- Marijuana, Sleep, and Dreams
- Heroin in Vietnam: The True Story of the Robins Study
- The Manifesto for Children of Alcoholics
- Who Smokes Marijuana Where?
- Don't Be a Holiday Fool
- It's That Time of Year Again
- Cancer: Alcohol’s Dirty Little Secret?
- Marijuana: Where Things Stand
- Take It Easy
- Drug Deaths By State
THE INDICA VS. SATIVA DEBATE, CONTINUED. Addictive Behaviors_, sought to “document naturalistic choice of particular medical cannabis types among individuals who self-report using cannabis for the treatment of sleep problems…. Little research has documented species or cannabinoid concentration preferences among individuals who use medical cannabis for particular conditions…. We also evaluated the interaction between the type of cannabis used and diagnosis of cannabis use disorder among study participants.” The researchers recruited participants from a medical cannabis dispensary in California under procedures approved by the VA and Stanford University review boards. 163 people with a mean age of 40, who used cannabis twice a day on average, provided self-reported information on their cannabis use for the study. 81 participants reported using cannabis for the management of insomnia, and another 14 reported using cannabis to reduce nightmares. (Frequent smokers insist they dream less. THC does appear to decrease the density of REM cycles, leading to more restful, dream-free sleep, according to some studies.) So what did they find? —“Individuals who reported using cannabis for nightmares, compared to those who did not, preferred sativa to indica.” (Small effect.) Indica, considered the “heavier” high, might have seemed the likely choice here. —"Individuals who self-report using cannabis to treat symptoms of insomnia and those with greater self-reported sleep latency reported using cannabis with significantly higher concentrations of CBD.” (Large effect.) Again, a somewhat counterintuitive finding, since it is widely believed that CBD conduces toward a more wakeful state than THC alone. —“Individuals who used sleep medication less than once/week used cannabis with higher THC concentrations than those who used sleep medication at least once a week.” (Large effect.) “There were no differences in THC concentration as a function of self-reported sleep quality, or use for insomnia or nightmares.” Pretty straightforward finding: THC makes you sleepy. It is not clear, however, that above a certain threshold, more THC makes you even sleepier. In fact, some researchers would consider this finding unexpected, given that high THC concentrations have been shown to have a stimulating effect. —“Older individuals were less likely to have cannabis use disorder compared to those younger…. No surprise about the older folks, since prior studies show a decrease in the prevalence of cannabis use disorders with age. —“Individuals who preferred sativa or primary sativa hybrid strains were less likely to have cannabis use disorder compared to those who preferred indica or primary indica hybrid strains.” (Small effect.) If replicated, this finding could have significant implications; both in strengthening programs to reduce marijuana smoking among the very young, and it warning consumers that some evidence suggests indica strains may be more addictive than sativa strains in plants with similar THC/CBD levels and ratios. —“Neither concentration of THC nor CBD were associated with cannabis use disorder.” Common sense, but useful to remember. In other addictive behaviors, such as heroin and alcohol abuse, the relative strength of the drug is not the primary determinant of its addictive potential. Caveats and design limitations: The survey relied on retrospective reports of sleep quality and pot preferences. Also lacking is an examination of additional variables such as PTSD and co-occurring substance abuse.
—Take responsibility for children of alcoholics. —Create a national strategy for COAs —Properly fund local support for COAs —Increase availability of support for families battling addiction to alcohol —Boost education and awareness for children —Boost education and training for those with a responsibility for children —Develop a plan to change public attitudes —Revise the national strategy to tackle alcoholism to focus on price and availability —Curtail the promotion of alcohol – especially to children —Take responsibility for reducing rates of alcoholism The complete manifesto can be downloaded here. You can visit the groups site, the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, by clicking here.
SOBERING UP––MYTHS AND FACTS
OUR ANNUAL LOOK AT CHRISTMAS DECORATION ADDICTION. By JOHN M. GROHOL, PSY.D. "Five years ago, I covered something called Christmas lighting addiction in our then-fledgling newsletter. It was a bit tongue-in-cheek, because I’m not a big believer in most addictive behaviors. Christmas lights? I mean, c’mon… But as I guess with anything in life, you can go overboard with decorating your house in Christmas lights...."
WHAT DOCTORS DON’T TELL YOU alcohol causes cancer. Rather than conferring any demonstrable metabolic benefit, alcohol is more likely to damage your health in a variety of ways. The body converts alcohol (ethanol) into acetaldehyde as part of the metabolic process, and acetaldehyde is carcinogenic in sufficient quantities. Drinkers are particularly susceptible to cancers of the head and neck, as well as the liver, breast, and bowel. However, you wouldn’t know this if you only talked to doctors. In a commentary written for the journal _Addiction_, Terry Slevin and Tanya Chikritzhs of Curtin University in Perth, Australia, suggest that health professionals may be consciously or unconsciously in denial. A 2015 survey taken in the UK demonstrated that only about 13% of the population was aware of a link between alcohol and cancer. Moreover, surveys of physicians show that “significant proportions are not aware of or resist the notion that alcohol causes cancer and do not advise their patients of the relationship. This is compounded by the fact that many physicians are reluctant to ask about patient alcohol use, particularly when drinking does not appear to have a direct impact upon their health.” (98% of medical students in a survey from Saudi Arabia, where drinking is rare, said that alcohol causes cancer.) The authors raise the following question: Could individual alcohol use among doctors be part of the problem? Some studies have shown that physicians drink more than average, other studies conclude that they drink about the same as everybody else. As for attitudes about drinking, the authors reference a U.S. study showing that 24% of doctors admitted to having imbibed alcohol while on call. 64% reported witnessing colleagues who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol while on call. Given that most doctors probably drink socially at about the levels one would expect of the general population, the authors point up the possibility that a form of cognitive dissonance might be behind an apparent, perhaps unconscious reluctance to discuss the alcohol/cancer link. If true, “an important source of health information for members of the public may not be communicating the alcohol-causes-cancer message consistently or effectively.” The alcohol industry itself has always viewed the alcohol/cancer question primarily as a threat to sales. These powerful companies exhibit “a vested interest in maintaining the status quo of relative ignorance, uncertainty and denial among the general population and their trusted health advisors. In the face of this, it is time that health professionals set aside any leanings that might stem from their own drinking—good or bad—and convey unreservedly to their patients and the communities they serve that alcohol causes cancer.” Graphics: http://www.alcoholandcancer.eu/risks/
RESULTS OF THE 2016 ELECTION. Governing.com