Opioids and Unemployability – An undeniable link?

The Opioid Crisis Is Taking a Toll on the American Labor Force

By @EricLevitz

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Since the mid-1990s, the percentage of prime-age American men who don’t have a job — and aren’t looking for one — has risen dramatically. Over the same time period, per-capita sales of opioid painkillers in the United States has more than quadrupled. A new study suggests that there may be a relationship between these two facts.

In a paper published by the Brookings Institution on Thursday, Princeton economist Alan Krueger compares county-level data on opioid-prescription rates and labor-force participation, and finds that the more opioids were prescribed in a given region, the more likely that region was to have seen a significant decline in workforce participation.

The correlation was so dramatic, Krueger estimates that rising opioid prescriptions could plausibly account for one-fifth of the decline in the labor-force participation among American men between 1999 and 2015. For complete article  Daily Intelligencer

 

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UK: Reporting the Canadian Experiment – Evidence no match for ‘Populist-Propaganda’

Dear Editor Mirror UK

Dr. Miriam Stoppard makes a fundamental mistake in her deduction that Canada and other regions with legalize marijuana for medical purposes are harming modern medical practise. Here in Canada, where marijuana for a medical purpose is legal countrywide, we have every form of charlton peddling hallucinogenic pot for use to relief ever medical condition including constipation and sleepless nights.Canadian kids who were surveyed that they think pot cures cancer, makes you a better driver and is in essense harmless herb.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Canada has high rates of child suicide, depression and mental illness and one of the highest rates of use by youth. The Canadian government lead by Justin Trudeau, an admitted pot user, is about to legalize marijuana for non-medical use for 12 years of age and up .

This breach with established international treaties and violation of The Rights of the Child Treaty could cost Canada an opportunity of joining the Security Council of the UN. It should lead to sanctions. All of this was orchestrated by an aggressive marijuana industry and has little if anything to do with the sovereign rights of an adult. It is all about greed, and those politicians who play along will be held accountable in the years and decades ahead, as they are now being named and shamed for their role in Big Tobacco.

Pamela McColl Vancouver BC Canada September 15 2017

http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/uk-view-cannabis-harming-medicine-11129682

Dear Sirs,

The article by Miriam Stoppard published in your paper on the 7th September is totally inaccurate.  Ms. Stoppard should be ashamed that as a doctor she has written an article that is so out of date.   The reason why cannabis is not legal in the UK is because it is far from harmless.   There are now thousands of research studies that show that this substance can cause a myriad of physical, emotional and social problems to individuals and society.

The use of extracts of cannabis – rich in CBD and with no or very little psychoactive effects in users – can indeed be very useful as a medicine – provided it is pharmaceutically produced and prescribed by responsible doctors.  Such medicine already exists and is being provided for patients whose GPs believe it would be helpful to them.   However, no doctor would suggest anyone, let alone a patient whose health is compromised,  should use a substance by smoking it.

The latest research information beginning to be taken seriously by eminent scientists and doctors is that of genotoxicity.

This shows that with heavy use of cannabis the DNA is altered and the genes of children and grandchildren can be adversely affected.     So if parents thought it was ok for their children to use cannabis – because it was recommended by Miriam Stoppard they should think again.   Parents should look up genotoxicity online to read the latest research – there is even a simplified explanation at:      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastroschisis

There is also a  wealth of accurate information about cannabis, and other drugs both legal and illegal on www.drugprevent.org.uk

Yours faithfully.  Ann Stoker,   National Drug Prevention Alliance

WFAD (World Forum Against Drugs) Sept 2017 update: The CANNABIS ISSUE

New data around drug use has arrived from The National Survey on Drug Use and Health in the US. The survey sees an increase in the number of daily or near daily users of cannabis. Almost twice as many 12-17 year olds are using cannabis compared to cigarettes. Of all American 10,6 percent use illicit drugs in the past 30 Days, and as many as 1 in 4 of the Young adults use an illicit drug. The full report can be found here.

A study of the legal market in Washington State, USA concludes that the legal cannabis market is dominated by high-THC cannabis flowers. Another consequence of the legal market in Washington state is that price on cannabis has fallen dramatically. Prices of cannabis have fallen every single quarter since it was legalized in 2014 and the current retail price is 67 percent cheaper in just three years of legalization. Cannabis has become dramatically cheaper to consume and can be one of the principal factors for the increase in use that is found in the recent survey.

