Exploring The Effects Of Marijuana

Many states are seriously looking at the need to pass legislation similar to the medical marijuana laws in California and Colorado. There is ample evidence that the passage of these laws has increased the use of marijuana marijuana education and if you consider the effects of marijuana on the body and mind, you must question whether society is really benefiting from this form of legalization.

Colorado passed its medical marijuana law in 2000 when there were 5,000-registered users of the drug. In ten years that number increased to 175,000, which is to say that these laws have profound public health consequences.

In the past twenty years there has been a push to show that marijuana is a benign drug that has little negative consequences for those that choose to use it. However, there isn’t much press on the ample research that documents the negative effects of this drug.

Most people that smoke marijuana justify their use under the idea that it is relaxing them from the stresses of the day. However, the physiological responses to marijuana show the opposite effect. The drug changes one’s perceptions of himself and his environment and causes delusions, which may be the basis of thinking it is relaxing when actually marijuana increases the heart rate by 20 to 50 beats a minute.

There is also research that documents that marijuana use increases the risk of heart attacks by a factor of four over drug-free conditions. The effects of marijuana effects of marijuana at larger doses can produce profound psychotic episodes, hallucinations, and the dehumanizing feeling of a loss of personal identity.

Marijuana causes problems with problem solving, THC a loss of coordination, anxiety and other responses caused by an increased adrenaline in the body.

None of these effects support that idea that the use of marijuana helps a person relax. Instead, the feeling of relaxation is part of the delusion that comes from one’s change of consciousness and the loss of memory. If you can’t remember what has been causing your stress, than it may feel as though you are relaxing,

It is commonly understood that stress comes from conflicts that cannot be successfully resolved. Those persons that handle their conflicts by confronting the situations and finding resolution to the disagreements or conflicts find that their morale increases and they show the physiological signs of relaxation as well as feeling that they are winning.

If you escape these problems by reducing your ability to remember them, the emotional charge that is connected to these problems will arise again, usually with increased intensity and sometimes this charge will attach itself to other problems that have similar situations, which is confusing and more stressful.

Ultimately, the only successful way to relax from a stressful problem is to solve it. There isn’t any research on marijuana that shows that drugging away the memory of your problem has long-term success in helping one relax.

Before everyone begins to accept that marijuana use is a viable and legal drug for public consumption, the evidence of its effects must be considered, including studies that have documented the drug’s dangers in driving under its influence. As long as we are all sharing the highways, let’s not rush to have more of our public impaired and less functional in handling life’s daily problems.


How Can I Tell When My Alcohol Consumption Is A Problem?

The rule of thumb to the question of “When can I tell if my drinking is a problem?” is usually that as soon as you start thinking that it may be a problem, it probably already is problematic. Most people, at least in the American culture, have to justify their use of alcohol, even when someone isn’t becoming intoxicated.

It isn’t uncommon to hear people attest to the fact that they only drink two glasses of wine a day because they have read that two glasses is good for one’s heart. Those professionals who have work with recovering alcoholics will tell you that problem drinking could have been identified years before it came to light for the alcoholic.

To really answer this question so that others can more closely evaluate their use of this drug (yes, alcohol is certainly a drug and a very addictive one, as well) is to say that if you are concerned about the amount that you are drinking, then that is ample reason to have an objective professional alcoholism determine if it is a problem or is about to become a serious problem.

There are numerous research articles that identify the stages of alcoholism. These can be useful in evaluating one’s drinking, but these stages are not a flawless diagnostic tool.

Problem drinking is usually divided into four stages, alcoholism with the first stage being when drinking is no longer a part of one’s social interaction, but is a means to escape emotional pain, problems and inhibitions.

The second stage is usually characterized by the “need” for a drink. A person begins to notice that they are building a tolerance for alcohol and they are drinking more to get the same affect. At this stage, the drinker isn’t easing emotional problems, but is drinking because he feels a dependency for alcohol and can’t function as well without it. At this stage you find relatives and other loved ones commenting on the fact that one is drinking too much. They are also experiencing more of the effects of hangovers or withdrawals by missing work and other important appointments.

