DRUG RESEARCH PORTAL
Around 5,500 children born in Britain in the past five years – or three babies a day – were addicted to heroin, crack cocaine and other drugs from the mother’s womb, official statistics reveal.
Data from the Department of Health said that the newborns all showed ‘neo-natal withdrawal symptoms’ within the first few hours of life. The babies need specialized care to cope with severe vomiting, seizures, fever and breathing difficulties. They became hooked to drugs in the womb because their mothers continued taking drugs during pregnancy.
USA – Marijuana Users More Likely To Misuse Prescription DrugsIndividuals who use marijuana recreationally are more likely to misuse other drugs, including pain-controlling, but potentially addictive narcotics, sedatives and other prescription medications, according to a new national study issued by Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. The key findings for marijuana use: Nearly half (45%) of patients who used marijuana recreationally also used other non-prescribed drugs — most commonly sedatives and narcotic pain killers – compared to approximately one third (36%) of non-marijuana users. These findings suggest recreational marijuana users are 1.3 times more likely than non-marijuana users to use or combine potentially dangerous and addictive prescription and illicit drugs without a legitimate prescription or a clinician’s oversight.
USA – Mental Illness Linked to Heavy Cannabis UsePeople with mental illnesses are more than seven times more likely to use cannabis weekly compared to people without a mental illness, according to researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) who studied U.S. data. “We know people with mental illness consume more cannabis, perhaps partially as a way to self- medicate psychiatric symptoms, but this data showed us the degree of the correlation between cannabis use, misuse, and mental illness,” said Dr. Shaul Lev-ran, Adjunct Scientist at CAMH and Head of Addiction Medicine at the Sheba Medical Center, Israel. Among those with mental illness reporting at least weekly cannabis use, rates of use were particularly elevated for those with bipolar disorder, personality disorders and other substance use disorders.
USA – Marijuana Not Medicine, Addiction Experts Say“Illinois should not legalize cannabis, and physicians should not write recommendations for patients to use marijuana for medical purposes a group of addiction medicine physicians said during a press conference. “There is no such thing as medical marijuana,” Dr. Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) stated. Dr Andrea Barthwell, MD, an addiction medicine specialist called cannabis “unstable and unpredictable” and said that the drug should be subject to the same standards that apply to other medications. John Peterson, MD, president of the Illinois Society of Addiction Medicine, said “For every disease and disorder for which marijuana has been recommended, there is a better, FDA-approved medication.”
USA – California cities can ban medical marijuana shops says courtIn a land mark ruling, the California Supreme Court ruled, by a 7-0 vote, that local cities have the right to ban pot stores. The ruling came in a legal challenge to a ban enacted by the city of Riverside in 2010. “Today is the beginning of the end for the out of control marijuana movement in our state, “said Dr. Paul Chabot, President of the Coalition for a Drug Free California who supported Riversides and about 200 other Californian cities’ bans on medical pot-shops. “We expect cities to take swift action in shutting down these illicit drug dealing operations.” Chabot said. “Facilities that dispense medical marijuana may pose a danger of increased crime, congestion, blight, and drug abuse, and the extent of this danger may vary widely from community to community,” the court said.
A 2012 survey by researchers at the University of Michigan was carried out in classrooms around the country, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This shows that 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoke marijuana daily, up from 5.1 percent five years ago. Nearly 23 percent say they smoked it in the month prior to the survey, and just over 36 percent say they smoked within the previous year. For 10th graders, 3.5 percent said they use marijuana daily, with 17 percent reporting past month use and 28 percent reporting use in the past year.
The top substance abuse-related research studies in 2012 found negative effects on the following; ‘Smoking Weed Doubles Car Crash Risk’, ‘Marijuana Withdrawal Causes Functional Impairment’, ‘Smoking Marijuana Doubles Risk of Testicular Cancer’, ‘Marijuana, Spice Use Can Affect Embryo’s Brain’, ‘Treatment Can Reduce Financial Burden on Families’, ‘Why Do Domestic Violence Victims Recant?’, ‘Binge Drinking Bigger Problem Than Thought’, ‘Drinking Ups Risk of Benign Breast Disease’ and ‘Age 16 Peak Time for Teens to Start Drugs’.
Amsterdam’s mayor said he would formally ban students from smoking cannabis at school, making the city in the Netherlands the first to do so. A city spokeswoman, Iris Reshef, said schools have always forbidden cannabis, but found it difficult to enforce the policy when students smoked on or near campus. “It’s not really what you have in mind as an educator, that children would be turning up for class stoned, or drunk either for that matter,” she said. “But it has been a problem for some schools.”
USA – Provider convicted in Montana medical pot case
A jury has convicted a ‘medical marijuana’ provider on drug trafficking charges in a major test of the U.S. government’s raids of state regulated pot dispensaries in Montana. The jury found Chris Williams guilty of all eight charges, including conspiracy to manufacture, possess and distribute marijuana and firearms charges. Williams wasn’t permitted to argue that he followed state laws regulating ‘medical marijuana’. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen agreed with government prosecutors who said state law doesn’t matter in cases involving the USA federal Controlled Substances Act.
France – Government decides to keep ban on cannabisThe French Government announced that they will continue to ban the sale and use of cannabis, a day after Education Minister, Vincent Peillon, tried to defend his decriminalization of cannabis proposal. Minister Peillon’s proposal, who admitted his statements were a ‘personal reflection’, was rejected by the government during a press conference. Source
USA – High-Potency cannabis in Pregnancy Cause Brain DamageNew high potency marijuana and synthetic “weed” can interfere with early brain formation in developing fetuses as early as two weeks after conception, according to a new study. This is particularly troubling as marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among pregnant women, the researchers at the Center for Genetic and Environmental Medicine at Texas A&MUniversity said. Exposure in early pregnancy is associated with anencephaly, a devastating birth defect in which infants are born without large parts of their brain or skull, the study found. The study also tied early prenatal use of these drugs to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities and memory problems in toddlers and 10-year- olds, as well as depression, aggression and anxiety in teens.Source
USA – Federal police target LA in “medical marijuana” crackdownFederal prosecutors have set their sights on Los Angeles, where city officials have struggled to stop a blooming of dispensaries. “As today’s operations make clear, the sale and distribution of marijuana violates federal law, and we intend to enforce the law,” U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said. California’s four U.S. attorneys pledged last October to curb pot collectives they said were running afoul of the law by raking in huge sums of money and serving as fronts for drug traffickers. Los Angeles is one of more than 175 California cities and 20 counties that have already banned retail pot shops.Source
USA – Gabapentin Helps Cannabis Addicts Kick The Habit
Researchers found that the drug gabapentin, currently on the market to treat neuropathic pain and epilepsy, might also help people to quit smoking cannabis. Unlike traditional addiction treatments, gabapentin targets stress systems in the brain that are activated by drug withdrawal. In a 12-week trial of 50 treatment-seeking cannabis users, those who took gabapentin used less cannabis, experienced fewer withdrawal symptoms, like sleeplessness, and scored higher on tests of attention, impulse-control, and other cognitive skills, compared to patients who received a placebo. “A lot of other drugs have been tested for their ability to decrease cannabis use and withdrawal, but this is the first to show these key effects in a controlled treatment study,” said Barbara J. Mason at Scripps Research, who led the study.