LIFEalerts – Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

USA – New Study: legalized marijuana states show youth usage increases significantly

The most authoritative study on drug use conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) found significant increases in youth marijuana use in several recently legalized marijuana states. At the same time, mental illness indicators worsened across the country while alcohol, cocaine, and tobacco use dropped, especially among young people. The moment states legalized marijuana, consumption climbed even higher compared to when it was illegal. In non-legal states marijuana use dropped. This proves that we have not lost the war on drugs as marijuana/cannabis proponents suggest, and it also tells us that the proponents did not base their arguments/reasons for legalising on sound science. Legalized marijuana is devastating the youth in these states while marijuana proponents profit. More

South Africa – plans to reduce crime and violence with stricter rules on alcohol and substance abuse

President Cyril Ramaphosa plans to combat high rates of crime and violence by reviewing regulations to reduce alcohol and substance abuse which he said are major contributions to the perpetration of violence. The president said that the temporary restrictions placed on the availability of alcohol under the state of disaster regulations have demonstrated the extent to which abuse of alcohol fuels violence, trauma and reckless behaviour and places a burden on our health system and emergency services. This was named as the ANC government’s key priority in 2021 and will achieve this by increasing the drinking age to 21 years, introducing 100-metre radius limitation of trade around educational institutions, banning any alcohol sales and advertising on social and small media; and introducing new liability clause for alcohol-sellers. Government plans to totally prohibit use and consumption of alcohol by all motor vehicle operators on South African public roads. The National Road Traffic Act currently enables those who have consumed alcohol to get behind the wheel provided they are under the blood alcohol limit; the new plan is to remove any trace of alcohol in the blood or on the breath. More

South Africa – SA teens are succumbing to cannabis addiction

Has the government’s decision to legalize cannabis encouraged it’s use? One mother writes to Parent24 with a broken heart over her 15 year-old who smokes cannabis. She says that her son is an intelligent boy but now his school work is going down. The South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use says this is unfortunately not uncommon, and that 36% of patients admitted to rehab centres for substance abuse were aged 10 and 19. A recent most authoritative study on drug use conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration found significant increases in youth marijuana use in several states that have recently legalized marijuana/cannabis. The moment states legalized marijuana, consumption climbed even higher when compared to when it was illegal. This could indicate what SA can expect since it legalized marijuana/cannabis. ‘He has gone back to smoking dagga again’: How to handle teen drug addiction, NEW HHS DATA SHOWS SIGNIFICANT YOUTH DRUG USE INCREASES IN LEGALIZED STATES.

South Africa – Study: great proportion of violent patients have history of substance abuse

Research conducted by three psychiatry experts from Weskoppies and the University of Pretoria found that a great proportion of violent state patients admitted to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital, Gauteng, have a history of substance abuse. These crimes included murder, attempted murder and rape. These offenders were sent to the facility because courts declared them unfit to stand trial. The psychiatry experts studied the clinical files of 140 patients admitted to the hospital’s forensic unit from 2005 to 2014. It found that 55% of the 140 patients had a history of substance use. “The consistent finding of high rates of individuals with a history of previous psychiatric treatment and substance use highlights this as an important area of future research, where the focus could be on possible interventions to minimise violent behaviour in this population,” the study read. The findings were published by the South African Journal of Psychiatry in its last issue for 2020. More (link to study will follow soon)