In the third stage in this progression, you find the drinker has severe loss of control. This may be evidenced by being arrested for Driving Under the Influence or loosing one’s job because of the effects of drinking. At this stage the drinker will start avoiding relatives and friends that are usually worried about his drinking and are wanting him to face the reality of his situation.

During the forth stage of alcoholism, the drinker is having repeated binges and never quite recovering from one before he starts the next. At this stage it is no secret that the person has a severe drinking problem. People at this stage experience physical signs of alcohol poisoning, such as quivering hands, etc.

It is true that there has never been an alcoholic who started drinking to get to the third of forth stage of addiction, alcoholism so if you are questioning is your drinking is a problem, it is time to see if you can cut it in half and not experience negative consequences from this reduction. If you start feeling better because you new use of alcohol is giving you less problems and you wish you had reduced it sooner, then you are smart to have taken notice and action and you will probably continue to have a “normal” relationship to alcohol.

If you feel that you can’t reduce your intake, then it is important to find a competent counselor that can evaluate your drinking from an objective point of view. The trick will be to give the counselor all of the truth about your drinking. Denial is very cunning and keeps many who need help thinking that they are just fi


The Number One Addiction In America Is Prescription Drugs

America has supported the illicit drug trade for many decades, but recently, the diversion of legal prescription drugs has become our most pressing problem.

A study in 2006 discovered that there are as many new teenager abusers of prescription drugs as there are for those abusing addiction marijuana. Studies of teenager prescription drug abuse found that girls are more likely to abuse these drugs than boys and their rationale is a false feeling that medicines are safer than street drugs.

Other studies show that prescription drugs are the second most abused category of drugs with marijuana being in first place. Prescription drug abuse is more prevalent than the abuse of tranquilizers, sedatives and stimulates, including methamphetamines.

This diversion of prescription drugs didn’t happen without the support of those who profit from their sale, in particular, unethical physicians, pharmaceutical companies and, of course, drug peddlers.

OxiContin, oxicontin an opiate pain reliever, has become an epidemic addiction problem because it produces the same or even more euphoria than heroin. The manufacturer of this drug states that it was a coincidence that their product has an almost identical molecular structure as heroin, but in 2007, three of the company’s executives pled guilty to misleading the public about the addictive potential of their drug and paid a $634 million fine for their crime. However, the FDA still reports that OxyContin has a low addictive potential.

Ethical physicians and the public have started petitions to ban the manufacture and sale of OxyContin since there are other analgesics that are equally has effective and much less addictive. Again, the federal regulators have supported the pharmaceutical corporation and not the evidence or the public.

The United States government through the FDA has approved the sale of more opiate-based painkillers than are found in most other western countries. Many other countries do not allow for the sale or use of opiate addictive painkillers other than morphine; a drug which is less attractive to someone looking for the euphoria that can accompany some of the approved drugs in America.

The street trade from prescription drugs addiction is also a factor in this rise of abuse since many of the opiate pain relievers sell at the pharmacies for $2 to $4, but their street values are over $40 a pill.

In spite of these financial incentives that continue to continue to support prescription drug diversion, American are lacking an appreciation of the consequences of addiction to these drugs. Physicians from all areas of our country are inundated with patients that are seeking these addictive drugs. Many are posting signs in their offices that they do not write prescriptions for controlled substances, but there are many other doctors that are filling their waiting rooms with new and returning patients because they have liberal prescription policies and their reputations soon spread. Any physician that prescribes an addictive drug should spend the time to educate their patients on the outcomes that they can expect from continued use.

What is missing is a concerted effort to promote prevention messages that will help the public to raise their awareness about the personal physical, emotional and financial cost of becoming addicted to these “medications”.


Should Parents Be Concerned If Their Children Are Using Spice Or K2?

The direct answer is YES. Spice and a similar compound, K2, are commercial names for imitation marijuana marijuana that is being used across the United States by many of our teenagers and young adults. Spice or K2 is a synthetic cannabis drug that is psychoactive herb that mimics the effects of marijuana or cannabis.

