi immediately take Moshe to the emergency room for a medical evaluation.

Zevi was surprised, as he had always thought that weed was a harmless and common recreational drug. But with no other options that made sense, he took Moshe to the hospital, where he was treated to counter the effects of the THC and kept under observation for several days.

After Moshe’s discharge, Zevi reached out to discuss an aftercare plan. Moshe did not need rehab, rather therapy and support in abstaining from marijuana in any form. Moshe now understood that while some of his friends were able to use weed without disastrous results, he could not because it would significantly harm his brain chemistry. Our case manager connected Moshe with other peers in recovery and a therapist. They speak on a regular basis; and baruch Hashem, Moshe is doing much better. They have also continued the conversation about the pros and cons of the various CBD products that are sold everywhere; and Moshe knows to speak with his doctor before ingesting anything that could impact his physical and mental health.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Amudim is a phone call away and here to help.

*Names and details have been changed for privacy purposes

About the Author
Zvi Gluck is the CEO of Amudim, an organization dedicated to helping abuse victims and those suffering from addiction within the Jewish community, and has been heavily involved in crisis intervention and management for the past 20 years.
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