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CALLING ALL FRIENDS OF RECOVERY!
Marijuana Use in Dutchess County
Cannabis* use by high-school-aged youth is on the increase in NYS, associated with decreased perception of the harm of regular cannabis use.
While cannabis may be less harmful in many ways than alcohol or so-called “hard” drugs, it is far from being harmless, especially when used regularly.Some of the scientifically-established harms of cannabis use include:
-Unintentional injuries. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the active component in cannabis-negatively affects psychomotor function and motor vehicle driving performance in a dose-dependent manner. This is concerning, given that NHTSA roadside surveys found that 12.6% of drivers had evidence of marijuana use in their systems in 2013-2014, compared to 8.6% in 2007.
-Cognitive and behavioral problems. A longitudinal study found early onset of adolescent marijuana use, even at a relatively low frequency was associated with poorer adjustment in young adulthood, including violence and antisocial behavior. Other studies have found a connection between marijuana use and interpersonal violence. Moreover, a longitudinal study determined that persistent cannabis users suffered from pronounced neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife, including a statistically significant decline in intelligence as measured by I.Q.
-Neuropsychiatric disease. Cannabis use – especially heavy use – appears to be a risk factor for the development and/or worsening of neuropsychiatric diseases, including serious psychoses such as schizophrenia. Research has also linked the use of cannabis to the development of depressive disorders and anxiety disorders.
-Pulmonary problems. The use of smoked marijuana is associated with chronic bronchitis symptoms and large airway inflammation, with heavy use possibly leading to airflow obstruction. There is some evidence that smoked marijuana may be a risk factor for the development of lung cancer.
-Other harms. Cannabis use has also been linked to other types of harms, including cardiovascular (such as myocardial infarction), cerebrovascular harms (e.g., stroke), and peripheral atherosclerotic disease.
The Effects of Commercialization
The legalization of recreational cannabis use in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington and the District of Columbia has brought with it some of the problems associated with the commodification and commercialization of a psychoactive drug – namely, aggressive marketing, product development, and corporate communications strategies aiming to place the onus on the individual user (similar to the alcohol industry). One result has been the creation of a wide range of marijuana “edibles,” some of which have been found to contain dangerous levels of THC. These products have resulted in overdose-related injuries and deaths for children and adults.
Despite the cultural controversies surrounding cannabis, ultimately, questions about the distribution and use of psychoactive drugs should be determined by rigorous scientific study – rather than appeals based on fear, pity, or folk wisdom. As the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has stated:
It is imperative that Americans promote and adopt public policies that protect public health and safety as well as protect the integrity of our nation’s pharmaceutical approval process, which is grounded in well-designed and executed clinical research.
Elaine Trumpetto, M.A.
Parents Supporting Parents: The parent support group is currently undergoing reorganization.
Thursday, February 4: Victim Impact Panel, SPANISH: 4:45pm ENGLISH: 6:30pm, 807 Route 52, Fishkill NY
Thursday, February 11: Southern Dutchess Community Coalition Meeting, Fishkill Town Hall, 807 Route 52, Fishkill NY
Monday, February 15: CLOSED for President’s Day
Tuesday, February 18: Alive at 25, 4:45pm, Fishkill Police Community Room, 801 Route 52, Fishkill NY
Saturday, February 20: Alive at 25, 7:45am, Fishkill Police Community Room, 801 Route 52, Fishkill NY
More information for upcoming events and programs can be found on our website events calendar or by contacting our office at (845) 765-8301 or e-mailing Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victim Impact Panel Information: The Victim Impact Panel runs the FIRST THURSDAY of each month, excluding July. Click here for the 2016 Schedule.
Contact Sam at 845-765-8301 x100 for more information or for volunteer opportunities!