Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States, and trends show increasing use in the general population. As cannabis consumption rises, there has been significant emerging evidence for cannabis-related risks to health.1
Numerous lines of evidence suggest a correlation between cannabis consumption and a variety of psychiatric conditions, including cannabis-induced psychosis (CIP). While it can be difficult to differentiate CIP from other psychoses, CIP holds distinguishing characteristics, which may aid in its diagnosis. Given the increasing push toward cannabis legalization, assessing CIP and employing timely treatments is critical.
Specifically in youth, there is a direct relationship between cannabis use and its risks. The lack of knowledge surrounding its detrimental effects, combined with misunderstandings related to its therapeutic effects, has potential for catastrophic results
Published July 2017 By Honor Whiteman
Researchers say that adolescents who increase their use of the drug may be more susceptible to psychotic-like episodes.
Studies have long suggested a link between marijuana use and psychosis. New research sheds further light on this association, after finding that teenagers who increase their use of the drug are more likely to experience psychotic-like episodes…Compared with teenagers in the general population, the researchers found that teenagers who increased their frequency of marijuana use from occasionally to weekly or daily were at 159 percent greater risk of having recurrent PLEs.
(Cannabis use and psychotic-like experiences trajectories during early adolescence: the coevolution and potential mediators http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.12765/full )
Neuroimaging Evidence for the Involvement of the Frontal Cortex
Rita Z. Goldstein, Ph.D., and Nora D. Volkow, M.D. Published online: October 01, 2002
OBJECTIVE: Studies of the neurobiological processes underlying drug addiction primarily have focused on limbic subcortical structures. Here the authors evaluated the role of frontal cortical structures in drug addiction.
METHOD: An integrated model of drug addiction that encompasses intoxication, bingeing, withdrawal, and craving is proposed. This model and findings from neuroimaging studies on the behavioral, cognitive, and emotional processes that are at the core of drug addiction were used to analyze the involvement of frontal structures in drug addiction.
RESULTS: The orbitofrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate gyrus, which are regions neuroanatomically connected with limbic structures, are the frontal cortical areas most frequently implicated in drug addiction. They are activated in addicted subjects during intoxication, craving, and bingeing, and they are deactivated during withdrawal. These regions are also involved in higher-order cognitive and motivational functions, such as the ability to track, update, and modulate the salience of a reinforcer as a function of context and expectation and the ability to control and inhibit prepotent responses.
CONCLUSIONS: These results imply that addiction connotes cortically regulated cognitive and emotional processes, which result in the overvaluing of drug reinforcers, the undervaluing of alternative reinforcers, and deficits in inhibitory control for drug responses. These changes in addiction, which the authors call I-RISA (impaired response inhibition and salience attribution), expand the traditional concepts of drug dependence that emphasize limbic-regulated responses to pleasure and reward.
Illegal drug abuse and addiction are very serious problems that can affect people of all ages, ranging from adults to infants born to mothers who regularly use drugs. Illegal drugs are drugs that are sold, often for recreational purposes, even though they are not legally approved. These drugs are typically dangerous, with many of them causing health problems, including problems with the heart. The type of heart complications or problems a person may potentially suffer from depend on the drug itself as well as other factors. These problems may include worsening of current heart problems, a change in heart rate that is either slower or faster, heart failure or even death.
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