LIFEalerts – Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

UK – Government urged to sell cocaine and ecstasy in pharmacies

A UK drugs liberalisation campaign group called Transform has recommended that Cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines should be “nationalised” and sold legally in government-run pharmacies to undermine global drug-related crime. In a book the group sets out practical ways to sell the drugs in pharmacies: no over 18’s, health and risk warning labels on the packaging, and specially trained chemists. Sounds like the same failed recommendations proposed by marijuana activists, because none of what they said would happen actually undermined global drug-related crime – it only made the problem worse and marijuana usage among teens increased in states that legalised it compared to states that did not. Fortunately, Home Office spokesperson said that the government remained opposed to legalising cannabis “because it is detrimental to health and mental health”. Read more

South Africa – Marijuana use before surgery can worsen pain during recovery

According to a small recent study, smoking or ingesting it in the hope of managing your pain after surgery might end up doing quite the opposite. Early research suggests that Cannabis is not effective for “, acute pain such as for surgery of a broken leg,” said lead author Dr Ian Holmen, an anaesthesiology resident at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, in a statement published by the American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA). Apart from an increase in acute pain, people who used marijuana before surgery also ended up requiring more anaesthesia during surgery, and used more painkillers during recovery. 

For their study, the research team studied the charts of 118 patients who had undergone surgery at the University of Colorado Hospital to repair a fractured tibia. They found that 30 (25.4%) patients had reported using cannabis prior to surgery. Comparing the two groups they found cannabis users used 58% more painkillers per day while in the hospital compared to non-users. Users also required an additional 12.4 millilitres of anaesthesia during surgery than those who did not use marijuana. The type and method of cannabis use, as well as how frequently it was used, were not known. Read more