Another interesting study that was published in 2016 concludes that continued use of cannabis causes violent behaviour as a direct result of changes in brain function that are caused by cannabis use over many years. The study has followed the same individuals for over 50 years and can provide support for a casual relationship between exposure to cannabis subsequent violent outcomes across a major part of the lifespan. Here you can find a summery of the study.

Finally, in September two meta-studies were published on the Medical use of cannabis.  The first study looks at the effects on chronic pain. The study finds limited evidence that cannabis may alleviate neuropathic pain and insufficient evidens for other types of chronic pain. The study also finds limited evidence that cannabis is associated with an increased risk for adverse Health effects. The second study looked at the benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. The study concludes that evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions about the benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis preparation in patients with PTSD, but several ongoing studies may soon provide important results.

 

 

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D.F.A.F – News Release: The Marijuana and the Workplace Tool Kit

 

 

Drug Free America Foundation launches new Marijuana and the Workplace Tool Kit

For information contact:  John Pastuovic  312-925-9092   john@jpcpr.com

For Immediate Release

St. Petersburg, FL – Tuesday, September 19, 2017- Drug Free America Foundation launched its new Marijuana and the Workplace Tool Kit this morning at a forum co-sponsored with Drug Free Manatee and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce at Pier 22 in Bradenton FL.  The forum featured a presentation by Amy Ronshausen, Deputy Director of Drug Free America Foundation who unveiled the Tool Kit and discussed how the implementation of Florida’s medical marijuana program will affect employers in the state. The forum also included a panel discussion with a group of experts that includes healthcare and labor attorneys, insurance representatives and a state legislator.

As marijuana legalization efforts gain traction around the country as it has in Florida, the business community needs to be prepared.  “Employers must be diligent and proactive in understanding how the use of marijuana affects individuals, the overall influence to their business, and the level of financial liability that is acceptable,” according to Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America Foundation.  “It is critical that an evaluation be completed based upon legitimate science, the safety-sensitive nature of the business, and risk analysis as opposed to perception and emotion,” she said.

Employees that use marijuana and other drugs negatively impact the bottom line for employers due to increased workplace accidents, injuries, and other effects, increasing the cost of doing business.  “The safety of all employees, vendors, customers, other drivers, pedestrians, or generally anyone encountering an employee while driving under the influence of pot could be impacted,” said Fay.

The tangled web of conflicting and diverse laws and statutes being drawn across the country varies from state to state, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, making this issue very confusing for all concerned.  No two states’ marijuana laws are identical, further complicating the issue.

Identifying and defining liability related to marijuana use is perhaps one of the most evolving areas of risk management and insurance practices.  “From the viewpoint of an insurer, the conflicting laws are particularly troublesome for insuring a business against unexpected loss with no clear best practice and can potentially impact workers compensation claims and well as health, life and other business insurance coverage and premiums,” Fay suggested.

A smart approach for employers is to implement workplace practices that encourage safe, healthy lifestyles, and discourage behaviors that are counter-productive, both from a personal and a business standpoint. “In this tumultuous time of conflicting laws, confusion, and change, employers are encouraged to stay the course where a drug-free workplace is concerned,” continued Fay.  “We also encourage employers to remain consistent and fair in the application of workplace rules and procedures and to regularly review their program in relation to applicable laws, regulations and statutes that may have changed,” she concluded.

The Marijuana and the Workplace Tool Kit can be found at http://www.ndwa.org/resources/marijuana-in-the-workplace-toolkit/

 

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Legal Marijuana Market to Grow at CAGR of 37.38 %

Legal Marijuana Market Drivers, Challenges and Trends: – (And they say, legalization doesn’t increase demand?)

Market Driver: – Rising social acceptance of marijuana and growing business opportunities will be a key driver for market growth. the society’s perception of marijuana is shifting from an intoxicating drug to serious business venture. the cannabis market posted a growth of 70% during 2013 and 2014, successfully attracting the attention of several large and small investors. the growth of the marijuana market has significantly increased the revenue for dispensary owners as well as cultivators and governments. in addition, the growing popularity of marijuana for recreational purpose is increasing the market competition and business opportunity for several vendors. ancillary businesses such as cannabis oil market, hookahs parlor, bubblers, volcano vaporizers and percolated bongs, thc-infused ice cream, and brownies are also profiting from the growing legal marijuana market.

