Vaping can damage vital immune system cells and may be more harmful than previously thought, a study suggests.
Researchers found e-cigarette vapour disabled important immune cells in the lung and boosted inflammation. The researchers "caution against the widely held opinion that e-cigarettes are safe".
However, Public Health England advises they are much less harmful than smoking and people should not hesitate to use them as an aid to giving up cigarettes. The small experimental study, led by Prof David Thickett, at the University of Birmingham, is published online in the journal Thorax.
Research studies (see Stoové et al, 2009) have long associated surviving a drug overdose with the increased likelihood of a future non-fatal or fatal drug overdose. In a 2017 Massachusetts study of opioid overdoses, 10% of those who survived died within the next year from a drug overdose or other causes. In one of the most rigorous U.S. follow-up studies, Dr. Mark Olfson and colleagues compared the mortality rates of people who had survived a non-fatal opioid overdose to demographically matched members of the general U.S. population. They found that those who survived an opioid overdose died in the next year at 24 times the mortality rate of those in the general population, with most deaths attributed to drug-related diseases, subsequent overdose, circulatory disease, respiratory disease, cancer, HIV, viral hepatitis, and suicide. In another study that might be christened an investigation into lost opportunities, Dr. Linn Gjersing and colleagues found in a retrospective analysis of people who died of a drug overdose that 61% had previously sought emergency medical care and that 18% were frequent users of emergency medical services. The reasons for seeking past emergency care included somatic complaints (48%), injury (44%), alcohol and other drug-related medical problems (32%), and drug overdose (26%).
This is just one of the reasons why it is vital to divert drug users into recovery programs, not simply enable and equip them to continue self-harming with substances – These drug use endorsing mechanisms only increase the risk of harm that the same so-called ‘harm reduction’ strategies are supposed to lessen! (D.I. Comment)
Mr Lofthouse said there were concerns about Ziemelis' behaviour after he had taken cannabis the previous night. He had been discovered with his genitals out while on top of a dog in an alleyway.
Then at 2am on August 1 last year the child's mother found him with his thumbs in the eyes of the baby. When she screamed for help he started to strangle the boy.
Ziemelis produced a green-handled knife and when he was hit with a piece of wood by the grandmother of the little boy he threw that woman across the room before punching the mother until she fell in and out of consciousness.
The prosecutor went on: 'He picked up (the boy) and dangled him out of window of first floor flat for a couple of minutes. A crowd had gathered because of the commotion. People were shouting not to hurt the baby.
'He threw the baby to the left, away from the people as if he did not want them to catch him, but he was caught.'
Ziemelis then bit the mother's toe before throwing her out of the window. Her fall was broken because the onlookers had placed bins underneath the window. She suffered cuts, bruises and a loose tooth.
The police arrived and found him on his back wearing only a pair of shorts, covered in blood. He said: 'I feel broken all over.' He said he did not remember throwing either the baby or woman out of the window. Asked what would happen if a baby was thrown out of a window he said: 'They would die.'
His blood was tested and it indicated he was a heavy cannabis user…He said he had 'displayed psychotic symptoms and episodes due to cannabis misuse.'
The judge went on: 'I do not need a professional to tell me you are dangerous. Anyone who could do that to a child is dangerous. The appropriate sentence is life imprisonment. Any other sentence would not be adequate to reflect what happened.'
Medically Supervised Injection Centres (MSICs) are legally-sanctioned facilities where users can consume pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. Although there is a substantial body of research exploring their effectiveness, there have been few attempts to quantify outcomes across studies. In order to determine the impact of the body of research as a whole, outcomes from studies were synthesised using meta-analysis.
Literature sources were identified through searches in four bibliographic databases. Inclusion in the final review was dependent on the study meeting certain eligibility criteria, including a minimum of pre-test, post-test, control group designs. Data were extracted and pooled in a meta-analysis using both fixed and random effects methods.
Eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Overall, MSICs had a significant, but small, positive effect on outcomes based on the fixed effect analysis and no effect based on random effect analysis. The results of the independent outcome analyses showed that MSICs had a significant favourable result in relation to drug-related crime and a significant unfavourable result in relation to problematic heroin use or injection. MSICs were found to have no effect on overdose mortality or syringe/equipment sharing.
Whilst the effectiveness of the early versions of MSICs remains uncertain, this should not rule out continuing to test and develop MSICs in locations where public injecting and other drug-related harms are a major problem. It is important, however, that evaluation research publishes replicable data to enable future meta-analyses and to expand the body of knowledge in the field.
Medical research has confirmed that the body’s endocannabinoid system is a finely regulated and highly complex system which is involved in the detailed regulation of essentially all body systems including the brain and cardiovascular systems and stem cell niches.
Studies have shown that the rate of use of cannabis by expecting mothers closely parallels that in the wider community. In fact given the long half-life of cannabis in tissues even were a maternal habitual smoker to stop when she discovered her pregnancy, her infant would continue to be exposed to her on-board cannabinoid load for several months afterwards during critical periods of organogenesis. And other studies show that the father’s cannabis use is even more damaging than the mothers’.
Taking Action - Stopping Ice
United Nations Office of Drugs & Crime: Drug Prevention & Treatment
Medicinal Cannabis –
Access to medicinal Cannabis Products (TGA)
Access to medicinal cannabis products: steps to using access ...
Presentations, Statements & Conference Resources from WFAD 2018 Forum