Description : Several recent public opinion polls support the observation that attitudes toward the legalization of botanical cannabis products have changed dramatically over the past decade. Five jurisdictions in the United States have passed legislation decriminalizing use of small amounts of marijuana. Today, twenty-three states support use of some form of medical marijuana. As the first state to legalize marijuana, Colorado has witnessed the sale of over 1 billion dollars of marijuana products in the most recent year. The State of Colorado collected $135 million in tax revenue from these sales. Since public attitudes toward liberalization are more pervasive among younger voters, it seems inevitable that the momentum for further relaxation of restrictions on marijuana will continue. Concurrently, prevalence of use of marijuana has doubled over the decade from 20022013. Public policy decisions relating to this phenomenon are complex and include implications for all institutions of society from law enforcement to public health and health care delivery. Constructive public debate about the pros and cons of liberalization must be informed by an understanding of what science has learned about the risks and benefits to health in different population groups. On September 21, 2015, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) issued a new policy statement on marijuana, cannabinoids, and legalization that favors a more balanced response to legalization efforts. This monograph, conceived and written by psychiatrist members of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association and supported by the Psychiatric Foundation of North Carolina, is intended to meet the need for a summary statement of what is known from scientific research efforts about the effects of use of cannabis products on the mental health of those who are using at varying ages and levels of vulnerability.
Description : With relatable clinical vignettes that illustrate the applicability of each chapter’s content, as well as key chapter points that summarize major themes, Marijuana and Mental Health is the definitive, single source of comprehensive information on marijuana and mental health in modern American society. Balanced, focused, and highly readable, chapters address topics such as the effects of marijuana on the brain and mind, marijuana-related policy and legislation, the complex link between marijuana use and psychotic disorders, synthetic cannabinoids, and the treatment and prevention of marijuana misuse. Beyond offering clinical and research psychiatrists, psychiatric residents and fellows, clinical psychologists, and psychiatric nurses a comprehensive but concise compilation of research in this area, this reference informs clinical mental health practice as well as policy decisions by articulating the connection between marijuana and mental health, particularly in the United States.
Description : Cannabis use and mental health problems are highly prevalent among Canadian youth. While repercussions associated with cannabis are ubiquitous throughout the population, youth are at an increased risk as the brain is exceptionally susceptible to adverse effects during this stage of development. Youth are at a disproportionate risk for addiction, developing a cannabis use disorder, depression, anxiety and psychosis. Moreover, the risk of developing a substance use problem is doubled in people with mental illness compared to the general population, whereby at least 20% of people with a mental illness have a co-existing substance use problem. Gaps remain within the literature that explore how the effects of positive wellbeing, in the presence or absence of mental illness, can serve as a protective measure against cannabis use. The objective of my thesis was to examine if depression or anxiety were associated with youth cannabis use; and investigate whether flourishing moderates these associations. My approach was guided by the differential susceptibility framework and used a cross-sectional analysis of the mental health module pilot data collected in year 5 (Y5[2016-2017]) of the COMPASS study. Data from 8,179 grades 9-12 students were collected from 10 secondary schools in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada. Participants were included based on a complete case analysis for a total of 8,040 students being eligible participants. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess symptoms of depression [CESD-R-10], anxiety [GAD-7], flourishing [Deiner's Flourishing Scale] and cannabis consumption using measures that assess cannabis ever use and frequency of use. Logistic regression analysis (binary and ordinal) and product-term interactions were used to examine the associations between mental health and youth cannabis use, and the potential moderating effect(s) of flourishing. In my sample, 33% of participants had ever used cannabis, 51% and 38% reported elevated depressive and anxiety symptoms, respectively. Associations between depression, anxiety, and cannabis use were no longer significant when flourishing was added to the models. In addition, there was no evidence suggesting a moderating effect of flourishing as all interactions were not statistically significant. Instead, robust associations were found between flourishing and cannabis use. Indicators of mental wellbeing, such as flourishing, appear to be associated with a lower likelihood of cannabis use, even after controlling for depression and anxiety. Results suggest prevention strategies for youth cannabis use should aim to foster mental wellbeing among all youth, rather than exclusively targeting those experiencing mental health problems. Future longitudinal studies should test the sequential relationship between cannabis use and changes in both positive and negative mental health.
