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Marijuana Addiction

Are Teenagers Changing Their Attitudes on Synthetic Marijuana Use?

Posted on April 9, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Are Teenagers Changing Their Attitudes on Synthetic Marijuana Use?Synthetic marijuana is the name typically used to identify a range of laboratory-produced chemicals designed to mimic the effects of naturally produced, plant-based marijuana. Teenagers in the U.S. use synthetic marijuana more often than any other drug except for natural marijuana and plant-based hashish. However, according to findings reported in December 2013 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan, teen use of synthetic marijuana dropped significantly between 2012 and 2013. This decrease signals a partial change in adolescent attitudes toward man-made marijuana substitutes.

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Cannabis Use Disorder Definition Holds Up to Scrutiny

Posted on April 1, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Cannabis Use Disorder Definition Holds Up to ScrutinyCannabis use disorder is a diagnosis used since May 2013 to identify serious problems associated with either an addiction to cannabis products or non-addicted abuse of cannabis products. In a study published in January 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from 10 U.S. and British institutions compared the real-world accuracy of a cannabis use disorder diagnosis to the accuracy of previously used definitions for identifying cannabis-related harms. These researchers concluded that, except in a limited set of circumstances, the current diagnosis gives doctors a comprehensive tool for accurately singling out affected individuals.

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Ever-Changing Synthetic Marijuana Complicates ER Visits

Posted on March 26, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Ever-Changing Synthetic Marijuana Complicates ER VisitsSynthetic marijuana is the common name for a group of lab-created chemicals designed to roughly approximate the drug effects of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and other cannabis products. Doctors and public health officials know that use of one of these chemicals can potentially lead to a range of seriously negative or even life-threatening side effects. In a report published in January 2014 in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the University of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center detailed some of the problems that doctors and public health officials can face when attempting to identify the specific type of synthetic marijuana causing problems in any given individual.

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Brain Chemical May Play Role in Treatment of Cannabis Addiction

Posted on March 18, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Brain Chemical May Play Role in Treatment of Cannabis AddictionSignificant numbers of both casual and regular users of marijuana and other forms of cannabis will eventually develop an addiction to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary active ingredient in this plant-based drug. In a study published in January 2014 in the journal Science, a multinational research team investigated the ability of a naturally occurring hormone called pregnenolone to block some of THC’s most prominent, addiction-supporting effects. The members of this team concluded that, while pregnenolone itself is not suitable as a treatment for cannabis addiction, understanding of the impact this hormone has on THC opens up new avenues for addiction treatment in the future.

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German Study Finds Cannabis Use Triggered 2 Deaths

Posted on March 17, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

German Study Finds Cannabis Use Triggered 2 DeathsCannabis (marijuana, hashish) is known for its ability to produce significant mind alteration, as well as for its ability to make a number of alterations in the body’s normal function. However, unlike alcohol and a range of drugs and medications, the drug is not typically directly linked to increased short-term risks for fatal changes in health status. In a study published in February 2014 in the journal Forensic Science International, researchers from Germany’s Institute of Legal Medicine investigated the role of cannabis use in the deaths of two young adults who appeared generally healthy. The researchers concluded that cannabis-related changes in normal heart function were strongly indicated as the immediate contributing factors to these deaths.

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Marijuana Decriminalization Linked to Rise in Child Drug Exposure

Posted on March 12, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana Decriminalization Linked to Rise in Child Drug ExposureDecriminalization is the term used to describe the process of removing some or all of the legal penalties for an action or behavior. In the last 18 years, 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized the use of the plant-based drug marijuana to one degree or another. In a study published in March 2014 in the American College of Emergency Physician’s Annals of Emergency Medicine, a team of American researchers assessed the connection between marijuana decriminalization and toxic childhood exposure to the drug. 

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Long-Term Marijuana Use May Damage Short-Term Memory

Posted on January 23, 2014 in Marijuana Addiction

Long-Term Marijuana Use May Damage Short-Term MemoryWith some states legalizing marijuana more studies on how marijuana affects those who use it chronically and casually are being launched. Previous studies have researched how marijuana use affects the brain’s cortex. A new study shows how chronic marijuana use may change the brain’s actual structure, damaging a person’s working, or short-term, memory.

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Do Medical Marijuana Users Have Substance Abuse Problems?

Posted on December 2, 2013 in Marijuana Addiction

Do Medical Marijuana Users Have Substance Abuse Problems?Medical marijuana is the common term for mind- and body-altering materials from cannabis plants that are adopted for use as a treatment for legitimate medical conditions. Despite the federal illegality of all cannabis products in the U.S., local jurisdictions in nearly 20 states have laws that allow medicinal use of marijuana under controlled circumstances. In a study published in October 2013 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from two U.S. institutions assessed the frequency of substance abuse problems in both first-time and repeat medical marijuana recipients.

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Assessing Relapse Risks in People With Cannabis Use Disorder

Posted on November 22, 2013 in Marijuana Addiction

Assessing Relapse Risks in People With Cannabis Use DisorderCannabis use disorder (CUD) is a mental health category used to identify people who abuse cannabis (marijuana or hashish) without experiencing chemical dependence or develop dependence symptoms. Like people with other substance use disorders, people recovering from cannabis use disorder can experience short- or long-term relapses and return to cannabis intake. In a study published in September 2013 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a multinational research team assessed the likelihood that an individual with cannabis use disorder will experience a relapse. The members of this team also looked at some of the key factors that increase or diminish an affected person’s relapse risks.

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Teenage Marijuana Use and Anxiety Disorders Found to Be Linked

Posted on October 8, 2013 in Marijuana Addiction

Teenage Marijuana Use and Anxiety Disorders Found to Be LinkedAlthough marijuana possession was decriminalized in many parts of the country, followed by legal medical marijuana use approved in close to half of the nation and most recently recreational use made legal in Washington and Colorado, the move towards acceptance may be ahead of the science which can give a more accurate picture of its potential dangers.

Research has definitely taken on a new urgency given the current pro-marijuana climate both here and abroad. Separate U.S. and Australian studies suggest that using marijuana regularly is connected to later anxiety disorders. Furthermore, steady pot smoking during adolescence can lead to anxiety problems in adulthood, even if the teen eventually quits as long as a decade ahead of time.

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