At 21, Tyler Labreque was diagnosed with anxiety by his family doctor. Following his prognosis, he was prescribed various medications. With no change to his condition, Tyler’s doctor suggested he visit a psychiatrist. Over the course of eight years Tyler tested the whole market for anti-psychotic drugs, and his condition progressively worsened. The horrible side effects from the anti-psychotic drugs was his biggest hurdle. Tyler had new medical conditions that he had never experienced before, including, stomach ulcers, insomnia, impotence, depression and sadly more. Thus, he began taking secondary medication to combat the side effects of the opioids. As a final effort, Tyler returned to his family doctor, hoping for an alternative method. Finally, the physician suggested medical marijuana, which Tyler was hesitant to try. Tyler thought medical marijuana was the same drug that he had experimented with in high school, “I just didn’t see how it could benefit me in any way”. As a final resort he began vaporizing, which stopped the crippling effects of anxiety. For the first time in almost a decade, Tyler began to ween off the anti-psychotic medications and now only medicates with medical marijuana. He admits that in the early stages, the withdrawals were devastating both physically and emotionally, but “it gave me my life back”.
Medical Marijuana allows him to experience anxiety differently, before, he would experience 2-3 panic attacks a day, with at least one forcing him to retreat home. Tyler no longer needs to plan his day around taking medicine, as he is able to medicate discreetly and instantly when he feels an attack arising. Currently, he vaporizes between 4-5 times a day, experiencing relief within 2 minutes. The instant relief allows him to breathe, which he says, “is the first thing one loses when experiencing an attack, it allows me to attack anxiety head on”. Tyler was also surprised about the improvement in his bronchial asthma. Tyler has gone from using 1 salbutamol inhaler a month, to about 2 a year. The quality of Tyler’s life has also improved, “for the first time in a long time, I had time to think of goals, and plan for them, anxiety no longer taking precedent, paralyzing me to make any future goals”. Since the switch, Tyler has secured a great job at Chrysler, received a certificate in Personal Training, and co-runs a gym that focuses on mixed marital arts for over 50 clients. Tyler now has a great social life, and personal life, in which he and his girlfriend just received pre-approval for a house. “28-year-old Tyler didn’t have goals, Now I can set goals for attainable things, my reality is something I could have never imagined”. Tyler wishes this could have been an option sooner, it was only given to him as a last resort, instead of an initial option. Tyler claims that the switch “literally saved my life.” He advocates for people to try it, as the medical marijuana is not damaging, and does not have the terrible side effects like opioids do.