For complete article http://www.satprnews.com/2017/09/16/legal-marijuana-market-to-grow-at-cagr-of-37-38-global-market-opportunities-threats-faced-by-the-key-vendors-analysis-and-forecast-2017-2021/

 

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Trudeau Government Is Silencing Critics Of Legal Pot, Says Watchdog Group

09/16/2017

Canada’s Liberal government is hiding information about the devastating effects of legalized marijuana on public health, according to the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) Canada.

The group includes an impressive roster of Nobel-nominated scientists and health specialists — who are not often heard in Canada’s marijuana debate.

Canada plans to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by July 1, 2018, despite a growing number of concerns expressed by health specialists, doctors and law enforcement, who say the legislation is being rushed through the House of Commons without proper consideration of how it will be sold, affect public health, and impact impaired driving.

SAM Spokeswoman Pamela McColl told The Daily Caller that the Trudeau government is deliberately censoring information at the Parliamentary health committee hearings that are examining the potential dangers to public health posed by legal pot.

Australian scientist Dr. Stuart Reece was invited to address the group of elected representatives until he was uninvited after the Liberal majority on the committee discovered that Reece has published a paper on how marijuana has been linked to gene mutation, McColl said.

“As soon as they discovered that he was going to testify about marijuana and gene mutation, Dr. Reece was told not to come,” she said.

She also blamed the Canadian media for ignoring the issue “because so many of them smoke marijuana themselves,” she joked. She pointed to a story in the U.K.’s Daily Mail that detailed how marijuana can cause infertility in men because it acts on sperm exactly as it does on the human brain — making the listless.

The expert source for that article was a Canadian scientist from the University of British Columbia, Dr. Victor Chow — yet the story somehow escaped notice in the almost all Canadian media.

“The weight of the ­evidence is that marijuana ­probably has a negative impact not only for sperm counts but sperm function,” Chow said, declaring that cannabis causes the sperm to “swim in circles.” For complete story http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/16/trudeau-government-is-silencing-critics-of-legal-pot-says-watchdog-group/

 

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SAMHSA – Results 2016 National Survey on Drug Use & Health (USA)

Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States:
Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

This report was prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) under Contract No. HHSS283201300001C with SAMHSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Public Domain Notice

All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from SAMHSA. Citation of the source is appreciated. However, this publication may not be reproduced or distributed for a fee without the specific, written authorization of the Office of Communications, SAMHSA, HHS

Originating Office

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15-E09D, Rockville, MD 20857.

September 2017

Table of Contents

Summary

Introduction

Survey Background

Data Presentation and Interpretation

Tobacco Use in the Past Month
Cigarette Use
Daily Cigarette Use
Cigar and Pipe Tobacco Use
Smokeless Tobacco Use

Alcohol Use in the Past Month
Any Alcohol Use
Binge Alcohol Use
Heavy Alcohol Use
Underage Alcohol Use

Illicit Drug Use in the Past Month
Any Illicit Drug Use
Marijuana Use
Misuse of Psychotherapeutic Drugs
Pain Reliever Misuse
Tranquilizer Misuse
Stimulant Misuse
Sedative Misuse
Cocaine Use
Heroin Use
Hallucinogen Use
Inhalant Use
Methamphetamine Use

Opioid Misuse in the Past Year
Past Year Opioid Misuse
Past Year Heroin Use
Past Year Pain Reliever Misuse
Misuse of Subtypes of Pain Relievers
Main Reasons for the Last Misuse of Pain Relievers
Source of the Last Pain Reliever That Was Misused

Substance Use Disorders in the Past Year
Alcohol Use Disorder
Illicit Drug Use Disorder
Marijuana Use Disorder
Cocaine Use Disorder
Heroin Use Disorder
Methamphetamine Use Disorder
Pain Reliever Use Disorder
Tranquilizer Use Disorder
Stimulant Use Disorder
Opioid Use Disorder
Substance Use Disorder (Alcohol or Illicit Drugs)

Substance Use Treatment in the Past Year
Need for Substance Use Treatment
Receipt of Substance Use Treatment

Major Depressive Episode in the Past Year
MDE and MDE with Severe Impairment among Adolescents
MDE and MDE with Severe Impairment among Adults

Mental Illness among Adults in the Past Year
Mental Illness among All Adults
Mental Illness among Adult Age Groups

Mental Health Service Use in the Past Year
Treatment for Depression among Adolescents
Treatment for Depression among Adults
Any Mental Health Service Use among All Adolescents
Any Mental Health Service Use among All Adults
Any Mental Health Service Use among Adults with Mental Illness

