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Regular cannabis users require up to 220% higher dosage for sedation in medical procedures

4/15/19--Researchers in Colorado examined medical records of 250 patients who received endoscopic procedures after 2012, when the state legalized recreational marijuana. They found patients who smoked or ingested cannabis on a daily or weekly basis required 14% more fentanyl, 20% more midazolam, and 220% more propofol to achieve optimum sedation for routine procedures, including colonoscopy. Read

Indicators of despair rising among Gen X-ers entering middle age

4/15/19--Indicators of despair -- depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse -- are rising among Americans in their late 30s and early 40s across most demographic groups, according to new research. These findings suggest that the increase in 'deaths of despair' observed among low-educated middle-aged white Baby Boomers in recent studies may begin to impact the youngest members of Generation X more broadly in the years to come. Read

Medical marijuana laws linked to health and labor supply benefits in older adults

3/19/19--A study that examined older Americans' well-being before and after medical marijuana laws were passed in their state found reductions in reported pain and increased hours worked. The study suggests medical marijuana laws could be improving older Americans' health. Read

Binge drinking in adolescence may increase risk for anxiety later in life

3/11/19--A growing body of evidence supports the idea that alcohol exposure early in life has lasting effects on the brain and increases the risk of psychological problems in adulthood. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that adolescent binge drinking, even if discontinued, increases the risk for anxiety later in life due to abnormal epigenetic programming. The findings of the study, which was conducted in animals, was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Read

Adolescents are more likely than adults to use fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes, study finds

3/12/19--As the FDA looks for more information on e-cigarettes and e-juice flavors, a new study shows that adolescents and young adults cite appealing flavors as a main reason for using e-cigarettes, that they are more likely to turn to fruit- and candy-flavored cigarettes than adult smokers trying to quit who more commonly prefer tobacco flavors, and that the younger population are likely to use multiple e-cigarette flavors at the same time. Read

Could medical marijuana help older people with their ailments?

2/28/19--According to a preliminary study, medical marijuana may bring relief to older people who have symptoms like pain, sleep disorders or anxiety due to chronic conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, neuropathy, spinal cord damage and multiple sclerosis. The study not only found medical marijuana may be safe and effective, it also found that one-third of participants reduced their use of opioids. Read

Junk food purchases increase after recreational marijuana legalization

2/28/19--A study released this month from assistant professor of economics Michele Baggio found a link between state recreational marijuana legalization and increased consumption of certain high-calorie foods, suggesting there may be something more substantial to the urban myth of "the munchies." The trend was consistent across the three legalizing states included in the study. Read

Worsening of overdose crisis predicted: Limits of focusing on prescription opioids

2/1/19--A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Technology Assessment projects that the opioid overdose epidemic in the U.S. is likely to increase in coming years, and that measures based on restricting access to prescription opioids will have a minimal impact in reducing overdose deaths. Read

Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders

2/4/19--Impulsiveness and substance use share a genetic basis, according to genome-wide association studies published in JNeurosci by academic and industry researchers. With more than 20,000 participants, the research represents the largest genetic analysis of impulsive personality traits to date. Read

What drives patients to use medical marijuana: Mostly chronic pain

2/4/19--A new study seeks to understand whether people are using medical marijuana for evidence-based reasons. According to the report consisting of a comprehensive review of 10,000 scientific abstracts on the health effects of medical and recreational marijuana use, there was conclusive or substantial evidence that chronic pain, nausea, and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity symptoms were improved as a result of marijuana treatment. Read

Cannabis use disorder: The policy climate matters

1/23/19--Adolescents and young adults living in states with more liberal policies reported higher average rates of past-year marijuana use than those in states with more conservative policies, according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. However, the rates of marijuana use disorder -- abuse or dependence on the drug -- were significantly lower in states with more liberal policies compared to states with more conservative policies. Read

Worrisome statistics around medical cannabis users operating vehicles

1/9/19--More than half of people who take medical marijuana for chronic pain say they've driven under the influence of marijuana within two hours of using it, at least once in the last six months, according to a new study lead by Erin E. Bonar, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and a practicing clinical psychologist at the U-M Addiction Treatment Services. Read

