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Ask the Experts


Are alcohol and marijauna triggers for anxiety attacks?

My friend has GAD. She smokes marijuana on a daily basis and also has a few drinks at least three nights a week. She usually has anxiety attacks the morning after these activities. I tend to think that these activities enhance the chances of an anxiety attack while she does not.

Any insight into this?

Answered by: Franklin Schneier

Alcohol and marijuana can trigger anxiety attacks in some people. Their effects on anxiety vary greatly from person to person. But given the pattern you describe, it certainly may be an issue for your friend. If she is skeptical (or in denial), perhaps keeping a daily diary of her alcohol and marijuana use and her panic attacks will clarify the issue.