Can I use marijuana and cocaine as antidepressants?

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr. Stanton Peele
Posted on September 4th, 2010 - Last updated: June 28th, 2019
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Dear Stanton:

I have been taking Prozac for almost 3 years for recurring depression that was caused by taking phentermine, a prescription diet drug. I like to smoke pot maybe 2 times a month and sometimes I like to do some cocaine, 1g at a time. I was wondering about the effects of combining the Prozac with the pot, and also with the coke. I have noticed that after not doing coke for 2 weeks now I have had some of my depression symptoms, like not wanting to talk to anyone, or leave the house. Are those symptoms of my depression, and why is coke doing that, and also are these signs of withdrawal symptoms for either coke or pot.

Thank you.

Trying to stay happy.



Dear Liz:

I am not a pharmacologist. I can’t say how illicit drugs and antidepressants interact. But you say here you stopped doing coke and had depressive symptoms — so it seems like the coke was not the cause of those symptoms. You don’t say how often you take cocaine. If you limit yourself to 1 gm at a time and do not take it frequently, it seems unlikely to me that, when not taking it for two weeks, you are going through withdrawal from coke. Likewise, I just don’t see withdrawal from pot if you smoke it two times a month.

I appreciate that people sometimes use a variety of methods to try to stay happy, including using pot and other drugs. I don’t make any judgements against any method.


Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.


  • john says:

    I’ve found that extended pot usage kinda brings some depression in, especially if your not sleeping enough. I recently noticed that a little cocaine reduces, if not eliminates the low. The coke if not taken in a high dose, like .25 or less, allows for a smooth transition. I did it daily for a week, in the morning, and noticed a positive change in mood. haven’t used coke since, but if i find myself slipping down a depressive slide, I know what to do. Disclaimer: probably will not work for everyone.

  • Carenician says:

    Antidepressants may interact with street drugs, but the risks are often difficult to quantify or predict. Antidepressants may increase the potential for seizure, and stimulant drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine carry a similar risk.

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