Tag Archives: Marijuana Use

Are the Legal Driving Limits for Marijuana Use Safe Enough?

using marijuana and drivingIn Michigan, law enforcement officers met to compare notes on how the increasing use of marijuana might affect traffic safety. In most states, legal limits for the amount of marijuana found in one’s bloodstream have not yet been set. The two states that have thus far legalized recreational use of pot have set a legal limit but that standard seems to have a rather tentative status so far.

The meeting was the Governor’s Highway Safety Association conference that convened in early September, 2014, in Grand Rapids. The director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission told the group, “This is coming whether you like it or not,” referring to the necessity of determining the safety or danger of driving while high on marijuana. Continue reading

Teen Marijuana Use Shown to Cause Disabilities Later in Life

upset teenSmoking pot while you’re young is no big deal, as long as you quit it when you grow up, right? If you used marijuana when you were a teen, why should you stop your own child from doing the same? A recent study has demonstrated that simply is not the case. The study was conducted by researchers in Sweden, and it examined factors relating to men who had smoked pot when they were 18 years old, with particular focus on those who had been heavy users. Continue reading

Marijuana: Is teen use of marijuana significant?

marijuana information bookletToday’s parents may be terribly confused about whether or not they should insist that their children stay away from marijuana. It can be difficult to explain to a curious teenager why a doctor might recommend marijuana for a sick person but they can’t use it. It may be difficult but it could be one of the most important lessons you ever teach your children.

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy made some very good points in his article published in USA Today, titled “Legalizing pot endangers children.” Here’s a couple of quotes from that article:

“There has been a lot of talk about pot lately. Discussions of tax revenue, health benefits, violence reduction, and individual liberty. But one issue got completely lost: the developing brains of our children… Continue reading

Redefining What Makes an Impaired Driver

impaired driversFor as long as there have been cars, there have been drunk drivers. But now there are not only drunk drivers, there are enough people impaired on other drugs that our law enforcement systems need to catch up with this new phenomenon.

Certainly there have been drug-impaired drivers for many years. Even as far back as the 1960s, there were Miltowns (sedatives) and sleeping pills abused by many people. But now, as medical or recreational marijuana are legalized (more than 20 states allow medical marijuana use now), the laws have had to catch up with those who might drive after smoking pot.

Colorado tried to set a standard for the concentration of THC in a driver’s bloodstream that would make him an impaired driver. Washington then adopted this standard for impaired driving in their state. Both states set the standard at 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. While this was a noble attempt, in fact the research supporting this standard was not yet complete and the standard has been challenged. Continue reading

A Report from Africa Illustrates the Harm of Heavy Marijuana Use

marijuanaI came across a report of a medical case in Africa where a man developed epilepsy after heavily abusing marijuana for many years. Through scans and other tests, other causes were ruled out and the epilepsy was attributed to his marijuana use. But while that is definitely alarming, that wasn’t the part of the story that startled me. It was this passage in that report that was so surprising:

Rare cases of hemorrhagic (produced by uncontrollable bleeding) and ischemic (caused by restricted blood flow) strokes attributed to acute use of high doses of marijuana have been described in the literature. Chronic marijuana smoking is also considered as a cerebrovascular (related to brain and its blood vessels) risk factor. Stroke in marijuana abusers occurs mostly in young adults without other cardiovascular risk factors, who are not taking other drugs, and who have recently increased their use of marijuana. The onset of symptoms during a period of high marijuana consumption, age, and the absence of other cardiovascular risk factors in this case, corresponds to the clinical characteristics of marijuana-induced stroke.

There are many people in our country who are saying or implying that marijuana abuse is harmless, both mentally and physically. There is lots of evidence on the other side of this issue. I understand that this report states that the incidence of stroke is rare, however, there is damage occurring before a stroke results or the stroke would never happen.