Co-Occurring MDE and Substance Use among Adolescents
MDE among Adolescents with a Substance Use Disorder
Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders among Adolescents with MDE
Receipt of Services among Adolescents with Co-Occurring MDE and a Substance Use Disorder

Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues and Substance Use Disorders among Adults
Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues and Substance Use Disorders among All Adults
Mental Illness among Adults with a Substance Use Disorder
Substance Use Disorders among Adults with Mental Illness
Receipt of Services among Adults with Co-Occurring Mental Illness and a Substance Use Disorder

Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior among Adults
Serious Thoughts of Suicide
Suicide Plans
Suicide Attempts

Endnotes

Appendix A: Supplemental Tables of Estimates for Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States

Summary

This national report summarizes key findings from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) for indicators of substance use and mental health among people aged 12 years old or older in the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States. Results are provided for the overall category of individuals aged 12 or older as well as by age subgroups. The NSDUH questionnaire underwent a partial redesign in 2015 to improve the quality of the NSDUH data and to address the changing needs of policymakers and researchers. For measures that started a new baseline in 2015, estimates are discussed only for 2016.

Tobacco Use

In 2016, an estimated 51.3 million people aged 12 or older were current cigarette smokers, including 29.7 million who were daily cigarette smokers and 12.2 million who smoked approximately a pack or more of cigarettes per day. Although about 1 in 5 people aged 12 or older were current cigarette smokers, cigarette use generally declined between 2002 and 2016 across all age groups.

Alcohol Use

NSDUH collects information on past month alcohol use, binge alcohol use, and heavy alcohol use. For men, binge alcohol use is defined in NSDUH as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days. For women, binge drinking is defined as drinking four or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days. Heavy alcohol use is defined as binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past 30 days. In 2016, 136.7 million Americans aged 12 or older reported current use of alcohol, including 65.3 million who reported binge alcohol use in the past month and 16.3 million who reported heavy alcohol use in the past month.

In 2016, about 1 in 5 underage individuals aged 12 to 20 were current alcohol users. About 7.3 million people aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month, including 4.5 million who reported binge alcohol use and 1.1 million who reported heavy alcohol use. The percentage of underage drinkers in 2016 was lower than the percentages in 2002 through 2014 but was similar to the percentage in 2015. About 2 out of 5 young adults aged 18 to 25 in 2016 were binge alcohol users, and about 1 in 10 were heavy alcohol users.

Illicit Drug Use

In 2016, 28.6 million people aged 12 or older used an illicit drug in the past 30 days, which corresponds to about 1 in 10 Americans overall (10.6 percent) but ranges as high as 1 in 4 for young adults aged 18 to 25. Regardless of age, the illicit drug use estimate for 2016 continues to be driven primarily by marijuana use and the misuse of prescription pain relievers. Among people aged 12 or older, 24.0 million were current marijuana users and 3.3 million were current misusers of prescription pain relievers. Smaller numbers of people were current users of cocaine, hallucinogens, methamphetamine, inhalants, or heroin or were current misusers of prescription tranquilizers, stimulants, or sedatives.

The percentage of people aged 12 or older who were current marijuana users in 2016 was higher than the percentages from 2002 to 2015. In contrast, the percentages among people aged 12 or older have shown little change since 2007 for current use of cocaine, since 2008 for current use of crack cocaine, and since 2014 for current use of heroin. The increase in marijuana use reflects increases in marijuana use among adults aged 26 or older and, to a lesser extent, among young adults aged 18 to 25. Marijuana use among adolescents aged 12 to 17 was lower in 2016 than in most years from 2009 to 2014.

NSDUH also allows for analysis of opioid misuse, which is the use of heroin or the misuse of prescription opioid pain relievers. In 2016, an estimated 11.8 million people misused opioids in the past year, including 11.5 million pain reliever misusers and 948,000 heroin users. Additional information is gathered in NSDUH for the misuse of pain relievers in the past year. Among people aged 12 or older who misused pain relievers in the past year, about 6 out of 10 people indicated that the main reason they misused pain relievers the last time was to relieve physical pain (62.3 percent), and about half (53.0 percent) indicated that they obtained the last pain relievers they misused from a friend or relative.

Substance Use Disorders

In 2016, approximately 20.1 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD) related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year,1 including 15.1 million people who had an alcohol use disorder and 7.4 million people who had an illicit drug use disorder. Among those who had an illicit drug use disorder, the most common disorder was for marijuana (4.0 million people). An estimated 2.1 million people had an opioid use disorder, which includes 1.8 million people with a prescription pain reliever use disorder and 0.6 million people with a heroin use disorder.

