One in 5 adolescents at risk of tobacco dependency, harmful alcohol consumption and illicit drug use
Date: June 7, 2017
Source: University of Bristol
Summary: Researchers have found regular and occasional cannabis use as a teen is associated with a greater risk of other illicit drug taking in early adulthood. The study also found cannabis use was associated with harmful drinking and smoking.
The University of Chicago, Department of Psychiatry Behavioral Neuroscience, 5841 S. Maryland Ave., MC3077, Chicago IL 60637, United States
Present address: The University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry, 1601 W. Taylor St., MC912, Chicago, Illinois 60612
•We assessed effects of delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) in healthy volunteers.
•THC produced nonlinear dose effects upon emotional responses to the TSST.
•7.5 mg THC dampened negative emotional responses without influencing performance.
•12.5 mg THC slightly but significantly increased negative affect overall.
•12.5 mg THC impaired TSST performance and attenuated blood pressure responses.
Cannabis smokers often report that they use the drug to relax or to relieve emotional stress. However, few clinical studies have shown evidence of the stress-relieving effects of cannabis or cannabinoid agonists. In this study, we sought to assess the influence of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a main active ingredient of cannabis, upon emotional responses to an acute psychosocial stressor among healthy young adults.
In comparison to placebo, 7.5 mg THC significantly reduced self-reported subjective distress after the TSST and attenuated post-task appraisals of the TSST as threatening and challenging. By contrast, 12.5 mg THC increased negative mood overall i.e., both before and throughout the tasks, and pre-task ratings of the TSST as threatening and challenging. It also impaired TSST performance and attenuated blood pressure reactivity to the stressor.
Our findings suggest that a low dose of THC produces subjective stress-relieving effects in line with those commonly reported among cannabis users, but that higher doses may non-specifically increase negative mood.
2 June 2017
The teenager's father is backing Lord Monson's call for skunk to be reclassified
Credit:Matthew Fearn/PA wire
Ateenage rugby player cut off his own penis and stabbed his mother while high on skunk, his father has revealed, as he called for the drug to be reclassified.
The father, named only as Nick because he wants to remain anonymous as his son is rebuilding his life, is backing Lord Nicholas Monson's campaign to have skunk reclassified from a class B to a class A drug and for the traditional weaker form of cannabis to be decriminalised.
Lord Monson launched his call following the suicide of his 21-year-old son Rupert, who was addicted to skunk.
Cannabis harm prevention messages are essential, according to police in places where the drug has been decriminalised. Government, police and health agencies need clear guidelines for public campaigns on preventing harm from cannabis use, according to new research from Massey University. Front line police officers she interviewed in the Netherlands and states of Colorado and Oregon in the United States, where recreational cannabis use is not an offence, provided insights on how their communities responded with cannabis legally available.
They said that contrary to expectations, legalising the drug did not eliminate crime related to selling it, or gangs from continuing to profit from its sale.
All of her interviewees had cannabis law reform presented as a positive change for police, yet – as one officer said, "we just have not seen all the wonderful promises that were made to us."
Others observed cannabis was a gateway to harder drugs, and one officer expressed concern that the legal cannabis industry was attempting to target children to create a future market.
Front-line police officers she interviewed noted the following issues:
What was going through Salman Abedi’s mind when he made that journey to Manchester Arena on Monday night? How does someone do something so unspeakably evil as to slaughter and grievously injure innocent young children in this way?
Was he a psychopath? Was he evil? I do not know the answer but I do know, as the Mail reports today, that according to his friends Abedi was a frequent and heavy cannabis smoker.
Studies into the personality type of would-be jihadi terrorists have found some recurring themes that make an individual ‘ripe’ for radicalisation. They tend to feel angry, alienated or disenfranchised.
There is also a strong sense of victimhood and that they are fighting for a social injustice.
They have a poor sense of identity and tend to be ‘adolescent’ and petulant. This kind of personality type, combined with cannabis use, surely produces an individual more receptive to the kind of hate-filled rhetoric peddled by radical Islamists.
For too long, we have ignored the terrible toll of this drug. Too many people have dismissed cannabis as harmless — something to help you relax and chill — and that an individual should be free to buy and use as they choose.
Now, more than ever, we need to wake up to a pernicious substance that ruins not just the lives of those that take it, but countless others around them in ways we might never have imagined.
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