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Author: Subject: Cannabis just as addictive as heroin

Sublime Peach





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  posted on 10/22/2014 at 09:28 AM
Cannabis as addictive as heroin, major new study finds.

Research conducted over 20 years links long-term cannabis use with mental illness, lower academic attainment and lower birth-weight of children


By Telegraph reporter12:17AM BST 07 Oct 2014

Cannabis can be as addictive as heroin or alcohol, causes mental health problems and can lead to hard drug use, according to a major new study led by a leading British expert on addiction.

The research, conducted over 20 years by Professor Wayne Hall, an adviser to the World Health Organisation, links use of cannabis to a wide range of harmful side-effects, from mental illness to lower academic attainment to impaired driving ability.

Smoking the class-'B' drug while pregnant is linked with reduced birth weights, while long-term use can cause cancer, bronchitis and heart attacks, according to the paper.

Prof Hall, a leading expert in addiction at King's College, London, also found that:
:: One in six teenagers who regularly smoke cannabis become dependent on it, as are one in ten regular adult users;

The Daily Mail quoted Prof Hall as saying: "If cannabis is not addictive, then neither is heroin or alcohol.
"It is often harder to get people who are dependent on cannabis through withdrawal than for heroin. We just don't know how to do it."

Less than half of users stay off the drug for six months or more following treatment, Prof Hall found.

Despite the fact that no cannabis user had died from an overdose, long-term use could be seriously damaging to mental health.

"The important point I am trying to make," Prof Hall writes, "is that people can get into difficulties with cannabis use, particularly if they get into daily use over a long period.

"There is no doubt that heavy users experience a withdrawal syndrome as with alcohol and heroin.
"Rates of recovery from cannabis dependence among those seeking treatment are similar to those for alcohol."
Drugs campaigners said the study showed that heavy cannabis use by teenagers amounted to them playing "Russian roulette" with their mental health.

Mark Winstanley, of the Rethink Mental Illness charity, also called for the Government to focus on educating young people about the dangers, rather than classifying and then reclassifying the drug, as the last Government did.
Mr Winstanley told the Mail: "Too often cannabis is wrongly seen as a safe drug, but as this review shows, there is a clear link with psychosis and schizophrenia, especially for teenagers.

"The common view that smoking cannabis is nothing to get worked up about needs to be challenged more effectively. Instead of classifying and reclassifying, Government time and money would be much better spent on educating young people about how smoking cannabis is essentially playing a very real game of Russian Roulette with your mental health."
Tony Blair's government relaxed the law on cannabis, reclassifying it from class 'B' to 'C' in 2004. This was reversed after Gordon Brown entered Downing Street in 2007.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 10/22/2014 at 11:43 AM
This is totally bs. Try to tell this to anyone who has been addicted to heroin or opiates. You miss a day you are violently ill with herion. No comparison whatsoever. Obviously they worked backwards from the conclusion. Of course alcohol is the only thing worse. People can die from alcohol withdrawl, feel like there dying with herion withdrawal. But they can live and function through life if they don't smoke weed
 

Peach Bud



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  posted on 10/22/2014 at 12:07 PM
Not sure where this came from, but it seems pretty ignorant to me. I think you need to differentiate between mental addition and physical addiction. Heroin and alcohol cause physical addiction, which is the cause of withdrawal symptoms, making it so difficult to stop. Marijuana has a mental addiction factor, no different than money, gambling, sex, religion, or anything else that a person can become so engulfed in that they cannot mentally pull themselves out of. Can marijuana cause psychotic symptoms? I'm not an expert on the topic so I really can't say, but in any case I would not think these would not be addiction characteristics. If you want to argue that marijuana is unsafe and has mental side-effects that's one thing, but to compare its addictive qualities to the likes of heroin or alcohol seems to lack any true understanding or basis.
 

Peach Pit



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  posted on 10/22/2014 at 01:49 PM
I can site a personal experiment that in my mind proves weed is purely a mental issue. I've been a daily smoker for 15 years & I know plenty of people who've been at it twice as long as me. In Feb 2013, my wife & I went to Peru for 11 days for our honeymoon. I brought nothing with me. Not even a chocolate or candy. The only "problem" it caused for me were a few times when I thought..."Man, a joint would be great right now". For example, when I was sitting atop Machu Pichu or gliding across Lake Tititcaca in a boat made entirely of reed or the 8 hour train ride to Cusco. But other than that, we spent 11 days wandering Peru, taking pictures & enjoying our trip. When the mind is occupied by other things, those mental addictions we've formed over the years can be forgotten. But like I said, that was my experience. Everyone is different...
 

