LIFEalerts – Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

Colorado – Breaking News: Colorado passes bill to overhaul marijuana industry

Recently, Colorado State Assembly has overwhelmingly passed a bill to establish a scientific review council to analyze the available research on the physical and mental health effects related to the use of high potency marijuana. The bill must face one more vote prior to being sent to Governor Jared Polis, who has signaled that he will sign the bill. The bill seeks to implement much-needed public health guardrails and promote public health, reigning in a marijuana industry that has been allowed to run free. The bill will prohibit “medical” marijuana advertising directed to those aged 18-20 and requires medical and retail marijuana concentrate advertising to include a warning regarding the risks of “medical” marijuana concentrate overconsumption. More

USA – New study found young adults not successful using marijuana as harm reduction

A small descriptive pilot study involving 26 adolescents found that using marijuana as a harm reduction strategy was unsuccessful because using marijuana enhanced cravings for opiates and promoted relapse in each case.  During the past several years, interest in the possible role of marijuana as a therapeutic agent to treat opioid use disorder has escalated. Recent studies present a very mixed picture of the possible role of cannabis in the self-treatment of opioid use disorders. In this sample, all were motivated by the desire to get high and by the belief that smoking marijuana would help them never return to opiate use. During the period that they smoked marijuana, they did not use other drugs. All said that smoking marijuana increased their cravings and urges for opiates, and within one day to six weeks, they returned to opiate use. More, Study.

USA – Federal study shows link between marijuana use and suicide in young adults

A new study by the federal government shows a link between marijuana use and suicide in young adults. The study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which analyzed data from more than 280,000 people ages 18 to 35, suggests marijuana users thought about suicide, planned suicide or attempted it more often than people who don’t use marijuana. The findings come as marijuana usage increases across the country and as more states like Michigan legalize it for recreational use. While the researchers aren’t saying that marijuana is causing suicidal thoughts or actions, they are pointing out that people who use pot are more prone to suicidal thoughts or actions. The study is published online in JAMA Network Open the journal of the American Medical Association. More, Online publication.

UK – The future of nicotine

Earlier this month the Global Forum on Nicotine discussed the future of nicotine aiming to develop “safer” nicotine use and tobacco harm reduction strategies. The principle of this strategy rests on the fact that smokers who want to quit fail to succeed and as a result, alternatives have emerged such as electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco. The World Health Organization and other national regulators are strong opponents to these alternatives and argue that they are not a 100% reliable in fighting tobacco related diseases efficiently and accuse them of being interested in making profit. More