These synthetic compounds, generically called designer drugs, were first seen for sale in the first part of the 2000 and were thought to be a harmless mixture of legal herbs, but further analysis showed that they were synthetic cannabinoids that have the same effects on the body as THC, the cannabinoid that causes the drug effect in marijuana.

Since there are presently no laws to make the sale of Spice and/or K2 illegal, the youth of America are using this window of legal opportunity to purchase and use a drug that is considered by professional as being more dangerous than marijuana.

The manufacturers of these drugs spice claim that they are a combination of medicinal herbs that are totally safe and legal. However, when professional chemical labs in Germany analyzed their products, they were unable to find the “fingerprint” molecules of the listed ingredients, but instead they speculated that these products were made form synthetic cannabinoid drugs. In fact, the chemical in Spice that causes the pot-like affects is about four to five times more potent than THC.

The products are being marketed as an “aromatic pot” or a nicotine-free pleasure smoke. It is being sold on-line and at head shops.

In 2009, the British government expressed concern on it rapid popularity and Germany, Austria and France have banned the sale of these substances.

In the United States, Spice is a banned substance, but K2 is still legal even though the Drug Enforcement Administration considers K2 a “drug of concern”, it is still being marketed on the Internet and in some head shops. Some states, Kansas and Kentucky, have introduced legislation and Health Department bans on K2 and other states are in the process of banning it as well, but it is still too easy for our minors to get access to the dangerous drug that is manufactured mainly in China and Korea.

Regarding whether parents should be concerned, the answer is definitely YES, since there are report of young people that have had untoward effects from this drug, including drug-induced psychotic episodes drug rehabs that have led to suicide in some cases.

We used to feel that if something was legal to sell, that the Food and Drug Administration would ensure the public that it was save, but we need to start relying on our own research before we jump to that conclusion.
Not only is it dangerous because of the side affects of drug, but it is obviously a poison to humans and will retard ones abilities to learn and remember what they have been studying, which is enough reason for parents to be highly concerned about its distribution to their children.


Methamphetamine (meth), More Dangerous Than You Think

The Japanese first created methamphetamine in the late 19th century. In 1943, meth was commercially made by Abbott Laboratories for the treatment of narcolepsy, depression and even as a treatment for alcoholism. Today, the drug is only approved for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or, in some cases, obesity.

Historical documents show that meth’s earliest uses were during World War II when it was given to both the Allied Forces and the German military. There is some evidence that Hitler’s physician have him meth in intravenous injections, which may account for some of his hysterical actions.

By the 1980s, Americans had learned how to manufacture their own brand of methamphetamines by using over-the-counter cold medications and other household chemicals. This led to the passing of laws in the United States to prohibit the possession of the precursors and equipment related to meth abuse methamphetamine production.

It is easy to notice that American society today is drawn to drugs and drinks that increase one’s normal energy levels. Some project that it is a symptom of a society that is expecting too much of themselves and others say that it is related to the malaise felt by many that are consuming unhealthy junk foods and need stimulates to counteract their sick metabolism.

Whatever the reasons for this surge in seeking stimulants, meth has become a more acceptable “middle-class” options than ever seen in the past. It isn’t uncommon to find successful professionals that are taking meth daily to sustain their level of activity. They know that if they reduce or stop their use of the drug, they will immediately begin need days of sleep and rest to recover from the stress that they have chemically forced their bodies and, especially their nervous systems, to operate under.

When a person first uses meth in average doses, it is very enticing because it makes you feel that you are unstoppable and feel that you are in your “A-game”. In reality, people on meth have the feeling that they are excelling, but their actual intelligence is suppressed, leaving them less capable than they believe. Once they have pushed their systems to operate in over-drive, they are inevitably going to pay the consequences of feeling the opposite as the body attempts to come back to a normal operating basis.

