The names “weed” and “skunk” do little to make marijuana sound appealing, but most people who smoke pot don’t care what the name is, as long as it gets them high. Do you think, however, that these men and women who support marijuana would be concerned to know that their drugs have been contaminated? Some will be now, following a report released recently by a biotech researcher who has been looking into the chemical composition of the marijuana she has been able to get her hands on. Continue reading
Look at this quote from one of our rehab program graduates: “Using marijuana opened the door to other drugs, other people, I stopped caring about life. I stopped going to school. I didn’t have goals any more. I got introduced to heroin, cocaine. And I started using that.”
And here’s another: “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.”
Nobody can describe this transition better than a person who lived it. But of course, it’s hard to explain this to a teen or young adult that wants to do what his friends are doing – and seeming to have fun while they are doing it. Continue reading
If you have any concerns about the spread of marijuana use across our country, that’s probably a good idea. One of our experts on the effects of this drug states feels that this use of marijuana constitutes a huge social experiment with great risk involved.
The expert is Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It’s part of the National Institutes of Health. In a Washington Post article, she makes some good points.
She notes that the greatest number of drug-related deaths result from alcohol and tobacco. She continued on to say that these deaths occurred in such numbers “not because they are more dangerous or addictive. Not at all — they are less dangerous. It’s because they are legal. . . . The legalization process generates a much greater exposure of people and hence of negative consequences that will emerge. And that’s why I always say, ‘Can we as a country afford to have a third legal drug.” Continue reading
From the University of Pennsylvania comes a study of the relationship between cannabis use and sleep. Researchers correlated drug use and sleep quality and found that those who currently or previously used marijuana were more likely to suffer from sleep problems like difficulty falling asleep, not getting refreshing sleep and feeling sleepy during the day.
The relationship was the strongest between those who had started using marijuana at a young age, particularly before 15 years of age. They were about twice as likely to have severe problems in one or more of these three areas.
The study was not intended to determine the reason for this relationship. So there’s no science contained here that explains the effect of marijuana on the brain that might bring about these poor sleeping habits. Maybe another study will take that up.
So what can we take away from this study? We can understand that those who say marijuana use is harmless are acting very prematurely. It could be years before we know all the effects of this drug, including all the harms it can do. Continue reading
The video is jerky, it’s just a neighbor holding a video camera as he runs through the woods. Through the trees, you can see flames and hear one explosion after another – dozens of them. The man holding the camera yells at a person near the burning house, “Are you guys all right?” Sirens can be heard approaching.
The scene gets quieter as the explosions stop but the burning continues. It’s hard to tell if those people in the distance are residents or curious neighbors. The scene empties out before the sirens stop, indicating that a police car has arrived. A couple of extra-loud explosions go off belatedly with bursts of flame.
This is the latest scene where a group of people trying to extract tetrahydrocannabinol from marijuana lost control of the process and caused an explosion. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana. Growers are working hard to increase the THC content of their marijuana because the more THC content, the more they can charge. When you buy marijuana from Mexico, the THC content might be about 11%. Medical marijuana will run much higher, maybe 25% or higher. Continue reading
Since Commercialization of Medical Marijuana in Colorado, “Dramatic Increase” of Traffic Fatalities Involving Marijuana-Positive Drivers
It’s just about the fact that some people lose everything when they become addicted to drugs. That includes alcohol, pills, heroin, cocaine or marijuana. Sometimes, that “everything” includes a person’s life.
A new study just released by the University of Colorado Denver states the following: Continue reading
The news media seems to have moved on to other topics than synthetics, perhaps because of all the furor surrounding marijuana in so many states. But at the same time that synthetics fell off the front page, that criminal industry has continued to operate. In fact, in the last few days, news reports have surfaced of a rash of overdoses in the Dallas area. In just 48 hours, just two Dallas-area hospitals received 30 people who had overdosed on “synthetic marijuana” called K2.
You may not realize that K2 really has nothing at all to do with marijuana, other than affecting some of the same parts of the brain. The nickname implies that someone synthesized (found a synthetic method of duplicating) marijuana but this is completely untrue. The chemicals used as “synthetic marijuana” are usually from a class of drug called cathinones. You can read more about this class of drug here:
Drugs in this class include mephedrone, methylone and MDPV.
The people arriving at the ERs were often psychotic, heavily agitated and in danger of hurting themselves or others. Many had to be sedated or restrained. Continue reading
Marijuana use has become a passionate subject, with strong advocates on both sides of medical or recreational use issues. It must be very hard for a parent to know what to think, and even harder for young people to understand the path they should take.
Is marijuana as harmless as some people say? Actually, there is quite a bit of science that provides evidence of the damage that is done when a person begins smoking pot.
We have just received word on a new study that reveals changes that occur in the brains of young people who smoke the drug. Continue reading
The Washington Post just published an article that could be predicting a terrifying trend. According to an April 6th article, Mexican farmers are pulling out their marijuana crops and planting heroin poppies instead. So cheap heroin (far cheaper than prescription painkillers) has been increasingly found crossing the border.
Here’s what I am concerned about. As more states authorize the use of marijuana for medical or recreational use, there will be more of that drug in circulation. Prices will come down. That is, of course, the main reason Mexican farmers are changing their crops. They want a crop with a higher price attached. What would a savvy businessman in the drug business do? Offer another product that might appeal to someone already using alcohol or marijuana that will make the farmer more money. Continue reading
I’m watching the headlines these days and there’s so much about this drug or that – Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death triggered plenty of media coverage on the increase in heroin abuse. Zohydro is in the news as a future opiate painkiller formulation that has the potential to be easily abused by anyone with a taste for opiates. Medical marijuana is approved in state after state and several more states have this initiative on the ballot. One celebrity after another is cited or goes to jail for a DUI until it seems like no one is left sober.
After a while, it gets to be overwhelming.
What if we didn’t focus so narrowly on one drug or another? What if we just focused on one thing: raising a new generation that knows better than to pick up a drug or drink before they are legal age? Continue reading