Substance Use Treatment

In 2016, an estimated 21.0 million people aged 12 or older needed substance use treatment. This translates to about 1 in 13 people needing treatment. Among young adults aged 18 to 25, however, about 1 in 7 people needed treatment. For NSDUH, people are defined as needing substance use treatment if they had an SUD in the past year or if they received substance use treatment at a specialty facility in the past year.2

In 2016, 1.4 percent of people aged 12 or older (3.8 million people) received any substance use treatment in the past year, and 0.8 percent (2.2 million) received substance use treatment at a specialty facility. Only about 1 in 10 people aged 12 or older who needed substance use treatment received treatment at a specialty facility in the past year (10.6 percent).

Major Depressive Episode

In 2016, 12.8 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (3.1 million adolescents) and 10.9 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 (3.7 million) had a major depressive episode (MDE) during the past year. The percentages of adolescents and young adults in 2016 who had a past year MDE were higher than the corresponding percentages prior to 2015. Percentages of adolescents and young adults with a past year MDE have subsequently shown less change. In contrast, the percentages of adults aged 26 to 49 and those aged 50 or older with a past year MDE have remained stable.

Among the 3.1 million adolescents and 3.7 million young adults in 2016 who had a past year MDE, 1.2 million adolescents (40.9 percent) and 1.6 million young adults (44.1 percent) received treatment for depression. The percentage of adolescents in 2016 with an MDE who received treatment for their depression was similar to the percentages in most prior years. Among young adults, the percentage with an MDE who received treatment for depression was similar to or lower than the percentages in prior years.

Mental Illness among Adults

In 2016, an estimated 44.7 million adults aged 18 or older (18.3 percent) had any mental illness (AMI) in the past year. An estimated 10.4 million adults in the nation had a serious mental illness (SMI) in the past year, representing 4.2 percent of all U.S. adults.3 Although the 2016 percentages of adults with AMI or SMI among adults aged 18 or older were similar to the percentages since 2010, a higher percentage of young adults was experiencing AMI and SMI. The 2016 percentage of young adults with SMI was higher than the percentages in each year since 2008, and the 2016 percentage of young adults with AMI was higher than the percentages in 2008 to 2014.

Mental Health Service Use among Adults

In 2016, an estimated 35.0 million adults aged 18 or older (14.4 percent of adults) received mental health care during the past 12 months. Among the 44.7 million adults with AMI, 19.2 million (43.1 percent) received mental health services in the past year. About 6.7 million of the 10.4 million adults with past year SMI (64.8 percent) received mental health services in the past year. The percentages of adults with AMI or SMI who received mental health care in 2016 were similar to the corresponding percentages in most years from 2008 to 2015.

Co-Occurring MDE and Substance Use among Adolescents

In 2016, the percentage of adolescents aged 12 to 17 who used illicit drugs in the past year was higher among those with a past year MDE than it was among those without a past year MDE (31.7 vs. 13.4 percent). An estimated 333,000 adolescents (1.4 percent of all adolescents) had an SUD and an MDE in the past year. Among adolescents who had a co-occurring MDE and an SUD in the past year, 71.9 percent received either substance use treatment at a specialty facility or mental health services in the past year.

Co-Occurring Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders among Adults

An estimated 8.2 million adults aged 18 or older (3.4 percent of all adults) had both AMI and SUDs in the past year, and 2.6 million adults (1.1 percent of all adults) had co-occurring SMI and SUDs in the past year. About half of the adults with co-occurring AMI and an SUD in the past year did not receive either mental health care or specialty substance use treatment, and about 1 in 3 adults with co-occurring SMI and an SUD did not receive either type of care.

Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior among Adults

In 2016, an estimated 9.8 million adults aged 18 or older reported they had thought seriously about trying to kill themselves, 2.8 million reported that they had made suicide plans, and 1.3 million made a nonfatal suicide attempt. The percentage of young adults aged 18 to 25 with serious thoughts of suicide was higher in 2016 than in 2008 to 2014. In contrast, similar percentages of adults aged 18 or older, those aged 26 to 49, and those aged 50 or older had serious thoughts of suicide in most years between 2008 and 2016.

Electronic Access and Printed Copies

This publication may be downloaded or ordered at https://store.samhsa.gov. Or call SAMHSA at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) (English and Español).

 

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The Harm Reduction Hamsters Wheel

The phone rings, the voice on the other end of the phone is the daughter I love, but I rarely hear her voice, unless there is a need, and this time was no different.

