Marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of prescription opioid use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse analyzed data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and found respondents who reported past-year marijuana use in their initial interview had 2.2 times higher odds than nonusers for having a prescription opioid use disorder and 2.6 times greater odds of abusing prescription opioids.[i]
Marijuana use seems to strengthen the relationship between pain and depression and anxiety, not ease it. A recent study that surveyed 150 adults receiving MAT examined whether marijuana use diminishes the relationships between pain, depression, and anxiety and whether self-efficacy influences these interactions. The study concluded that marijuana use strengthens the connection between feelings of pain and emotional distress. Marijuana use was also associated with a low sense of self-efficacy, making it harder for them to manage their symptoms.[ii]Continue reading →
Reducing Future Rates of Adult Addiction Must Begin with Youth Prevention
The United States is confronting a public health crisis of rising adult drug addiction, most visibly documented by an unprecedented number of opioid overdose deaths.1 Most of these overdose deaths are not from the use of a single substance – opioids – but rather are underreported polysubstance deaths.2This is happening in the context of a swelling national interest in legalizing marijuana use for recreational and/or medical use.As these two epic drug policy developments roil the nation, there is an opportunity to embrace a powerful initiative.Ninety percent of all adult substance use disorders trace back to origins in adolescence.3 4New prevention efforts are needed that inform young people, the age group most at-risk for the onset of substance use problems, of the dangerous minefield of substance use that could have a profound negative impact on their future plans and dreams.
COALITION OF PARENTS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, AND EMPLOYERS TESTIFY AGAINST MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION AT LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS HEARING
At a hearing of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus, coalition members of New Jersey Responsible Approaches to Marijuana Policy (NJ-RAMP) expressed their opposition to the legalization and commercialization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey.
Parents, law enforcement professionals, religious leaders, employers, and addiction professionals offered testimony, insights and expertise on a multitude of issues including health concerns, increase in youth use, drugged driving, and arrest rates among minorities.
According to news reports, a number of legislators would rather see decriminalization than legalization in New Jersey. The Black Caucus prefers decriminalization as more helpful to minorities. Continue reading →