Increased risk of harm from cannabis across Europe

12/31/18--Cannabis resin and herbal cannabis have significantly increased in potency and in price, according to the first study to investigate changes in cannabis across Europe. The study, published on Sunday, December 30 in the journal Addiction by researchers from the University of Bath and King's College London, draws on data collected from across 28 EU Member states, as well as Norway and Turkey by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Read

Cannabis-based drug in combination with other anti-spasticity

12/13/18--Oral spray containing two compounds derived from the cannabis plant reduced spasticity compared with placebo in patients already taking anti-spasticity drugs. Read

Adolescent cannabis use alters development of planning, self-control brain areas

11/6/18--Adolescent marijuana use may alter how neurons function in brain areas engaged in decision-making, planning and self-control, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The findings are the result of an animal model study focused on the structural development of the prefrontal cortex, or PFC, which controls high-level cognitive functions. Read

New insights into the neural risks and benefits of marijuana use

11/6/18--Research released today underscores both the dangers and the therapeutic promise of marijuana, revealing different effects across the lifespan. Marijuana exposure in the womb or during adolescence may disrupt learning and memory, damage communication between brain regions, and disturb levels of key neurotransmitters and metabolites in the brain. Read

Rat models of opioid use and addiction explore risk of abuse

11/6/18--New research revealed today highlights the power of animal studies to explore mechanisms of opioid addiction, withdrawal, and relapse to inform new prevention strategies and treatments for people. Read

Impact of opioid epidemic on children varies by state

11/6/18--A new report released by the Drug Enforcement Administration finds most overdose deaths are caused by prescription drugs, including opioids. While opioid abuse continues to plague certain states more than others, each state is unique in how it attempts to stem the crisis and its effect on families. These differences have resulted in significant variation across the country between opioid prescription rates and the number of children placed into foster care. Read

Teens who’ve tried marijuana have used it in more than one form

9/28/18--Most teens who've tried marijuana have used the drug in more than one form, including products that are smoked, eaten, or vaped, new USC research shows. The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, raises concerns about adolescent health amid a booming marijuana market that touts sleekly packaged products claiming an array of health benefits. Read

Increase in fentanyl — responsible for 44 percent of New York City overdose deaths — has led to apprehension and caution

9/12/18--The findings of a new study, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, demonstrate a high level of understanding among people who use drugs regarding ways to prevent an overdose and some adoption of these methods, but the researchers assert that more needs to be done to prevent overdoses. Read

Schizophrenia, cannabis use, and alcohol abuse are just several disorders that are related to accelerated brain aging

8/21/18--In the largest known brain imaging study, scientists from Amen Clinics (Costa Mesa, CA), Google, John's Hopkins University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Francisco evaluated 62,454 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans of more than 30,000 individuals from 9 months old to 105 years of age to investigate factors that accelerate brain aging. SPECT tomography evaluates regional cerebral blood flow in the brain that is reduced in various disorders. Read

Risk-taking, antisocial teens 5 times more likely to die young

8/10/18--Adolescents with serious conduct and substance use problems are five times more likely to die prematurely than their peers, with roughly one in 20 dying by their 30s, according to new CU Boulder research. The study, published today in the journal Addiction, also suggests that while drug and alcohol use among adolescents draws more attention, antisocial behavior -- including rule-breaking tendencies -- may be a more powerful predictor of early mortality. Read

College students may face pressures from opioid epidemic’s secondary effects

8/11/18--About one in five college students reported in a survey that they knew someone who was addicted to pain medications, and nearly a third said they knew somebody who overdosed on painkillers or heroin, according to a team of undergraduate Penn State Lehigh Valley researchers. "This secondary exposure to opioid abuse may shine a light on the collateral damage that is often left out of the current debate about the epidemic," said Jennifer Parker, associate professor of sociology, Penn State Lehigh Valley. Read

Alarming trend shows first-time smoking among young adults

7/9/18--Millennials living more dangerously and settling down later could be creating a new generation of addicted smokers and e-cigarette users, according to the surprising results of research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Statistics highlighted in today's article in the Journal of Adolescent Health showed greater numbers of new smokers and e-cigarette users among young adults compared to adolescents, marking a reversal of previous social norms. Read

Content of illicit cannabis extracts used to treat children with epilepsy revealed

