Friday, July 21, 2017

Cannabis States Rights Advocates Push Back

cannabis use disorder
We know that marijuana is not a safe drug. However, it is a lot less dangerous than most other drugs, including alcohol. That is not to say that is should be illegal, leading to the imprisonment of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders. But, rather common sense policies should be put in place to ensure that the drug use be minimized especially by teenagers and young adults.

The American marijuana experiment, medical cannabis and legalization, has not been without it’s downsides. As with anything new, there are bound to be some hiccups. A veritable learning curve, to be sure. Although, lightened stances on marijuana has not led to storm of problems in the states that have passed friendly legislation. One could easily argue that ending marijuana prohibition has led to some good, especially with regard to criminal justice.

On the flip side, there is evidence to suggest that more Americans are seeking addiction treatment for cannabis use disorder, voluntarily. Although, It is not a certainty that the cause for the uptick is due to legalization. It has been suggested that because fewer people are being ordered to treatment by the state for cannabis offenses, more people are now seeking help on their own terms. Which is great. Cannabis use disorder is a real condition, not to minimized because it is safer than other drugs. There is a significant number of people in recovery from marijuana addiction.


Federal Government Against Legalization

Despite the fact that the Pew Research Institute has found 57 percent of U.S. adults are in favor of legalization in 2016, the Attorney General has expressed interest in a federal crackdown. A more recent poll has shown that 59 percent of American voters are in favor of legalization and 71 percent say the federal government should not prosecute in marijuana-friendly states, The New York Times reports. As you can imagine, states that have passed medical marijuana and legalization are not thrilled about the prospect of the Attorney General’s intentions. Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey said a Federal cannabis crackdown “will not make our communities safer or reduce the use of illegal drugs.”

“Instead, they will worsen an already broken system,” he said, noting that marijuana-related arrests are disproportionately high for black Americans. 

In an attempt to stymie the Federal Government's efforts, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, including from Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, to Sen. Booker — are dead set on defending states’ rights, according to the article. A group of senators reintroduced legislation that would protect marijuana patients in states where it is legal, without fear of federal prosecution.

“Federal marijuana policy has long overstepped the boundaries of common sense, fiscal prudence, and compassion,” Senator Cory Booker said in a statement about the The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act.


Cannabis Use Disorder Treatment

California is one of the states with both medical and legalized marijuana. There is a significant number of people living across the states that have an unhealthy relationship with the drug. While incarcerating marijuana addicts is not the answer, encouraging people to seek help if their life becomes unmanageable is. If you are struggling with cannabis, please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Binge Drinking Can Lead to Alcohol Use Disorder

binge drinking
Binge drinking is a practice that is quite common among teenagers and young adults. The behavior is most often defined as having four drinks for women and five for men, in a two-hour period. Young people often don’t realize the true consequences of their actions early in life, partly because they can bounce back quickly after a night of heavy drinking. They may hear about the risk of alcohol poisoning or making reckless decisions from being inebriated. But, a significant number of binge drinkers don’t realize that they are at risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

That is not to say that binge drinking means that alcoholism will develop, research supports that fact. Most binge drinkers in young adulthood do not go on to be alcoholics. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that binge drinking during one’s formative years can be a slippery slope to AUD.


The Road to AUD

Alcohol by nature, is the farthest thing from healthy. The list of alcohol related health problems, aside from alcoholism, is long. Many of the conditions that can arise from heavy drinking over a long duration can be deadly. These include cancer, cardiovascular disease and cirrhosis of the liver to name a few. People living with an AUD are at increased risk of developing such problems, so avoiding the condition is of the utmost importance.

Unfortunately, convincing young adults to drink only in moderation and infrequently is difficult to achieve. And while there is no such thing as healthy alcohol consumption, drinking rarely and in limited amounts mitigates the risk of eventually developing a problem. One way to enlighten young people about the risks of binge drinking may be to constantly bombard them with the facts.

A new study published recently, again supports the claim that binge drinking in one’s younger years increases the risk of AUD, The Research Society on Alcoholism reports. However, it is unclear (currently) if intermittent versus regular drinking has an impact on the development of an alcohol use disorder. The findings were published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

AUD Treatment

Preventing young people from engaging in dangerous drinking patterns is paramount. But, equally important is encouraging people who have an AUD to seek treatment for their condition. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat. We have helped a significant number of young people break the cycle of addiction and learn how to a live life, on life’s terms in recovery.