Friday, September 07, 2007

Categorising drugs according to impact

Lets put drugs into categories according to their impact, drugs that:
- make stuttering worse for all.
- make stuttering better for all.
- make stuttering worse for some and better for others,
- make stuttering better for some and no impact for others,
- make stuttering worse for some and no impact for others,
- have no impact on stuttering.

I discussed the various systems that drugs could act on: here. It should be possible to systematically go through all drugs, classify them according to the above scheme, look in which brain regions / pathways these drugs are known to act, and then set up a list of the systems involved in stuttering. For example, if a drug has no impact then all the brain regions where this drug act should not be involved in stuttering, and so on. So similar to an fMRI or PET scan, such a study could build up a "drug brain scan" showing the regions of stuttering-relevant activity. Maybe this is practically not feasible, but theoretically it should work!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

From personal experience, when it comes to prescription drugs, I have been on many different SSRI's and SNRI's, as well as Wellbutrin, Ritalin, benzos, opiates and brief stints with one typical and one atypical anti-psychotics.

The only effects on my stuttering that I clearly noticed were produced by Ritalin and typical opiates like Hydrocodone. Surprisingly, the effects were positive. Both of these types of drugs make me very talkative, less inhibited and although they do not eliminate my blocks, they makes me not think about them as much and stutter more easily, with less secondary behaviors. The only things I noticed when briefly taking a typical anti-psychotic (Haloperidol) and an atypical one (Zyprexa), were the horrible side-effects.

As far as recreational drugs, I only have experience with nicotine, alcohol and marijuana.
Smoking cigarettes definitely makes me more relaxed, but just like with benzos, I have not noticed an effect on my fluency.

Alcohol is a mixed bag. Two or three drinks at times improves my fluency, while getting any more drunk makes it worse. Strangely enough, when I go into an “acting mode” while intoxicated, it works miracles. On several occasions, I have gone clubbing, got a few in me and got enough confidence to pick up a lady. In those cases, I would exaggerate my foreign accents (I am not a native English speaker and do speak several languages), and remain fluent (and very charming) throughout the night, getting compliments on how “sexy” I sound. On a side note, it is ironic that I am a severe stutterer, who’s been told on many occasions that he has a deep, manly, sexy voice.

When it comes to marijuana, things are clear. I experimented with it several times and each time, I found that it significantly exacerbates my disfluency, to a point where it’s not even worth it to try to say something. I don’t like this drug for this and other reasons.

Anonymous said...

From personal experience, when it comes to prescription drugs, I have been on many different SSRI's and SNRI's, as well as Wellbutrin, Ritalin, benzos, opiates and brief stints with one typical and one atypical anti-psychotics.

The only effects on my stuttering that I clearly noticed were produced by Ritalin and typical opiates like Hydrocodone. Surprisingly, the effects were positive. Both of these types of drugs make me very talkative, less inhibited and although they do not eliminate my blocks, they makes me not think about them as much and stutter more easily, with less secondary behaviors. The only things I noticed when briefly taking a typical anti-psychotic (Haloperidol) and an atypical one (Zyprexa), were the horrible side-effects.

As far as recreational drugs, I only have experience with nicotine, alcohol and marijuana.
Smoking cigarettes definitely makes me more relaxed, but just like with benzos, I have not noticed an effect on my fluency.

Alcohol is a mixed bag. Two or three drinks at times improves my fluency, while getting any more drunk makes it worse. Strangely enough, when I go into an “acting mode” while intoxicated, it works miracles. On several occasions, I have gone clubbing, got a few in me and got enough confidence to pick up a lady. In those cases, I would exaggerate my foreign accents (I am not a native English speaker and do speak several languages), and remain fluent (and very charming) throughout the night, getting compliments on how “sexy” I sound. On a side note, it is ironic that I am a severe stutterer, who’s been told on many occasions that he has a deep, manly, sexy voice.

When it comes to marijuana, things are clear. I experimented with it several times and each time, I found that it significantly exacerbates my disfluency, to a point where it’s not even worth it to try to say something. I don’t like this drug for this and other reasons.

-Silent P.

Anonymous said...

Whoops. Sorry for the double post.
-Silent P.

Anonymous said...

From my evperience,all drugs , prescrption and recreational make my stuttering a lot more severe. I am 68 years old, and during my undergratate years in Berkeley, i used to smoke grass freequently but my stuttering would get so bad that I could not participate in convesations. The same was true on the few occasions that I dropped acid. Alcohol has a moderate negative effect on my stuttering so I drink very little. Speed and cocaine made me talk a lot and I am very talkative as it is I think the fluency effect was at best neutral. Over the years I have triied different prescription drugs from L-dopa to opiates and all of them have made my stuttering worse.
My theory is the following: since the speech center of a stutterers brain does not work,and speech is taken byall other parts of the brain, any drug that affects the brain will have a negative effect on stuttering.
Since I am a stutterer , whenever I am myself ( with friends , relaxed etc. ) I stutter a lot more. I can be fairly fluent in work and situations where I need to be fluent by using methods I have learned in different therapies. In other words by speaking artificially.

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog while searching for effects of marijuana and stuttering.

My experiences are that all drugs I've tried make my stuttering worse, except that moderate use of alcohol will sometimes make me more fluent. More alcohol makes it worse.

Nicotine is somewhat neutral; if I am smoking regularly then smoking can calm me down and let me speak more fluently, but if I smoke sporadically then it messes me up.

Drugs that make my stutter worse are:

- Marijuana
- Psychedelic Shrooms
- Wellbutrin
- Strattera
- Caffeine (I'm not a regular user)

mark said...

well, thats assuming the physical locale of measurable 'activity', as it occurs, is actually an indicator of the biomechanicaural creation of a stutter. is it?

and another question- is it the brain that fails the mouth, or is the mouth incapable of intended speech?

Anonymous said...

I know that this thread has been inactive for many years, but I just wanted to voice my experience with stuttering and drugs. I stutter due to a rough traumatic childhood, thus my stuttering is anxiety induced and is accompanied by PTSD. My stutter is moderate to severe, just depending the day and situation. I dread standing infront of a class and speaking (im 21)

I have tried celexa paired with buprion (welbutrin) and that did help level out my stuttering somewhat. I had good days and bad days.
When it comes to alcohol I am as fluent as can be, it seems like when there is going to be a block, or repeated word, it just flows out.
I have been prescribed Xanex as well for anxiety and stuttering. It works pretty well. Makes me more relaxed and its just easier to speak. When I think about my speech on Xanex, I start to stutter a little, but it is under control. I do feel like my tolerance to Xanex increases quickly which makes me use it sparingly.
My favorite remedy (because it also helps with anceity and my PTSD problems) is marijuana. I have found some strains make it impossible and worthless to speak because I just cant get any words out. If I find the right strain, and only get a “buzz” going my speech and social anxiety is great, its not perfect but its good. If I get too stoned, of course it depends on the strain, but sometimes its better, sometimes its not to much better. Overall though I see a great improvement with light frequent use of marijuana for my speech and PTSD.
This is just my opinion and personal experiences.

Frederick Guyton said...

Look through the most horrible impact of drugs on your health and stop ruining your own life and life of your relatives. Reading of the current post will be absolutely necessary, however, what we learn at school is not always helpful.