7/5/17--A pioneering study has found Australian parents who turned to medicinal cannabis to treat children with epilepsy overwhelmingly (75 percent) considered the extracts as "effective." Contrary to parental expectations, extracts generally contained low doses of cannabidiol (CBD) -- commonly considered to be a key therapeutic element and that has been successfully used in recent clinical trials to treat epilepsy. Read

Smoking heightens risk of psychoses

3/12/18--Smoking at least ten cigarettes a day is linked to a higher risk of psychoses compared to non-smoking young people. The risk is also raised if the smoking starts before the age of 13. This has been shown in a study led by Academy Research Fellow, Professor Jouko Miettunen. The results were recently published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. Read

How does resolving cannabis problems differ from problems with alcohol or other drugs?

3/5/18--Individuals who report having resolved a problem with cannabis use appear to have done so at younger ages than those who resolved problems with alcohol or other drugs and were less likely to use any formal sources of assistance or support, report investigators from the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Read

Opioid abuse leads to heroin use and a hepatitis C epidemic, researcher says

2/22/18--Heroin is worse than other drugs because people inject it much sooner, potentially resulting in increased risk of injection-related epidemics such as hepatitis C and HIV, a new study shows. As more people use opioids, many switch to heroin because it's more potent and cheaper -- a trend that complicates disease prevention as health officials crack down on opioids. Read

Experts challenge claims about medical marijuana’s impact on teen recreational use and opioid deaths

2/22/18--Two papers published today look at the current evidence of the effects of medical marijuana laws and conclude there is little support that such laws increase recreational marijuana use among adolescents or reduce opioid overdose deaths. Read

Promising therapy’ for alcohol abuse

6/28/18--Fatemeh Akhlaghi, the Ernest Mario Distinguished Chair in Pharmaceutics, is part of a team working to develop a novel medication to treat alcohol use disorder, the term scientists and health practitioners use. Funded by a $1.65 million grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the URI team is testing the safety and efficacy of a drug originally developed by Pfizer to treat obesity and diabetes. Read

Cigarette smoking is increasing among Americans with drug problems

12/9/17--While cigarette smoking has declined in the US for the past several decades, since 2002 the prevalence of smoking has increased significantly among people with an illicit substance use disorder, according to a new study. Researchers found more than half of individuals with a substance use disorder (56 percent) reported cigarette use in the past month, compared with 18 percent of those without a substance use disorder. Read

Medical marijuana for children with cancer? What providers think

12/12/17--A study published in Pediatrics examined interdisciplinary provider perspectives on legal medical marijuana use in children with cancer. It found that 92 percent of providers were willing to help children with cancer access medical marijuana. However, providers who are legally eligible to certify for medical marijuana were less open to endorsing its use. Read

Marijuana may help HIV patients keep mental stamina longer

12/12/17--A chemical found in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has been found to potentially slow the process in which mental decline can occur in up to 50 percent of HIV patients, says a new Michigan State University study. Read

E-cig use increases risk of beginning tobacco cigarette use in young adults

12/11/17--Young adults who use electronic cigarettes are more than four times as likely to begin smoking tobacco cigarettes within 18 months as their peers who do not vape, according to new research. The findings demonstrate that e-cigarettes are serving as a gateway to traditional smoking, contrary to their purported value as a smoking cessation tool. The study is the first nationally representative survey that followed for more than a year people 18 to 30 years old who were initially nonsmokers. Read

Recreational drug users not what we think

12/7/17--A study lead by David Plummer, a professor from James Cook University in Queensland, investigates why Australians are among the top users of illegal drugs in the world. New facts have been revealed about the motivations of recreational drug users. Research shows almost 40% of Australians aged 15 years and over have used one or more illicit drugs at some stage in their life, and approximately 17% within the past 12 months. Read

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

12/4/17--Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms. But, new research led by Marian Wilson, Ph.D., of the Washington State University College of Nursing found that frequent marijuana use seems to strengthen the relationship between pain and depression and anxiety, not ease it. Read

Cannabis use in youth is linked to bipolar symptoms in young adults, finds new research