We just want to bring you this information so you could think it over.

http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/17/158/full/

Study Indicates Parents Think New Marijuana Laws Harm Teens

teen pot userThere are a lot of people getting on board with the movement to legalize marijuana. Around half of the states in the nation have now legalized cannabis for medical use, while many more have decriminalized it so that an arrest for possession of a small amount is no more serious than a traffic ticket. Not everyone is in support of this initiative. In fact, an overwhelming majority of parents with teenaged children in the United States are concerned that legalized weed will make it more likely that their own children and others will end up trying out marijuana. This fact was found by a recent poll conducted online by Harris Poll, a survey which focused on parents whose children are between the ages of 13 and 17 years old. It found that fully 80% of the parents surveyed were of the opinion that marijuana legalization increases the likelihood that teenaged children will try marijuana, taking their first steps into the world of drug use. Continue reading

The Growing Marijuana Problem

marijuana plantEaster Sunday this year fell on April 20th, the day infamous as 4/20, when marijuana advocates around the United States stage protests and rallies in the form of smoke-outs, gathering in public places en masse to smoke pot. The goal of such events is to make weed more popular and mainstream, and thereby to contribute to the widespread push to get cannabis legalized for medicinal and recreational use in the U.S. This movement has made significant headway in recent years, with around half of all the States having voted to legalize medical marijuana, and many more moving to decriminalize it so that anyone caught with a small amount of the drug will only be given a citation similar to a traffic ticket. Continue reading

How Terrifyingly Easy it is to Start Using Drugs

person offering a jointI’ve just read through a dozen interviews from Narconon graduates in which they describe how and why they started using drugs. These interviews make so very clear that it’s incredibly easy for a young person to decide to just go along with what everyone else is doing – drinking, smoking pot, even using much stronger and more deadly drugs.

If a child does not understand clearly and with conviction why using drugs is dangerous and has not made a firm decision to remain drug-free, then anything can happen.

How Kids Can Begin Using Drugs

Let me share a few of these quotes with you.

“In high school, I started smoking marijuana with my friends. They told me there was nothing wrong with it, that it was kind of normal and everybody was doing it. So I just kind of joined in and started smoking marijuana.”

“How I started using marijuana, I was in middle school, around 12 years old, didn’t really know who I was as a person. I looked around to see what I wanted to be like, what I wanted to strive to be. I wanted to fit in, I wanted to be a social person. And that’s one of the reasons I started using marijuana.”

“So I started using marijuana, I was a freshman in high school. I was out partying and drinking and somebody had weed there. So I smoked it. My decisions weren’t the best, I was a little drunk. And then a couple of days later my buddy was like, ‘Hey, you want to smoke again?’ I was like, ‘Sure, I guess.’ I’d done it before.”

But that’s not as far as it usually goes. What should really concern a parent is how easy it was to transition to harder, more addictive and deadlier drugs. Here’s how our graduates described this progression to using heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine.

“As far as the transition from smoking pot every day to using harder drugs, I had run into somebody who said, ‘Hey, I’ve got some opium,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Opium, that’s cool, it’s like pot times ten.’ And before I knew it, we were sitting in my car smoking heroin. And then he’s like, ‘So man, we just did heroin.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ You know what I mean, because I had no idea. But it felt incredible, and I was like, ‘Oh, cool.’”

“I started smoking pot to fit in with everybody. And it looked like everybody was having a good time. And they told me, ‘Nobody’s died from smoking pot.’ So I did it and it progressed into cocaine and heroin and my life was just downhill.”

“From then on, it just kind of snowballed. I became okay with using other things, this that and the other. It’s not like I set out to be a heroin addict, I don’t think anyone does but it ended up that way. Before I knew it I was too deep to pull myself out.”

“My thing with starting with methamphetamine – my best friend started. Her sister started using it, they started hanging out a lot and I felt like I was losing my best friend so my curiosity grew really strong. I was pretty much determined to use it at that point so I could see what they were doing that seemed like so much fun. Yeah, so it was pretty easy to use it after I had used all the other stuff.”

Talking About Substance Abuse in the Home

I know it’s not the easiest thing to talk to your kids about drugs. But these stories show what can happen if you don’t.

The first thing you need to do is to learn about the drugs that are out there right now, drugs that your kids might be offered. And take the time to explain the effects and dangers associated with each drug.

To help you, we have created quick guides to understanding prescription drug abuse…

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/10-things-prescription-drugs.html

… and marijuana.

