Archive for November, 2011

Research Suggests Marijuana Laws Help Control Traffic Deaths

A new study done by professors from the University of Colorado and from the Montana State University showed that the legalization of medical marijuana have controlled traffic deaths and reduced beer sales. Traffic deaths were down by 9% and beer sales at 5%.

medical marijuanaProfessor for Economics from the University of Colorado in Denver Daniel Reese and assistant professor of economics from the Montana State University D. Mark Anderson became co-authors of the study which shows the benefits of legalizing medical marijuana.  “Our research suggests that the legalization of medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities through reducing alcohol consumption by young adults,” said Rees.

The study is the first to relate medical marijuana to traffic deaths. The proponents of the study collected data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

They studied records of 13 states which legalized medical marijuana from 1990 to 2009. They were able to find out that traffic deaths decreased as sales of alcoholic beverages went down for drivers 20 to 29 years old in the said states. Further studies explained that drivers who are under the influence of alcohol tend to take more risks in driving. They underestimate the effects of alcohol in their driving skills which results to road accidents. Marijuana users who drive, on the other hand, refrain from taking such risks avoiding driving accidents.

“I think this is a very timely study given all the medical marijuana laws being passed or under consideration,” Anderson said. “These policies have not been research-based thus far and our research shows some of the social effects of these laws. Our results suggest a direct link between marijuana and alcohol consumption.”

Rees and his team said that although they are not making any recommendations, the results of their study should also be taken into consideration before any policy is tackled for pot legalization.

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Miley Cyrus and Teen Marijuana Abuse

When young star Miley Cyrus celebrated her 19th birthday, her friends prepared a Bob Marley cake and the singer/actress was quoted saying, “You know you’re a stoner when your friends make you a Bob Marley cake. You know you smoke way too much [expletive] weed.”

Miley Cyrus Bob Marley cakeThe video became viral and so did the buzz that the teen star was a heavy pot smoker. It can be remembered that last year, another video came out showing Miley smoking salvia and since then, talks of her being an abuser was never laid to rest.

Miley is a celebrity, and whether she likes it or not, everything she says will be much talked about. If she is or she isn’t a weed smoker, we still can’t be certain. All we can offer Miley is some useful facts when teens get into the marijuana habit.

As more and more adolescents are turning to weed, the dangers of the habit seem to get worse too with time. There have been reports that teens who smoke marijuana experience difficult situations when they get treatment. Almost two-thirds of those who check themselves into treatment facilities say they are faced with the challenges of getting over the signs of withdrawal which include aggression, anxiety, and irritability.

While most teens see marijuana as the harmless drug, a study in 2009 published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology presented evidence that tobacco and marijuana smoke both cause a substantial amount of damage to our cells, but it was more for marijuana.

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Drug and Alcohol Testing Implemented in Corinth City for a Safe Workplace

In Corinth City, new job applicants will be required to take a drug and alcohol test before taking on their posts, and employees who get implicated in accidents will also be made to take the same test.

drug testing at workThe city has approved a drug-and alcohol-free policy which will focus on illegal drugs and other substances including prescribed medications as well as alcoholic beverages that can affect an employee’s performance on the job.

The provisions in the new policy puts a number of jobs under the drug testing process before employment could start. These positions include law enforcement personnel who carry live ammunitions; firefighters; city employees who are required to operate vehicles, equipment, or machinery; emergency medical technicians; employees who travel outside of the city; and non-clerical personnel who are directly involved in handling drugs and other paraphernalia in official drug cases.

The city also used the new policy to uphold values such as integrity, honesty, and safety among workers in and out of the workplace. Aside from requiring employees to submit to drug testing, using or bringing of alcohol and other illicit drugs is also strictly prohibited in the workplace during working hours. Any employee indicted or convicted of a criminal case related to illegal drugs or alcohol will automatically be barred from going back to work.

Employees who get into accidents or discharge their firearm will also be asked to get a drug test. The policy also includes random testing of employees. The process will have to be approved by the city board upon the recommendation of a supervisor. It will then involve 25% of covered employees to submit to drug testing annually, while another 10% will be made to go through alcohol testing every year too.

