Information on Alcohol and Drugs for people living with HIV

HIV and Alcohol & Drugs



Cannabis can be smoked, usually with tobacco, eaten, drunk in a ‘tea’ or snorted as a snuff. The drug affects the central nervous system, and as a result, users may experience relief from pain, feel light-headed, relaxed, or sleepy. The drug can also stimulate appetite; the so-called ‘munchies’. However, cannabis is also known to impair co-ordination, can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as emotional and mental health problems such as anxiety and paranoia, which in long-term use may become chronic.

Cannabis is a depressant, meaning that it slows down the messages between the brain and the body. The high from smoking cannabis normally takes effect within minutes and can affect a person for about two to four hours.
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The above information sourced and edited for New Zealand form contained on
It is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Please talk to your doctor or another member of your HIV specialist for advice tailored to your situation.
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If you find that you can not control your use of alcohol or other drugs, would like to cut back or stop or would like any other support in this area, Body Positive may be able to help. We currently have a range of counselling available in Auckland.
To talk to us about starting counselling, please contact us on 0800 HIV LINE
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