Description : The Mental Health-Substance Use series provides clear guidance for professionals on this complex and increasingly recognised field. It concentrates on the concerns, dilemmas and concepts that impact on the life and well-being of affected individuals and those close to them, as well as the future direction of practice, education, research, services, intervention, and treatment. This final book in the series provides the basis of best practice for offering effective interventions to affected individuals and their families, exploring the effects of various substances, both controlled and proscribed, and the impact of substance use in schizophrenia. Therapeutic interventions such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and dialectical behaviour therapy are discussed, as are relapse prevention and the specific needs of groups such as older people and young adults. Associated topics such as individuals within the criminal justice system, and brain injury (the symptoms of which often mimic mental health-substance use) complete this highly comprehensive guide. The volumes in this series are designed to challenge concepts and stimulate debate, exploring all aspects of the development in treatment, intervention and care response, and the adoption of research-led best practice. They are essential reading for mental health and substance use professionals, students and educators.
Description : The use of cannabis in the late twentieth and this century is an area of medical and moral controversy. Despite its illegality, cannabis is the most widely used drug after alcohol and tobacco among young adults in the USA, Europe and Australia. This book, first published in 2003, explores the relationship between health policy, public health and the law regarding cannabis use. It assesses the impact of illegality in drug use and relates this to policy analysis in Australia, the UK, the US and other developed societies. It evaluates debates about 'safe use' and 'harm minimisation' approaches, as well as examining the experiences of different prevention, treatment and education policies. Written by two leading drug advisors Cannabis Use and Dependence makes a valuable addition to this important field of research.
Description : In “a brilliant antidote to all the…false narratives about pot” (American Thinker), an award-winning author and former New York Times reporter reveals the link between teenage marijuana use and mental illness, and a hidden epidemic of violence caused by the drug—facts the media have ignored as the United States rushes to legalize cannabis. Recreational marijuana is now legal in nine states. Advocates argue cannabis can help everyone from veterans to cancer sufferers. But legalization has been built on myths—that marijuana arrests fill prisons; that most doctors want to use cannabis as medicine; that it can somehow stem the opiate epidemic; that it is beneficial for mental health. In this meticulously reported book, Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, explodes those myths, explaining that almost no one is in prison for marijuana; a tiny fraction of doctors write most authorizations for medical marijuana, mostly for people who have already used; and marijuana use is linked to opiate and cocaine use. Most of all, THC—the chemical in marijuana responsible for the drug’s high—can cause psychotic episodes. “Alex Berenson has a reporter’s tenacity, a novelist’s imagination, and an outsider’s knack for asking intemperate questions” (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker), as he ranges from the London institute that is home to the scientists who helped prove the cannabis-psychosis link to the Colorado prison where a man now serves a thirty-year sentence after eating a THC-laced candy bar and killing his wife. He sticks to the facts, and they are devastating. With the US already gripped by one drug epidemic, Tell Your Children is a “well-written treatise” (Publishers Weekly) that “takes a sledgehammer to the promised benefits of marijuana legalization, and cannabis enthusiasts are not going to like it one bit” (Mother Jones).
Description : Cannabis remains the most commonly used illicit substance world-wide, with international estimates indicating that 2.8%-4.5% of the global population use cannabis each year. This prevalence rate has not changed substantially in the past decade and there is no indication that it will do so in the next decade. In line with this, many prominent organizations and individuals have acknowledged that the “war on drugs” has failed and are now calling for a rethink on drug-related policy and legal frameworks. With a growing number of jurisdictions across the world heeding this call and introducing legislation to decriminalize or legalize cannabis use, it is essential that any changes to legal frameworks and public health policies are based on the best available scientific evidence. To facilitate the adoption of an evidence-based approach to cannabis policy, the aim of this Research Topic was to gather a comprehensive body of research to clarify the current state of evidence relating to cannabis use. Of interest were articles addressing the following questions: • How do we study cannabis use? (e.g., recruitment; measuring dose/use; assessing dependence/problematic use; confounding; translation of findings from animal studies) • What do we know about cannabis use? (e.g., patterns, contexts, methods of use) • What do we know about people who use cannabis? (e.g., who uses cannabis and why) • What are the social settings, norms and cultural values that go along with cannabis use? • How is problematic cannabis use, as opposed to mere use, defined, judged and constructed in different societies? • What do we know about the effects/outcomes of cannabis use? (e.g., acute, short- and long-term; harms/ benefits) • What do we know about the factors associated with the initiation, continuance and cessation of cannabis use? • What do we know about the medicinal use of cannabis? (e.g., who uses medicinally and why; efficacy/effectiveness in different clinical populations; comparison with other medications) • What do we know about treatment for people who engage in problematic cannabis use? (e.g., who seeks/is referred to treatment and why; efficacy and effectiveness) • What do we know about cannabis? (e.g., pharmacodynamics/pharmacokinetics of different strains, cultivation, preparation and consumption methods) • How do policy and legal frameworks impact on the people who use cannabis? • What is the future for cannabis research? (e.g., potential avenues for future research; aspects needing more attention; innovative approaches; political/funding issues affecting cannabis research)