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Types of Drug Abuse Intervention

When a drug crisis happens in the family, immediate interventions are important. Interventions are done to be able to help and save a family member whose life is being destroyed by his or her addictions. The process will allow drug or alcohol addicts to admit that they are in trouble and that they will have the courage to voluntarily get into treatment facilities.

drug abuse interventionThere are three basic types of intervention: simple, classical, and family system.

Simple intervention happens when a person asks the drug or alcohol addict to simply stop his or her addictions. This type of intervention needs to be done repeatedly, though, to be effective in most cases. You’ll be surprised on what a simple request can do. This type of intervention should be the first to be considered before going into more advanced methods.

Classical intervention has been used for the longest time to help addicts. It happens when the element of a drug and alcohol treatment facility is involved. The goal for this type of intervention is to persuade a troubled individual to seek the help of professionals to control his addictions.

The family system of intervention is usually focused on the family and not only on the addict. The whole family gets involved in helping their troubled family member fight off his addictions. This will require changes in the whole family’s behavior to have a positive influence on the addicted member. These changes will help an addict consider getting help from drug rehabilitation centers to be sober again.

Yet the family’s involvement in the healing process is vital, whether their addicted family member goes into a rehab center or not. This is why proper education and the correct information or knowledge should be shared to the whole family so that each member will know how to deal with the troubled individual.

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Drug Abuse Therapy for the Family

Drug abuse is a reality that could affect every member of the family. When parents become dependent on drugs, there’s a big chance that children in the family will also learn to use drugs, and the result is a very grim picture of a family destroyed by drug abuse.

family recoveryWhen a family is in trouble with drugs, the best way to address the situation is through family counseling. This is where families will be able to get in touch with professionals that will help them overcome their addictions. In facilities that offer family counseling, everything that is needed for treatment is available, and both adults and children will be dealt with accordingly by counselors.

Family counseling also evaluates the whole family as to how deeply rooted their drug problem is. They use tools such as Addiction Assessment and even Alcohol Evaluations, as alcohol is closely linked to drug problems. The most important part of the family service is the behavioral treatment. Family members who undergo behavioral treatment will learn how to cope with life’s challenges without using drugs. This is where they learn to control their cravings and how to avoid situations that will trigger drug use or relapse.

As each individual is unique, family counselors usually use combined treatment methods like individual or family counseling coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy. Hopefully, families will be able to rebuild their personal relationships that were destroyed by drug use and they will be able to restore their roles in the community with these combination therapies.

If you think drug addiction does not happen in very young children, you can be very wrong. For family therapists, it isn’t a surprise when they encounter very young drug addicts in a family where the adults battle drug addiction. The therapists will help these children by providing them with the age-appropriate methods of treatment and behavioral counseling, and include the family as a whole to have a stronger family support as they go through the treatment process.

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Top Medications That Increase Emergency Admission of Seniors

A new research has looked into the type of drugs that brings in most of the emergency admissions among the elderly.

It has been noted that anti-diabetic and antithrombotic drugs were the top medications that have adverse drug side effects which accounted for most cases of seniors being admitted on emergency in hospitals.

medication for seniorsDr. Dan Budnitz of CDC in Atlanta confirmed that there are nearly 100,000 adults aged 65 and over that go into emergency admission every year because of the drugs that they take.

The top medications which are responsible for more than two-thirds of these admission cases include oral antiplatelet agents, insulins, warfarin, and oral hypoglycemic agents. This is why Budnitz and his team of researchers suggest for more safety initiatives in medicines that could have harmful effects to the elderly to save them from life-threatening conditions.

The results of the study were from representative samples from 58 hospitals that participated in the CDC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance project between 2007 and 2009.

From the 5,077 emergency admissions for the elderly over the same period, nearly half of them or 48.1% were adults aged 80 and above, and from among this population, 65.7% were reported as accidental overdose cases.

The four medications were the causes of the 67% in emergency admissions of seniors. It was Warfarin that topped the list affecting 33.3% of the 67% accounted cases, 13.9% for Insulins, 13.3% were due to oral platelet agents, and 10.7% cases were caused by oral hypoglycemic agents.

The researchers reiterated that there should be an effective way to manage the said types of drugs as by doing so, a significant and sizable number of patients could avoid unnecessary emergency admissions. All it takes is the right amount of caution and care in dealing with these medications for the elderly.

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