Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Marijuana: Get the Facts

Marijuana: Get the Facts Knowledge is Power: The #1 deterrent of substance abuse in teens is PARENTS! See www.georgetowncares.blogspot.com and https//sites.google.com/site/georgetowncaresma/ From GeorgetownCARES – Marijuana is the illicit drug of choice among teens. 2007 US National YRBS High School Use: 20% of students one or more times in the past 30 days. 2011 US National YRBS High School Use: 23% of students one or more times in the past 30 days. 2007 Mass. YRBS High School Use: 25% of students one or more times in the past 30 days. 2011 Mass. YRBS High School Use: 28% of students one or more times in the past 30 days. Main active ingredient: THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) from the plant, cannabis sativa. THC is a hallucinogen, with analgesic/pain-relieving properties. THC depresses brain activity, producing a dreamy state in which ideas seem disconnected and uncontrollable. In the sixties, the THC content of marijuana was about 3%. Now it ranges from 7-20%. Depending on the source, the marijuana may have added chemicals in it such as pesticides, other drugs or fungus. Hashish is a preparation of cannabis composed of the compressed stalked resin glands called trichomes, same effects. Short term effects: Causes hazy euphoria; alters time, depth, color and sound perception. May relieve tension and provide a sense of well-being. Can cause anxiety, paranoia, distrust, panic, fatigue and depression. Communicative and motor abilities decrease during use. Impairs memory, problem-solving ability, increases distractibility. Stimulates appetite, can reduce nausea. Also causes increased heart rate, restlessness, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, irritability, sleep disturbance. Marijuana increases heart rate by 20–100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was estimated that marijuana users have a 4-8 fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug.7(NIDA) Long term effects: - Increased risk of lung cancer; regular users face a 70% increase in testicular cancer (NECN). - Decreased immunity to colds, flu, bronchitis (lung infections), emphysema. - Respiratory problems may develop, including a persistent cough. Triggers bronchial asthma. - Amotivational syndrome is common among regular marijuana smokers, produced by deteriorating neural connectivity. Symptoms include: increased levels of apathy, depression, difficulty in starting new tasks, not accomplishing or not setting goals, decreased concentration, a tendency toward introversion, suicidal feelings. - In June 2009, a University of Leicester (England) study found carcinogens in marijuana smoke in amounts 50% greater than in cigarette smoke. It was also noted that smoking 3 to 4 joints (marijuana cigarettes) a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membrane as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. - In a 2008 study at University of Melbourne, the part of the brain believed to regulate emotion and memory, known as the hippocampus, was on average 12 per cent smaller in marijuana users compared to non-marijuana users. The amygdala, which regulates fear and aggression, was on average just more than 7 per cent smaller. - Marijuana-induced Psychosis – Large quantities may produce a toxic psychosis, in which users do not know who they are, where they are, or what time it is. - Increased likelihood of developing schizophrenia associated with related psychosis. - Addiction to Marijuana occurs in 10% of all users; 17% of adolescent users, or 1 out of 6 teen users. Addiction requires specific treatment; long-term recovery eludes many addicts. Adolescent Mental Health (from www.theantidrug.com) Weekly or more frequent use of marijuana doubles a teen’s risk of depression and anxiety. Depressed teens are more than twice as likely as their peers to abuse or become dependent on marijuana. Several studies have documented marijuana’s link with symptoms of schizophrenia and report that cannabis is an independent risk factor for schizophrenia; heavy users of marijuana at age 18 increased their risk of schizophrenia later in life by six times; the risk is greater for youth with a family history of schizophrenia. Gateway effect: Prevention’s 2008 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 11,000 9th through 12th graders indicated that, among teens aged 12 to 17 with no other problem behaviors, those who used marijuana at least once in the past 30 days are 13 times likelier than those teens who have not used marijuana in the past 30 days (33.5 percent vs. 4.4 percent) to use another drug like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, LSD or Ecstasy, and almost 26 times likelier than those teens who have never used marijuana (33.5 percent vs. 1.3 percent) to use another drug like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, LSD or Ecstasy. (from www.casacolumbia.org ) Addictive Nature: Can be addictive; users may become dependent upon it to feel good, deal with life, or handle stress. Frequent users develop tolerance, needing to smoke more to achieve the same effect. 20% of Drug Treatment admissions are for marijuana addiction. Long-term marijuana abusers trying to quit report irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which make it difficult to quit. These withdrawal symptoms begin within about 1 day following abstinence, peak at 2–3 days, and subside within 1 or 2 weeks following drug cessation.5 http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html) Physical signs of use: red or bloodshot eyes, pupil dilation, droopy eye lids, tremor in eyelids or hands, slow speech, smell, dry mouth, excessive giggling, hunger (muchies) or thirst, impaired reaction time. Paraphernalia: pipes (mostly homemade now, such as with soda cans), rolling papers, room deodorizers (and Febreze), Visine/eyedrops. Marijuana and Driving: Drivers who consume cannabis within three hours of driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a vehicle collision as those who are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, claims a paper published recently on the British Medical Journal website (2012). Previous studiess have also found that there is also a substantially higher chance of collision if the driver is aged 35 or younger. Medical Marijuana: The medical effects that are considered potentially valuable are appetite stimulation, nausea reduction and pain relief for cancer patients. Also, both evidence from laboratory studies and anecdotal reports suggest that cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis, could potentially be helpful in controlling epilepsy seizures. The FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy all do not support the use of smoked marijuana for medical reasons. There are currently 2 oral forms of cannabis (cannabinoids) available by prescription in the United States for nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy: dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). Dronabinol is also approved for the treatment of anorexia associated with AIDS. Where does it come from? Of those who bought marijuana in the past year (2007, SAMHSA), 78% say they bought it from a friend, 16% from someone they just met, 3% from relatives, 3% unspecified source. Most marijuana comes from Mexico, Canada, and the US. The NDTA (National Drug Threat Assessment) reports a sharp increase in indoor cultivation in the U.S.56 The top seven states for marijuana cultivation are California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia. Sources: • The Merck Manual of Medical Information. • www.theantidrug.com www.nida.nih.gov • www.wikipedia.com www.ncadi.samhsa.gov • www.casacolumbia.org