“I need a place to crash tonight!” My immediate response is, of course, but then I ask; “Why what’s wrong with your place?”

The story comes back, not a new one, but one that is still both sad and frustrating to hear… “Oh, you know, my boyfriend is going on his monthly ‘bender’ tonight and he’s locked me out of the house!”

This, I understood. This is the ‘Harm Reduction Hamster Wheel’ that my poly-drug and methadone dependent daughter and her boyfriend are on. They line-up for their methadone, but don’t take it; they on sell it to other addicts or, as was the usual case this month, save them up for a ‘binge’, all courtesy of tax-payer funded and government supplied opiates!

This long term drug use started as a naïve and somewhat rebellious teenager. She ‘bought’ the propaganda of the pro-drug lobbyists, that ‘fun’ and individual self-determination free of societal conventions can be found in the mouth of a ‘bong’ and a peer group school-yard ‘puff’ on a joint.

Thanks to this ongoing drug use, now decades, this precious family member is not only so dysfunction but must be heavily medicated on antipsychotics and they must be administered through a Community Based Order, by a clinician, or our messed up daughter will end up back in the Psych ward over Christmas. But, hey, they say this ‘system’ is ‘reducing her risk of harm and ‘possible death’; How – is my confused declaration!  There appears to be not only a lessening of any risk of her using any drug at any time but these ‘peddlers of prescription opiates’ are adding another drug to her regime and so adding to the risk. This process enables her to continue to use unabated and her health and well-being are shattered – and it would appear for the rest of her time reduced life.

Meanwhile, she is lovingly, but futilely, trying to bring a new born life into her chaotic unrequited world. Sadly, an unbroken cycle of what could have been a life well lived!

This self-indulgent choreography has now morphed into an enslavement to dependent processes that have only one perspective – the meeting of every felt need, regardless of what that means to society, relationships, family or even self.

Anonymous (Grieving and Loving Father)

Dalgarno CommentThis tragic and true story is by no means in the minority. This level of chaotic dysfunction is growing and growing because the National Strategy of Harm Minimisation has been sabotaged and hijacked by one-dimensional thinking and policy interpretation. The Full strategy of Harm minimisation is Demand Reduction, Supply Reduction and Recovery focused Harm Reduction with prevention and even abstinence as part of the mandate. Instead, we now have the term ‘harm reduction’ interchangeable with Harm Minimisation and in practice, it seems to have only one goal… Keep the drug user supplied and using all under the faux banner of ‘care’ and ‘kindness’. Yet this ‘version’ of care and kindness is only creating more users, greater use and then… the call for ‘decriminalisation’ because ‘so many people are using’ we need to make it ‘less stigmatised’ so they will use… less, or more, ‘safely’ or…?

It’s time to stop this appalling poorly managed Harm Reduction Hamster Wheel and truly work toward prevention and recovery so that all our citizens can live a productive and healthy life.

(Reprinted with permission from Dalgarno Institute)

 

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The Unintended Consequences of Colorado’s “Social Experiment”

8/9/2017

For the past 27 years, working as an addiction psychiatrist, I have struggled with big industries that push their products more for their financial gain rather than the best interests of the clients they serve. The most disconcerting piece occurs when physicians or other treatment providers or governmental entities appear to be influenced by big industry, touting the party line and minimizing any downsides to the product. I have experienced this with the tobacco industry, the pharmaceutical industry and now with the marijuana industry.

It is clear to me that wherever it happens, the push to legalize medical marijuana is simply a back-door effort, by industry, to legalize retail marijuana. However, the lack of any regulations on the potency of THC in marijuana or marijuana products in Colorado has allowed the cannabis industry to increase the potency of THC to astronomical proportions, resulting in a burgeoning public health crisis.

The potency of THC in currently available marijuana has quadrupled since the mid-1990s. The marijuana of the 1980s had <2% THC, 4.5% in 1997, 8.5% in 2006 and by 2015 the average potency of THC in the flower was 17%, with concentrated products averaging 62% THC.

Sadly, the cannabidiol (CBD) concentrations in currently available marijuana have remained the same or decreased. CBD is the component of marijuana that appears to block or ameliorate the effects of THC. Plants that are bred to produce high concentrations of THC cannot simultaneously produce high CBD. Higher-potency THC has been achieved by genetically engineering plants to product more THC and then preventing pollination so that the plant puts more energy into producing cannabinoids rather than seeds. This type of cannabis is referred to as sinsemilla (Spanish for without seed). (It has also been referred to as “skunk” due to its strong smell.)