Most people can’t tolerate depression meth abuse for very long periods of time and even a few days of being depressed seem intolerable. For this reason, it is very easy for someone to “medicate” away his or her lethargy and depression by taking another dose of meth, and many times a larger dose. This, of course, is just putting the depression on hold because there will become a time when the body must rest and the depression must be confronted.

It doesn’t take must imagination to picture how taking meth can easily lead to a need for the addictive use of the drug. Because meth is pushing the body to operate in extreme, one’s nutrition suffers and the chemical balance of the body is disrupted. This leads to many health and dental problems that can only be prevented by restoring the nutritional base and getting ample rest. Meth does, indeed, kill and it does so while the user believes that all is well. A strong prevention meth abuse message is vital to protect our public from escalating their use of energy-drinks to meth without knowing the dangers.


When Should You Confront An Alcohol Or Drug Problem In Your Family?

When professionals look back at the progression of addiction within a family, they always see a lack of confront to address an addiction problem in a timely manner. The reasons for this reticence in addressing an issue that leads to the destruction of lives and families is based on our culture’s ambivalence about alcohol and drug use.

Alcohol and drug rehab professionals find that the definition of alcohol and drug use changing to abuse becomes more liberal as the use increases. Addiction usually happens over years and the increased use begins to be more acceptable as time passes.

But when there is obvious abuse leading to addiction, the indicators are unavoidable. When this is the case in families in American families, what should be done?

In analyzing alcohol use versus abuse alcohol , there is an adage that holds true for every family; that “any use by a minor is abuse”. If you have someone in your family that is drinking alcohol before it is legally allowed, then you should address this issue no matte the amount of consumption. When it comes to illicit drugs, of course, any use at any age is abuse.

Any family member that gets arrested or ticketed for “Driving Under the Influence” is showing you another benchmark that helps families know that drinking is a problem that needs attention.

When interviewed after addiction is obviously a problem, most parents will say that they knew that the drinking or drug problems were getting out of hand, but it seemed nearly impossible for them to confront this issue with the individual that needed help alcohol treatment . Again, much of this ambivalence comes from unclear rules in families about what is and is not acceptable when it comes to alcohol or drug use.

In making rules about acceptability, families need to evaluate their own attitudes towards their use of alcohol and if they are taking tranquilizers or sleep medications, than they need to accept that there is little difference in these behaviors and having two martinis after dinner.

Parents should first evaluate their own possessions on alcohol use and determine if they would be comfortable if their children used alcohol or drugs at the same level. If they are okay with that decision, then they need to make rules related to what age and what settings are appropriate for their children’s use of these substances.

If they are not okay with having their children use at the same level that they consume these substances, then they need to address that issue themselves and openly discuss what they are doing and experiencing with their children. The more real and open a family discusses these issues, the easier it will be to prevent or confront a problem situation related to alcohol and drug use.

In looking at families that are successful with addressing alcohol and drug issues before they becomes problems, one always finds that open and ample communication is the solvent that keeps family from having dire problems alcohol prevention in this area later in their lives. If it is difficult to talk to your children about alcohol and drug use, then you must examine why it is difficult and solve this problem. Families act out family secrets. Not confronting this issue is almost a sure guarantee that alcohol and/or drug use will become a problem at some point in time.


Drug Education And Prevention Strategies

Since the 70s when President Nixon declared his “War On Drugs”, the public and private schools have attempted to find the right messages to give their students to help prevent them from abusing alcohol or other drugs. Over the past forty years, the use of these substances has increased, with some years showing lower rates than the previous years, but no one in the alcohol and drug education and prevention field would claim that we are doing all that is needed to help our students make proactive and positive decision about their use of alcohol and other drugs.

Since prevention research takes years to establish the effectiveness of a prevention or education strategy, the prevention field drug rehab floundered with programs that have proven to produce untoward consequences with some prevention programs actually raising the experimentation and use of these dangerous substances.

