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Friday, December 9, 2022

Houston, we have a cannabis problem

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For years, the opioid crisis was the primary concern when it came to drug abuse. There is certainly a good reason for this focus, but as a result, the harms associated with other drugs have managed to avoid the spotlight.

In my view, cannabis use is now the biggest contributor to mental health and substance abuse problems that no one talked about until recently. Although it may not be the most toxic substance on Earth, it is arguably the substance with the greatest gap between its actual dangers (which are considered significant) and its perceived dangers (which are zero for many people).

Similar to the science of global warming, research demonstrating the dangers of cannabis has steadily increased over the years to an overwhelming extent. Perhaps it is the most terrifying dangers psychosis And the psychotic disordersespecially with Super strong products It now dominates the market, but there is also plenty of evidence for other things like suicideAnd the worryAnd the Post Traumatic Stress DisorderAnd the Harmful to the developing fetusAnd the Progression to so-called ‘harder’ drugs Such as opiates and methamphetamine. In contrast to the stereotype of cannabis users as silly and docile, research shows links between its use and hnf With cannabis being a significant part of the lives of an alarming percentage of mass shooting perpetrators.

Cannabis advocates and advocates are quick to become amateur statisticians and protest that “correlation does not imply causation,” ignoring the fact that the research comes from all kinds of studies including longitudinal studies that track individuals over time, experimental And the randomized trialsAnd the animal studiesAnd many other designs. Sure, you could opt for some studies that argue the opposite, just like climate deniers, but such situations seem weaker as the research body swells.

As a child psychiatrist, this research is well reflected in what many of my colleagues and I have been seeing for years in outpatients, emergency rooms, and inpatients. Psychological Floors. I often see teens whose consumption of “weed” quickly turns into lows, endless cycles of upsurge or panic, and doubt growing Paranoia This then leads to frankness psychosisFrequent outbursts of violent anger.

The harm to young people from cannabis often comes indirectly from the parents. In addition to the increasingly documented harms associated with prenatal exposure, cannabis has been identified in some reports as the most common parental substance used in Child deaths due to neglecttranscendent alcohol It is the most prevalent and opium, which grabs a lot of the press when it comes to substances and the child care regimen.

One might expect all this new knowledge to give more people pause before it lights up, but in fact use is increasing due to the political energy to legalize cannabis. With this new political agenda, intense lobbying activities aimed at ignoring and, when this did not work, rejecting the accumulated scientific data emerged. Those who wish to speak out about cannabis concerns are soon trumpeted as “banned” or pawns in the pharmaceutical industry. This accusation is incredibly ironic, given that most of the cannabis critics have absolutely nothing to do with pharmaceutical companies while multibillion-dollar companies, often looking for new “markets,” jump into the cannabis business.

One of the most popular disinformation tactics by some cannabis advocates is simply a copy of the old “bait and switch”. This basically involves finding a study that describes some of the medicinal benefits of a type of cannabis compound, usually just cannabidiol (CBD), which doesn’t make people high, or a very low THC preparation with a lot of CBD (which is hard to find in most legal dispensaries) and then universally declaring that “marijuana is a drug” and using this as justification To defend about 30% of THC or ultra-concentrated products manufactured in industrial-looking laboratories that tend to explode.

For the sake of fairness, it is also important to recognize that extreme attitudes against cannabis amplify the truth and, in fact, can further impede messaging regarding legitimate public health concerns. Blaming cannabis as the main cause of psychosis or violence, or trying to use cannabis as a diversion tactic to avoid talking about other important issues such as access to guns, invites further recognition of rational and productive dialogue. There may indeed be some medicinal uses for cannabis products, and the criminalization of cannabis use, particularly when used unevenly on people of color, has done significant harm.

For many of us who have legitimate concerns about cannabis without being awful about it, things would be much better if cannabis advocates simply recognized that the essential ingredient Stimulate To use it is souse The main motive for selling it is make money. Instead, what we’re seeing are symbols like green crosses (cut from the medical red cross) in cannabis stores which show that these potentially nerve-toxic products and water are good for your health and The environment. Instead of simple advocacy on the basis of personal liberty, we have to put up with the hypocritical and absurd arguments of social justice, as if no one notices the cannabis business strategy that follows the big playbook of tobacco with companies led by disproportionately white male executives and targeting disadvantaged communities to sell products to individuals . You really can’t stand it and this leads to mental and physical health problems that further decline people.

It is unlikely that the two sides will ever reach a real agreement, but it should be possible to enact some logical initiatives regarding the many potential harms of cannabis use. This will include a science-based public health campaign to inform the public about the dangers of cannabis, similar to what has been done with tobacco and alcohol. Yes, this will spark “chilling madness” jokes, but if done well, it will also save lives and brains. We also need to rethink the entire system of “medical cannabis” which is a complete exception to the way everything else in medicine is done (no space here to go into details). For states that choose to legalize thoughtless policies as real warning signs, and for the sake of good, the limits of effectiveness are critical. bloomer Advertising Claims to be enforced vigorously, effective cannabis treatments addicted Need to develop and make it more available.

All in all, we’ve spent far too long when it comes to recognizing and confronting the growing epidemic of cannabis abuse, and it’s time to wake up. There will always be disagreements about the relative risks and benefits of cannabis products, but we don’t need to resolve them before enacting some basic and completely sensible measures that can make a real difference to improving our collective mental health and safety.


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