In my view, this is no different than when the tobacco industry increased the potency of nicotine by genetically engineering tobacco plants to produce more nicotine and then used additives like ammonia to increase the absorption of nicotine. Industry’s efforts to increase the potency of an addictive substance seem to be done purely with the idea of addicting as many people as possible to guarantee continued customers. This certainly worked for the tobacco industry. And we have increasing evidence that high potency THC cannabis use is associated with an increased severity of cannabis dependence, especially in young people.12… Most of the research indicates that it is likely the CBD that is more helpful but we obviously need research on this. There is no evidence that increasing the potency of THC has any medical benefits. In fact, a study on the benefits of smoked cannabis on pain actually demonstrated that too high a dose of THC can cause hyperalgesia – similar to what is seen with high dose opiates – meaning that the person becomes more sensitive to pain with continued use. They found that 2% THC had no effect on pain, 4% THC had some beneficial effects on chronic pain and 8% resulted in hyperalgesia.3

There is also evidence that marijuana use contributes to anxiety and depression. A very large prospective study out of Australia tracked 1600 girls for 7 years and found that those who used marijuana every day were 5 times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than non-users.6

Teenage girls who used the drug a least once a week were twice as likely to develop depression as those who did not use. In this study, cannabis use prior to age 15 also increased the risk of developing schizophrenia symptoms.

While there definitely are people who can use marijuana responsibly without any untoward effects, similar to how some people can drink alcohol responsibly and not have any problems, there are people who are very sensitive to the effects of THC, and its use can precipitate psychosis. The higher the potency of THC the more likely this may happen and we have no idea how to predict who will be affected. In one of the first double blind randomized placebo controlled trials on smoked cannabis (maximum of 8% THC) for the treatment of pain, a cannabis naïve participant had a psychotic reaction to the marijuana in the study and this then required that all future study participants have some experience with smoking marijuana.7

This kind of makes it difficult to have “blind” unbiased participants.

A 2015 study out of London analyzed 780 people ages 18-65, 410 with first episode psychosis and 370 healthy controls, and found that users of high potency (“skunk-like”) cannabis (THC > 15%) are three times as likely to have a psychotic episode as people who never use cannabis, and the risk is fivefold in people who smoke this form of the drug every day.89 There was no association of psychosis with THC levels < 5%. Most of the marijuana in the U.S. is of the high-THC variety. Many retailers in Colorado sell strains of weed that contain 25 percent THC or more. For complete article https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/09/unintended-consequences-colorado-social-experiment/

 

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U.K. Opiate Tragedy and the world of H.R. activism!

Heads up on the ‘opiate’ crisis!

Again, we look at a shocking crisis, leap into ‘damage management’ mode and use compassion mantra’s with new robust vitriol and flail around on social media ‘slack-tavism’ demanding greater Harm Reduction measures like, legalizing drugs, more and easier to access drug taking equipment, injecting rooms to name the chief culprits!

However, the fact that ‘legal’, that’s right, medical grade drugs, regulated and distributed by the government, are often now doing the greater harm.

So, now ‘legalizing’ as a Harm Reduction measure is now surely redundant and an option ‘off the table?’. What of other drug use endorsing, empowering and enabling mechanisms – injecting rooms, Needle Syringe Programs and even Opiate Substitute programs? Are they helping reduce, remediate or facilitate recovery from drug use, or endorsing and empowering even greater involvement in drug use, enabling, even more, drug using episodes - each event putting the drug users health and life further at risk?

Who is driving this agenda? Certainly,  it cannot be concerned, loving, compassionate citizens who want people not merely ‘alive and using’, but whole, restored and healthy, can it? So, who is pushing this one dimensional and clearly failing agenda, that seems to save fewer people and at the same time promoting more drug use? Who are they, and when will they be accountable for actions?

Number of deaths by drug poisoning where any opiates were mentioned on the death certificate, local authorities in England & Wales, deaths registered in 1993 – 20161,2,3,4
Area Code Area Name 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
E92000001 ENGLAND 444 625 718 873 967 1096 1260 1270 1423 1235 1007 1108 1222 1159 1299 1464 1473 1384 1306 1167 1469 1688 1841 1867

Prescription drug pregabalin linked to death rise Deaths linked to a drug readily prescribed on the NHS has increased dramatically after claims it has flooded the black market.