11/30/17--Researchers from Warwick Medical School found that adolescent cannabis use is an independent risk factor for future hypomania -- periods of elated mood, over-active and excited behaviour, and reduced need for sleep that are often experienced as part of bipolar disorder, and have a significant impact on day-to-day life. The Warwick research is the first to test the prospective association between adolescent cannabis use and hypomania in early adulthood, whilst controlling for important other factors that might explain this connection. Read

Regulators should not consider ‘lost pleasure’ of quitting smoking

11/28/17--Researchers at the school's Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) analyzed data from 1,284 adult smokers in the United States and found more than 80 percent expressed discontent about their inability to quit, felt they were addicted to cigarettes and regretted they started smoking. Read

Synthetic cannabis-like drug reduces sleep apnea

11/28/17--A synthetic cannabis-like drug in a pill was safe and effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea in the first large multi-site study of a drug for apnea funded by the National Institutes of Health. The study was conducted at Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Read

Certain popular cigars deliver more nicotine than cigarettes

11/25/17--Researchers analyzed the nicotine in smoke from popular brands of "small" or "filtered" cigars -- cigars that are almost identical to cigarettes except they're wrapped in leaf tobacco instead of paper. The researchers found that the level of nicotine found in small cigar smoke is similar to or greater than cigarette smoke. Read

Teens who drank or smoked marijuana heavily are less likely to marry, go to college, or work full time

11/5/17--Young adults dependent on marijuana and alcohol are less likely to achieve adult life goals, according to new research by UConn Health scientists. They examined data from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) to track the effect teenage alcohol and marijuana use has on the achievement of life goals, defined as educational achievement, full time employment, marriage, and social economic potential. The researchers also found that dependence may have a more severe effect on young men. Read

Researchers use a compound with a novel mechanism to treat pain in mice without tolerance or physical dependence

10/25/17--A pre-clinical study led by Indiana University scientists reports a promising step forward in the search for pain relief methods without the addictive side effects behind the country's current opioid addiction crisis. The research, which appears in the journal Biological Psychiatry, finds that the use of compounds called positive allosteric modulators, or PAMs, enhances the effect of pain-relief chemicals naturally produced by the body in response to stress or injury. Read

Large declines seen in teen substance abuse, delinquency

10/25/17--In recent years, teens have become far less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine, and illicit drugs, according to researchersat Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Teens also are less likely to engage in behaviors like fighting and stealing, and the researchers believe the declines in substance use and delinquency are connected. The drop in substance abuse among teens parallels findings in other recent surveys, but until now no one has looked at how the drop-off may be linked to other behavioral issues. Read

A quarter of problematic pot users have anxiety disorders, many since childhood

10/24/17--According to new data from Duke Health researchers, about a quarter of adults whose marijuana use is problematic in early adulthood have anxiety disorders in childhood and late adolescence. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, also shed light on an estimated 4 percent of adults who endured childhood maltreatment and peer bullying without resorting to chronic marijuana abuse, only to develop problems with the drug between the ages of 26 and 30. Read

Strongest evidence supports use to reduce seizures, side effects of chemotherapy

10/23/17--A systematic review of published studies on the use of medical cannabis in children and adolescents finds a notable lack of studies and a minimal number of the randomized, controlled trials needed to confirm the effectiveness of a treatment. In their paper published in the journal Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators Shane Shucheng Wong, MD, and Timothy Wilens, MD report that their review suggests only two pediatric uses of medical cannabis. One is to relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and the other is to reduce seizures. Both are supported by existing studies. Read

Cannabis consumption increases violent behavior in young people in psychiatric care

10/6/17--A new study on cannabis use that involved 1,136 patients (from 18 to 40 years of age) with mental illnesses who had been seen five times during the year after discharge from a psychiatric hospital demonstrates that sustained used of cannabis is associated with an increase in violent behavior in young people. Moreover, the association between persistent cannabis use and violence is stronger than that associated with alcohol or cocaine. Read

Up to one-quarter of cancer patients use marijuana

9/25/17--A new study conducted in a cancer center in a state with legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana found that approximately one-quarter of surveyed patients used marijuana in the past year, mostly for physical and psychological symptoms. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study also revealed that legalization increased the likelihood for use among patients. Read