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/marijuana-facts.html

You can find complete guides to different drugs and how to talk to your children about them below:

Marijuana: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/marijuana/

Heroin: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/heroin/

Cocaine: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/cocaine/

Stimulants like methamphetamine or Ritalin: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/stimulants/

Synthetic drugs like Spice or “bath salts”: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/synthetics/

Alcohol: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/alcohol/

 

Teaching the Risks of Marijuana Use

Marijuana UseWith all the changes in our country in the last few years, it can be hard to know what people really think about marijuana. After all, the voters in twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of this drug for medical purposes. I would imagine that parents are having a difficult time knowing what to say to their children. Preventing their children from abusing this drug must go far beyond a simple threat of “If I find you with marijuana, you’ll be grounded for months.”

Surely, if a drug is approved for medical use in such a widespread fashion, it would be remarkably benign in use. But a report from the British Journal of Psychiatry notes that the undesirable mental effects of cannabis include: Continue reading

Fake Marijuana May Be Endangering Young People Who Think it is Safe and Natural

Today’s young people are forced to make complex decisions regarding drug use and most of them lack the knowledge to do so wisely. To make matters worse, the list of drugs being offered to them keeps getting longer. Once it was marijuana, cocaine, heroin, alcohol and a couple of prescription drugs that young people might choose from. Now chemists around the world keep adding new substances they’ve cooked up in the lab to the existing substances that one can abuse.

Some of these substances are pharmaceutical drugs like hydrocodone and OxyContin. And some are what are termed “club drugs” – drugs mostly used in party or nightclub settings. A new drug poses particular threats to those who might want to abuse marijuana but don’t want to have that drug show up on a drug test administered by an employer or parent. That new drug is labeled with many different names, packaged in small foil envelopes and sold at head shops and alternative lifestyle supply stores.

Common names for this new drug include “Spice,” “K2″ and “Blaze.” The contents of these foil packages look like potpourri and the package may say it is supposed to be used as incense. But anyone buying it knows that it is intended to be smoked for its intoxicating effects. It is considered by many to be a fake marijuana as when things go well, it might give a high similar to weed. If things go wrong, a person could be trapped in an uncontrollable, paranoid hallucination.

Overcome Marijuana Addiction

This fake marijuana was legal for quite a long time after it started being abused in many parts of the US, but in 2011, the DEA utilized its emergency powers to ban the drug until local legislation could catch up with laws outlawing its sale and use.

Is It Really “Natural”?

As a gimmick to increase sales, this product may be labeled “natural” and “undetectable” meaning it probably will not show up on a drug test. But whatever the claims are, it has created damage and addiction in those who chose to abuse it. The lucky ones just experienced a euphoria similar to marijuana. The unlucky ones suffered extreme anxiety, hallucinations, even life-threatening seizures.

The drug is thought to have its effect on the central nervous system. It can cause the blood flow to the heart to reduce, resulting in heart attacks in some users. Some users vomit and become agitated and confused. A person who uses the drug regularly can become addicted and suffer withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit.

Despite its dangers, more than one in ten high school seniors has abused this drug, according to the 2011 Monitoring the Future survey.

Narconon Drug Rehabilitation Can Help the Person Addicted to Spice

When a person loses his (or her) sobriety to Spice, he needs effective help to bring about lasting recovery. Short-term programs too often result in repeated trips to rehab, as they do not help the recovering person repair the damage done by addiction. Every person who becomes addicted has suffered losses to personal integrity and self-respect. They have come to rely on a substance to get them through life, instead of having the skills themselves to deal with lady-to-day challenges. The Narconon drug rehabilitation program can bring the Spice abuser all the way back to stable sobriety in its long-term program that is residential in most locations.

The program takes three to five months for most people and includes a tolerable, nutritionally-supported withdrawal step, a sauna-based detoxification program and an array of life skills courses. On these courses, the recovering person learns such skills as how one’s personal integrity can be restored and how rational solutions can be decided on and put into place.

Find out how the Narconon drug rehabilitation program can help someone you care about who has become dependent on Spice. Call 1-800-775-8750 today.


Resources:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/spice-synthetic-marijuana

http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/pr030111.html