Pregabalin, used to treat pain, anxiety and epilepsy, is being sold illegally to addicts and taken with other drugs such as heroin, leading to overdoses.

BBC News meets addict Martin Hopkins from Plymouth, Devon, as he takes the drug.

In 2012 there were four deaths linked to pregabalin, last year there were 111.

Filmed and edited by Patrick Clahanehttp://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-devon-40937449/prescription-drug-pregabalin-linked-to-death-rise

Powerful painkiller use ‘doubled in 15 years’

By Dominic HughesHealth correspondent, BBC News - 8 September 2017
Strong painkillersImage copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionOpioid painkillers include tramadol, codeine and morphineThe use of potentially addictive painkillers across England has doubled in the last 15 years, according to a report by leading public health experts.

Researchers found one in 20 people was being prescribed opioid painkillers, such as codeine and tramadol.

They also found that drugs were being prescribed for longer periods of time.

Experts say long-term use leads to a risk of addiction while the benefits become greatly reduced. For More http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41201397

 

 


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Federal enforcement to stop the implementation of Prop 64 and MMRSA. (Open Letter)

Take Back America Campaign

P.O. Box 459., Lincoln, Calif. 95648 (916) 434 5629 rogermorgan339@gmail.com

______________www.tbac.us ________________
September 5, 2017

Phil Talbert – US Attorney                             By Fax (916) 554 2900

Eastern District – California

(916) 554 2900 Fax  (916) 554-2700 Phone

Dear Phil:

It has been two months since I/we requested a personal meeting to discuss the dire need for federal enforcement to stop the implementation of Prop 64 and MMRSA. Since obviously, you are busy, as are we, I want to summarize our request and ask that you pass it up the line to the AG Sessions, and in turn to the President and Cabinet.

1)      There are public health reasons to enjoin the implementation of both Prop 64 and MMRSA (Medial Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act).  Had the general public been informed that marijuana causes permanent brain damage, psychosis, mental illness, addiction, cardiovascular problems, cancer, birth defects, DNA damage that can affect offspring four generations out and more, in all likelihood the outcome would have been different. The legislative analysis for Prop 64 stated:

“…Although research on the health effects of marijuana use is limited, there is some evidence that smoking marijuana has harmful effect….”

That is frankly a joke, with criminal intent.  There are over 27,000 research projects on file showing enormous harm to vital organs dating back to the 60s, when the potency of pot was only ½ to 2%.  Now that smoked marijuana is in the 25 to 30% range, edibles 50 to 70% and waxes and oils used in vaping as high as 98%, the human impacts have increased proportionally.  By allowing states to legalize pot for any reason, current and future generations are being destroyed, as are our communities and natural resources.

The most important responsibility of elected officials at all levels is public health and safety. Owing to the lack of federal or state enforcement, the burden has fallen almost entirely on local law enforcement, who are overwhelmed, and the general public. We shouldn’t have to bear that burden.

2)      While AG Sessions obviously understands this problem, we are concerned that neither the President nor Congress understands the dangers of marijuana.  It is the first drug used by the vast majority of those who die by opioid and heroin overdose.  To reduce the overdose problem you have to start by preventing the onset of marijuana use.  That requires education, random and suspicion based drug testing, Student Assistance Programs and proper utilization of the massive funds given to SAMHSA and others.  Many of us have been on the front lines of this battle for decades, and believe we can help …. if given an audience.  To that end, we respectively request a visit by the President or his staff on a listening tour.  We are prepared to go to the Capital as well, if necessary.

3)      If California is to have a future, federal law must be enforced immediately.  We have less than 4 months before Prop 64 will allow 6 plants in any house, and “medical marijuana” will be commercialized throughout the State.  The state and some local communities are planning their economic future taxing and laundering marijuana drug money on the backs of the people.  There is no justification for rewarding them for violating federal law. Withholding federal funds is an easy fix, and justified. It doesn’t burden limited resources.  Recovering the estimated billion dollars already collected is in order.  Private cultivation and dispensaries must be banned.  FEDERAL LAW MUST BE ENFORCED.

Addiction, mental illness, and death from alcohol and drugs impact one-third of America families.  The diminished work force, homeless problem, academic failure, mental illness, crime, traffic deaths, physical harms and enormous welfare costs, et al., inflict more human and economic terms than all problems facing this nation.  It is time to establish federal policy that reverses the damage down in the last eight years.   The President must make that a priority.

Sincerely,

Roger Morgan

Founder

Take Back America Campaign

(Published by Permission)

 

 

 

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