Peach Head



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  posted on 10/22/2014 at 02:19 PM
Probably funded by Florida Republican's fighting Prop. 2
on Nov. ballot.
FLORIDA VOTERS:
VOTE YES ON PROP. 2

Let's change the South.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 10/22/2014 at 06:28 PM
It's also a gateway drug to other harder drugs.Oh the terror

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 10/23/2014 at 06:19 AM
quote:
Cannabis can be as addictive as heroin or alcohol
quote:


I would say this statement is true. Does it have the same affect, no. Anyone that smokes weed on a consistent basis knows that if they go without it, not by choice, they get restless, irritable, and edgy. People jones for pot when they can't get it or don't have it when they are out.

I love it when people hide behind the 1% that actually benefit from medical marijuana so they can get stoned legally.

Now, I don't think pot should be illegal. It should be sold just like alcohol. Prohibition never works. We have wasted millions on the war on drugs.

But to say pot is not addictive is absurd at best.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 10/29/2014 at 06:08 PM
quote:
This is totally bs. Try to tell this to anyone who has been addicted to heroin or opiates. You miss a day you are violently ill with herion. No comparison whatsoever. Obviously they worked backwards from the conclusion. Of course alcohol is the only thing worse. People can die from alcohol withdrawl, feel like there dying with herion withdrawal. But they can live and function through life if they don't smoke weed


I have met people who were so addicted to cannabis that they could not function socially, leave the house, or even eat food unless they were high. They also said how if they quit, or did not smoke they got night sweats and heart palpitations.

It's not this way for most people who smoke pot; but the drug can get this way for some people.

But you are correct that alcohol, and even benzo withdrawal can be dangerous to people as people have died from them.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 11/3/2014 at 01:23 PM

Some additonal research on marijuana use and brain activity published by the NYT.The full study is accessible as well if you want to learn more (April 2014, The Journal of Neuroscience).


This Is Your Brain on Drugs
SOURCE: NY TIMES

By ABIGAIL SULLIVAN MOOREOCT. 29, 2014

Dr. Gilman was reviewing a composite scan of the brains of 20 pot smokers, ages 18 to 25. What she and fellow researchers at Harvard and Northwestern University found within those scans surprised them. Even in the seven participants who smoked only once or twice a week, there was evidence of structural differences in two significant regions of the brain. The more the subjects smoked, the greater the differences.

Moderate marijuana use by healthy adults seems to pose little risk, and there are potential medical benefits, including easing nausea and pain. But it has long been known that, with the brain developing into the mid-20s, young people who smoke early and often are more likely to have learning and mental health problems. Now researchers suggest existing studies are no longer sufficient. Much of what’s known is based on studies conducted years ago with much less powerful pot.

A Harvard-Northwestern study has found differences between the brains of young adult marijuana smokers and those of nonsmokers. In these composite scans, colors represent the differences — in the shape of the amygdala, top, and nucleus accumbens. Yellow indicates areas that are most different, red the least.Credit The Journal of Neuroscience
Marijuana samples seized by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency show the concentration of THC, the drug’s psychoactive compound, rising from a mean of 3.75 percent in 1995 to 13 percent in 2013. Potency seesaws depending on the strain and form. Fresh Baked, which sells recreational marijuana in Boulder, Colo., offers “Green Crack,” with a THC content of about 21 percent, and “Phnom Penh,” with about 8 percent. The level in a concentrate called “Bubble Hash” is about 70 percent; cartridges for vaporizers, much like e-cigarettes, range from 15 to 30 percent THC.

High-THC marijuana is associated with paranoia and psychosis, according to a June article in The New England Journal of Medicine. “We have seen very, very significant increases in emergency room admissions associated with marijuana use that can’t be accounted for solely on basis of changes in prevalence rates,” said Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a co-author of the THC study. “It can only be explained by the fact that current marijuana has higher potency associated with much greater risk for adverse effects.” Emergency room visits related to marijuana have nearly doubled, from 66,000 in 2004 to 129,000 in 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Higher potency may also accelerate addiction. “You don’t have to work so hard to get high,” said Alan J. Budney, a researcher and professor at Dartmouth’s medical school. “As you make it easier to get high, it makes a person more vulnerable to addiction.” Among adults, the rate is one of 11; for teenagers, one of six.

For the Harvard-Northwestern study, published in the April issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, the team scanned the brains of 40 young adults, most from Boston-area colleges. Half were nonusers; half reported smoking for one to six years and showed no signs of dependence. Besides the seven light smokers, nine used three to five days a week and four used, on average, daily. All smokers showed abnormalities in the shape, density and volume of the nucleus accumbens, which “is at the core of motivation, the core of pleasure and pain, and every decision that you make,” explained Dr. Hans Breiter, a co-author of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern’s medical school.

