Archive for May, 2014

Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Lead to Higher Teen Pot Use

Many parents are concerned about how legalizing the use and sale of marijuana may affect their children. Medical marijuana has been made legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia while recreational marijuana has been allowed for people who are at least 21 years old in Colorado and Washington.

medical marijuanaParents worry that their teenagers may have easier access to marijuana, which may increase the likelihood of today’s teens using them. This is a valid cause of concern, since teens are found to be using drugs at younger ages, when their bodies and brains are still on critical developmental stages.

A study that looked into 20 years of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey gives parents a reason to let out a small sigh of relief.

Researchers compared the data in states that have legalized medical marijuana and data in neighboring states that haven’t. The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that marijuana legalization for medical purposes does not result in greater use of marijuana by teens. “There were no statistically significant differences in marijuana use before and after policy change for any state pairing,” writes lead author Dr. Esther Choo.

It still is a popular illicit drug among U.S. kids, but its use has remained steady before and after a state legalized marijuana. The estimates are based on self-reports given by over 11 million students through anonymous surveys.

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Prescription Drug Abuse Causes More Addiction To Heroin In Teens

The rising statistics of drug addiction in the country especially in Bay area heightened the attention of public health officials, law enforcers, and substance abuse specialists during their recent summit in San Francisco, California.

prescription drug abuseThey blamed prescription drugs abuse as the forefront of the problems, which can lead to more heroin addiction on teens if they cannot regulate the issuance of drug prescription to teenagers and young adults.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the deaths of accidental overdose from prescribed medicine have bloated to more than quadruple since 1999. Meanwhile, Drugfree.org’s The Partnership CEO Steve Pasierb said that misuse of prescription drugs is the primary cause of overdose deaths and heroin addictions, as revealed in a news item.

More problems on young adults and teens are prevalent because they often believe that taking these pills are safe as they are legally advised by doctors. However, when they cannot find the medicine, they switch to illegal substances and get hooked to heroin instead.

The group is now in the first stage of tracking down doctors who are making profits from issuing prescriptions drugs to anyone. They are also coordinating with pharmacies to report any unusual prescription that they find suspicious and fraudulent.

District attorneys are calling all doctors to religiously use the statewide database to check the prescription history of the patient and participate closely in the drive to prevent the proliferation of abuse of prescription medication.

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Divorce or Alcohol Abuse of Parents Linked To More Suicide Attempts in Children

Based on a recent study on individuals whose parents are engaged in alcohol abuse, 85 percent are most likely to commit suicide than those who grew up in families that do not overuse alcohol. Meanwhile, another study reveals that suicide attempts for those individuals whose parents were separated increased by 14 percent.

child depressionSurprisingly the number of suicide attempts for children whose parents are divorced and involved in alcohol abuse did not increase.

According to Dr. Dana Alonzo, study lead author from Columbia University, they found out that those people whose parents were alcoholic or divorced are keener to commit suicide than those individuals who belong to good families.

Based on the study of 43,093 individuals aged 18 years old and above, a total of 13,753 participants disclosed that they are experiencing acute depression and 1,073 of them even tried to commit suicide. According to a news release, researchers also found out that of those who attempted suicide 25 percent belongs to broken families, while 46 percent are siblings of one or both parents who are alcoholic.

In the case of those who experienced both drunkenness and divorce, expert says the reason why there is lesser suicide attempts might be due to low exposure of hostility inside their home as both parents have divorced “or” it could be that the children with an alcoholic parent already accepted the fact that their parents will soon split up due to conflict and alcoholism.

Participants of this research were assessed based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) wherein they were asked to answer criteria for their depression.

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Home-Based Hash Oil Labs Trigger Explosions In Colorado

Colorado’s only certified adult burn center has logged 10 people being treated for serious injuries from making hash oil since early this year, according to a report on Yahoo! News.

Photo: Andres Rodriguez via Flickr

Photo: Andres Rodriguez via Flickr

Since the state officially legalized the use of recreational marijuana, there has been a rise on scorching explosions and a notable increase on reported injuries accompanying these explosions as pot users attempt to make their own hash oil at home.

Fire marshals and other law enforcers are at a loss on how to respond to this dilemma as the legality of the process made it impossible to punish the rising number of amateur chemists. The production of hash oil is being protected in the new legal pot law.

The unscientific home-based procedures performed by amateur chemists can produce hash oil that is far cheaper than store-bought finished products, but are hazardous to the one extracting the oil. The castoff leaves and stems of marijuana being packed into a pipe are poured with highly flammable butane to heat the concoction. If the makeshift laboratories are not properly ventilated (as is the common case in the reported explosions), butane fumes can linger in the room, making it susceptible to explosions.

According to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the state’s firefighters have responded to a good 31 explosions this year due to butane hash oil procedures although the number of explosions may be higher but only unreported.

Brian Vicente, a Denver attorney and co-author of the Colorado pot law, said that fires will decline if pot users realize the hazards of producing crude hash oils instead of getting it from authorized pot shops.

[ Image source ]

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