When evaluated, the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program ne program, that received ample funding and support, was criticized for not producing the level of outcomes that would be expected. When compared to programs that emphasize social and general competencies and used interactive teaching strategies, the D.A.R.E program was substantially less effective. D.A.R.E brings samples of illicit and dangerous prescription drugs to the classroom in a presentation by a local police officer in an attempt to raise awareness and create fear about using these drugs.

Research found that for some students, this approach fueled their adolescent tendency to experiment with those things that adults say are dangerous, causing some students to use more than they would had they not had the D.A.R.E. presentation.

Since that research, D.A.R.E. has revised their approach, but the message that what adults and a caring community may feel is logically the right thing to help prevent adolescent alcohol and drug abuse may have other consequences.

The Scared Straight program drug education that has convicted drug users and pushers tell their stories to adolescents has lately been criticized as having some of the same negative outcomes as seen in the D.A.R.E. program, with too many youth emulating the negative behaviors rather than learning from the consequences of these actions.

As mentioned earlier, programs that utilized interactive teaching strategies have proven to be successful. One program that has had a significant impact on reducing early alcohol and drug abuse uses the total truth about drugs. These classroom presentations use scientific data and true stories about the effects of drugs. Surprising many parents and educators, young adults take the truth about drugs seriously and the success stories from these drug education classes has been astounding.
Certainly we all need to support alcohol and drug prevention drug prevention in our schools, but it behooves us all to use the accumulated data from earlier attempts to find out what works and what doesn’t. Youth substance abuse affects our communities and our futures, so we need to be smart about choosing the most successful approach.


The Problems With Opiate Painkillers

In the past fifteen years, physicians in America have been accused of prescribing opiate painkillers too often without enough concern about the physical addiction potential of these drugs. The most prescribed opiate painkiller is Vicodin, an opiate analgesic (hydrocodone) for moderate to severe pain. The generic for this drug is usually prescribe for anything from headaches and muscle aches to post dental work.

Many patients will joke that the only reason that they enjoy their visit to the dentist is the prescription they get for their “pain”. In years past, this amount of pain was never thought of as needing narcotic pain relief, but with the marketing push from pharmaceutical companies, most physicians and dentist are only too agreeable to give this level of opiate pain relief.

Most people don’t recognize that pain is a vital and useful part of our physiology. Pain is the communication system whereby the injured part of the body communicates with the whole system to call attention that this injured area needs special consideration. Those people that take painkillers are hampering a communication system that will lead to healing their painful area.

People that have muscular skeletal pain, in particular, are doing themselves a disservice by blocking this communication line. In fact, there is a therapeutic process known as prolotherpay that actually accentuates the pain in an injured area to promote healing. Research has found that the body produces specialized cells that will rebuild an injured area when this communication system is allowed to send its messages. When painkillers block these messages, you find that the injured area begins to deteriorate and, of course, the pain is then increased.

Another problem associated with taking painkillers is there strong addictive potential. All opiate painkillers, such as hydrocodone and Oxicontin analgesics will cause physical addiction in a matter of a few weeks. Withdrawals from this physical addition becomes a unpleasant surprise to the uninformed patient that has been using these drugs to end pain that is less severe then that coming from the withdrawals.

Opiate withdrawals are usually described as a severe case of the flu, but what isn’t mentioned is that along with the physical symptoms come a heightened anxiety level and later depression. These symptoms will soon lead to a psychological addiction since no one wants to tolerate this level of discomfort when they know that one more pill will make them feel normal again.

Taking opiates painkillers analgesics causes the body’s natural pain relieving system to suppress its normal production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller, and when a person stops taking the pain medications, their perception of their pain will be increased, leading them to need more analgesics.

Most people that are addicted to the pain medications are caught by surprise when they experience the withdrawal symptoms and the emotional depression that follows after one quits taking these drugs. Physicians are not educating their patients about the downside of taking these opiates analgesics so patients are not making informed decisions when given the choice how they are going to deal with their pain.

The addiction to these opiates is literally so powerful that many patients deliberately hamper their healing process to ensure that they doctors will continue prescribing their drugs. There are many reasons why personally and medically, one needs to be very cautious before deciding that