Cannabis, ‘spice’ – better think twice

9/21/17--A research group discovered that seizures can be induced by natural Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC, main constituent of marijuana) or the synthetic cannabinoid JWH-018 (main component of synthetic blend "Spice"). These results are considered important because people see marijuana as a soft drug, without dangerous health effects, and they are unaware of the particularly severe effect of those cannabinoids. Considering the recent irreversible spread of synthetic cannabinoids and their impact on human health, this data should serve as a public alert. Read

Marijuana may produce psychotic-like effects in high-risk individuals

9/13/17--Marijuana may bring on temporary paranoia and other psychosis-related effects in individuals at high risk of developing a psychotic disorder, finds a preliminary study from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). In this double-blinded, placebo-controlled laboratory study, the researchers looked at the effects of marijuana in six high-risk young adults and six controls, all experienced and current marijuana smokers who were physically healthy. Read

Daily e-cigarette users had highest rates of quitting smoking

8/16/17--Among US adults who were established smokers in the past five years, those who use e-cigarettes daily were significantly more likely to have quit cigarettes compared to those who have never tried e-cigarettes. Over half of daily e-cigarette users had quit smoking in the past five years, compared to 28 percent who had never tried e-cigarettes. This is one of the first studies to reveal the patterns of cessation prevalence among e-cigarette users. Read

Cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum, study shows

8/17/17--A new study conducted by scientists at UC San Francisco reports that tobacco companies have known for decades that, without counseling, nicotine replacement therapy hardly ever works, and that consumers often use it to complement smoking. This insight from the formerly secret industry documents known as the "Tobacco Papers" reveals why companies that once viewed nicotine patches and gum as a threat to their cigarette sales now embrace them as a business opportunity, the researchers said. Read

Marijuana use amongst youth stable, but substance abuse admissions up

8/15/17--According to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, while marijuana use amongst youth remains stable, youth admission to substance abuse treatment facilities has increased. As to why numbers are up, Miesha Marzell, assistant professor of social work at Binghamton University, says that it could be that people are seeing any kind of use as high-risk and want to make sure that, from a prevention standpoint, that they stay on top of it. Read

Traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents could lead to alcohol abuse in later life

8/14/17--Researchers have surveyed previous studies to investigate the relationship between traumatic brain injuries and alcohol abuse. They found evidence that traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents could be a risk-factor for alcohol abuse in later life, and they advise that brain injury survivors should be given special attention to address potential substance abuse issues. Read

Marijuana associated with three-fold risk of death from hypertension

8/9/17--Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension, according to new research. Compared to non-users, marijuana users had a 3.42-times higher risk of death from hypertension, and a 1.04 greater risk for each year of use. There was no association between marijuana use and death from heart disease or cerebrovascular disease. Read

Compound derived from marijuana interacts with antiepileptic drugs

8/7/17--New research suggests that an investigational neurological treatment derived from cannabis may alter the blood levels of commonly used antiepileptic drugs. Read

Compound derived from marijuana interacts with antiepileptic drugs

8/7/17--New research published in Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), suggests that an investigational neurological treatment derived from cannabis may alter the blood levels of commonly used antiepileptic drugs. Read

First secondhand smoke, now secondhand harm from drinking

7/27/17--Harm from alcohol can extend beyond the drinker, resulting in "secondhand harm" caused by intoxicated people. Prior research suggests that more than 70 percent of college undergraduates have experienced harm from other students' drinking. A new study examined the prevalence and types of secondhand harm among Canadian undergraduates, and whether certain personality risks for alcohol use disorder -- impulsivity, sensation seeking, hopelessness, anxiety, sensitivity -- can predict secondhand-harm exposure. Read

Pattern of marijuana use during adolescence may impact psychosocial outcomes in adulthood

7/25/17--A pattern of escalating marijuana use in adolescents is linked to higher rates of depression and lower educational accomplishments in adulthood. Those findings come from a new study led by researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Pitt Department of Psychology published in the journal Addiction. Read

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

7/17/17--A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence. Read

Marijuana and vulnerability to psychosis

7/5/17--Going from an occasional user of marijuana to a weekly or daily user increases an adolescent's risk of having recurrent psychotic-like experiences by 159%, according to a new Canadian study published in theJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. The study also reports effects of marijuana use on cognitive development and shows that the link between marijuana use and psychotic-like experiences is best explained by emerging symptoms of depression. Read