Tag Archives: NIDA

Surgeon General, HHS Secretary issue blunt warnings About Marijuana

Parents from every part of the country tell us that their teens claim “marijuana is safer than alcohol.”  That’s because many teens take messages from social media and fake news.

The Surgeon General and Secretary of Health and Human Services issued a blunt warning today, clarifying why cannabis is not safe.  Together with the heads of SAMHSA and NIDA, Dr. Jerome Adams and HHS Secretary Alex Azar spoke at a Press Conference today, detailing the risks of pot.

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Annual Survey Shows Marijuana Use Up Among Grades 8, 10, & 12

Monitoring the Future,* the nation’s annual survey of students, reported today marijuana use in 8th, 10th and 12th grades was higher than last year.  The survey also found that students in medical marijuana law states vaped marijuana at higher rates than students in other states, and consumed pot edibles (that can come in candies, sodas, or ice-creams) at double the rate than in non-medical marijuana law states. The survey does not include youth who drop out of school.

Misuse of prescription opioids continued its 10-year decline.  Virtually all other substances are at their lowest point in the history of the survey. The contrast is very significant, because many people think the overprescribing of opioids is the only reason our youth die of drug abuse.  They fail to reflect on the fact that early marijuana use is a predictor of other substance abuse.  Continue reading Annual Survey Shows Marijuana Use Up Among Grades 8, 10, & 12

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NIDA Report Shows Use of Marijuana High, Feeding Future Drug Addiction

National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported today that drug abuse among teens is trending downward, except for marijuana.   The University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future Survey was completed for 2016.  It showed that six percent of high school seniors across the country are daily marijuana users.

Many of these young, habitual tokers, are potential addicts–if not yet addicted.  They may stick to marijuana which is extremely potent today–5x more potent than it was in 70s.  Or they may go onto other drugs, or slide into alcoholism as they turn the legal age to buy booze.  The six percent of seniors who are daily pot users is triple the rate of daily drinkers in 12th grade.  That figure is very troubling, and it is the same high rate from the previous year.

Teen abuse of other substances, including opioids and heroin, is down. However, adult substance abuse continues to rise astronomically.   The Centers for Disease Control released new statistics last week:  52,404 drug-related deaths in 2015, an 11% rise.  By comparison, 37,757 died in car crashes, an increase of 12%. Gun deaths, including homicides and suicides, totaled 36,252, a jump of 7%.     In 2014, there were 47,055 drug overdose deaths.  The rate of increase has risen rapidly in the last decade.

There’s the concern that these daily marijuana users will go onto other drugs, drugs that lead to overdose and are potentially lethal.    States with high rates of teen marijuana use in 2011 and 2012 ended up having the highest rates of opioid pill abuse two years later.  Here’s five reasons marijuana is a gateway drug.

Pain Pills, Cough Syrup and Other Drugs

The use of synthetic cannabinoids and ecstasy is lower, but still too high.  High school students are  using much fewer opioid pain pills.  Among 12th graders there’s been a 45 percent drop over the past five years. Only 2.9 percent of high school seniors reported past year misuse of the pain reliever Vicodin in 2016, compared to nearly 10 percent a decade ago.  The Drug Free American Foundation, CADCA and the pharmacies regularly sponsor “Take Back Your Drugs” days.  At these times, pain relievers from other family members are tossed out, with the hopes of preventing illicit use.

Fewer eighth graders are using marijuana, which is encouraging.   Parents Opposed to Pot believes it’s because new parent and community drug education efforts – since legalization — are discouraging early pot use.

One troubling note is that eighth graders had an increase in misuse of over-the-counter cough medicine.  This year, 2.6 percent of them have abused it, up from 1.6 percent in 2015.

Tobacco use and drinking are trending downward, but use of e-cigarettes has gone up.   Here’s the statistics.

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US Created Drug Problem by Overdoing ADHD, Drugs

As we hear of more and more drug overdoses, kids in addiction treatment, marijuana psychosis and sudden deaths with designer drugs, we need to ask how did the United States get itself into such a mess? How did we send our youth down this dangerous path?

Between 1979 and 1992 marijuana usage among American teens went down. The Parents Movement and “Just Say No” campaign had an impact. What has gone wrong since that time?
We can look to a few big changes in the 1990s:

1) In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark piece of legislation that encouraged inclusiveness and has made life better for a large number of people with disabilities. CHADD, a group representing people with Attention Deficit Disorder lobbied successfully Continue reading US Created Drug Problem by Overdoing ADHD, Drugs

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