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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Addiction and Substance Abuse
I smoke, but am I okay?
I smoke weed and ciggarettes but smoke weed more than ciggs. I don`t smoke ciggarettes that much for it be apart of my daily thing, more like socially. I have been recently congested with a lot mucus and i think it is due to allergies but when i spit my mucus out i sometimes notice charcoal-colored tiny bits within the mucus. This happens sparatically, but i also experience occasional chest pains. Is this somehting i should be concerned about? I`m getting worried but i dont want to work myself up. I don`t know what it is i am spitting out in my mucus and why these chest pains are occuring, but i would like to know what may be causing them and any other information that can be to my benefit. thanks so much and please help!
I think that your concern is very well placed. It is NOT normal to spit up mucus regularly, and certainly not normal to have chest pains and black-looking mucus. It is highly likely that this is due to your smoking ... both tobacco and M.J. It is quite common for patients with cocaine addiction who smoke a lot of crack cocaine to have chest pains and black residue in their phlegm, but it is also possible for M.J. / nicotine smokers to have the same thing.
I strongly recommend that you see a doctor to get a chest examination, perhaps an X-ray, perhaps a mucus culture, and probably skin testing for exposure to infections.
I also strongly recommend that you quit smoking - everything. It sounds from your note that you may actually smoke more M.J. than tobacco, but certainly you should quit both. If you have trouble quitting, then please seek counseling! Good luck.
Ted Parran, MD
Associate Professor of General Medical Sciences
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University