Similar changes affected the amygdala, which is fundamental in processing emotions, memories and fear responses.

What is already known is that in casual users, THC can disrupt focus, working memory, decision making and motivation for about 24 hours. “The fact that we can see these structural effects in the brain could indicate that the effects of THC are longer lasting than we previously thought,” said Dr. Gilman, an instructor in psychology at Harvard’s medical school.

The study was preliminary and small, and attempts to replicate it are underway. Meanwhile, Dr. Gilman is trying to figure out how the findings relate to brain function and behavior.

One day in September, she was assessing Emma, a student who said her smoking — almost every day — didn’t interfere with school, work or other obligations. For $100 to go toward study-abroad plans, Emma politely plowed through nearly three hours of tests on cognitive functions that are or might be affected by THC, like the ability to delay gratification (would it be better to have $30 tonight or $45 in 15 days?) and motivation (a choice between computer games, the harder one offering a bigger payoff). For memory, Emma listened to lists of words, repeating back those she recalled. Next came risk. Would she bungee jump? Eat high-cholesterol food? (“These kids tend to be risk takers, particularly with their own health and safety,” Dr. Gilman said.)

A final test: Did Emma crave a joint? Her response: somewhat.

Dr. Gilman is concerned about pot’s impact on the college population. “This is when they are making some major life decisions,” she said, “choosing a major, making long-lasting friendships.”

Dr. Volkow noted another problem: Partying on a Saturday night may hinder studying for a test or writing a paper due on Monday. “Maybe you won’t have the motivation to study, because there’s no reward, no incentive,” she said.

Evidence of long-term effects is also building. A study released in 2012 showed that teenagers who were found to be dependent on pot before age 18 and who continued using it into adulthood lost an average of eight I.Q. points by age 38. And last year at Northwestern, Dr. Breiter and colleagues also saw changes in the nucleus accumbens among adults in their early 20s who had smoked daily for three years but had stopped for at least two years.

They had impaired working memories as well. “Working memory is key for learning,” Dr. Breiter said. “If I were to design a substance that is bad for college students, it would be marijuana.”


[Edited on 11/3/2014 by OriginalGoober]

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 12/18/2014 at 09:20 AM
quote:
quote:
Cannabis can be as addictive as heroin or alcohol
quote:


I would say this statement is true. Does it have the same affect, no. Anyone that smokes weed on a consistent basis knows that if they go without it, not by choice, they get restless, irritable, and edgy. People jones for pot when they can't get it or don't have it when they are out.

I love it when people hide behind the 1% that actually benefit from medical marijuana so they can get stoned legally.

Now, I don't think pot should be illegal. It should be sold just like alcohol. Prohibition never works. We have wasted millions on the war on drugs.

But to say pot is not addictive is absurd at best.


This is a nonsense and one of the uninformed generalizations which has been putting people in prison for possessing a weed which is has been proven to be less harmful then Alcohol and Tobacco.

I was a heavy ganja smoker when I was in my late teens into my early twenties and also was friends with heavy consumers and it is not even in the same universe as Heroin with regards to addiction and damage to the individual. I stopped smoking and never suffered the addiction withdrawal you claim and know many other regular users who did not "jones" for it when they could not get it.

Can some people suffer mild psychological addiction symptoms? I have no doubt but implying that everyone who smokes gets addicted and that it is as addictive as Heroin is a flat out lie.

As far as medical ganja is concerned the reason there is only a "1%" of users impacted as you claim is because it is nearly impossible to legally conduct research into the beneficial effects. It has been shown to help with many medical conditions including pain and epilepsy. It has been so effective for some epilepsy conditions that some parents have moved to Colorado so they have legal access to the drug for their children.

Thankfully many States here in the U.S. are starting to realize the futility in enforcement and slowly legalizing Ganja. Hopefully at some point the hypocrites in Washington will remove the barriers to full legalization, stop putting innocent people in jail and use the money saved to improve the quality of life here.

[Edited on 12/18/2014 by Bill_Graham]

[Edited on 12/18/2014 by Bill_Graham]

[Edited on 12/18/2014 by Bill_Graham]

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 12/18/2014 at 10:45 AM
Totally off topic...

Anyone seen the movie 'Nebraska' ?

There's a scene where the Dad and Son are in a bar:

Dad: "I'll have a beer"
Son: "I'll have a Sprite"

Dad looks at Son with incredulous look

Son: "Oh, I quit drinking"
Dad: "Why?"
Son: "It just wasn't helping"
Dad: "Oh and now you are OK?"

 

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