Friday April 20, 2018

Substance abuse of Marijuana rises in the United States

Research says, even after knowing the side effects of Marijuana, it is being used and the numbers are rising instead of falling

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USA, September 2,2016: Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a product of the Cannabis plant used as a psychoactive drug or medicine. It can be used for smoking, vaporization, within food, or as an extract. It is also used for its mental and physical effects, such as a “high” or “stoned” feeling, a general change in perception,euphoria, and an increase in appetite.

  • The substance abuse of Cannabis or Marijuana which is a drug, increases in the United States
  • The dangers and risks associated with it doesn’t bother its users, rather, the fact that it’s used for medical purposes, lessens the dangers associated with it in the mind of the users

As attitudes about marijuana change in the United States, more adults are using the drug, according to a new study.

Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, writing in The Lancet Psychiatry, say that as more states legalize recreational and medical use of marijuana, fewer adults feel there are dangers associated with its use.

Marijuana plants for sale are displayed at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, July 11, 2014. (VOA)
Marijuana plants for sale are displayed at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, July 11, 2014. (VOA)

Using data from nearly 600,000 adults over the age of 18, the researchers found that from 2002 to 2014 marijuana use increased from 10.4 percent of adults in 2002 to 13.3 percent in 2014. Usage was defined as having consumed marijuana in the previous year.

The study also found that adults reporting using marijuana for the first time in the previous year also rose from .7 percent in 2002 to 1.1 percent in 2014. Additionally, those reporting daily or near daily use jumped from 1.9 percent to 3.5 percent over the same time period.

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Extrapolating this data, researchers say, means that 823,000 adults reported first using marijuana in 2002 compared to 1.4 million in 2014. They estimate that during the same time period the overall number of marijuana users jumped from 21.9 million to 31.9 million. The number of daily or near daily users was 8.4 million in 2014, up 3.9 million from 2002.

These increases, researchers say, are being driven by a decline in the number of people who perceive marijuana as dangerous. Short term side effects may include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills, red eyes, and feelings of paranoia or anxiety. Long term side effects may include addiction, decreased mental ability in those who started as teenagers, and behavioural problems in children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy. Onset of effects is within minutes when smoked and about 30 to 60 minutes when cooked and eaten. They last for between two and six hours. For example the percentage of people who felt that smoking marijuana once or twice a week was dangerous fell from 50.4 percent to 33.3 percent.

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“Although shifts in perceived risk have historically been important predictors of adolescent marijuana trends, no previous research has examined this relationship in adults,” said study author Dr Wilson M. Compton of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. “State laws related to marijuana use in the U.S.A. have changed considerably over the past 20 years with medical marijuana now legalized in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, several jurisdictions have legalized non-medical marijuana use.”

Cannabis sativa leaves (Wikimedia Commons)
Cannabis sativa leaves (Wikimedia Commons)

Despite the rise in number of adults using marijuana, the researchers say did not see a corresponding rise in “marijuana use disorders” such as abuse or dependence, though they add more study is needed to confirm the trend.

“Understanding patterns of marijuana use and dependence, and how these have changed over time is essential for policy makers who continue to consider whether and how to modify laws related to marijuana and for health-care practitioners who care for patients using marijuana,” said Compton. “Perceived risk of marijuana use is associated with high frequency of use suggesting the potential value for modifying risk perceptions of marijuana use in adults through effective education and prevention messages.” (VOA)

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  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Marijuana is controversial subject… this article perfectly catches it. Reading it u can figure out why and how it is actually less dangerous.

  • Brian Kelly

    Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and glorified as an All American pastime, booze.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Marijuana Nationwide!

  • Ian James

    The greatest danger with pot is cops.

    It’s time to end prohibition.

  • Manthra koliyer

    Marijuana is highly fatal and this article very well tells its danger.

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Marijuana is controversial subject… this article perfectly catches it. Reading it u can figure out why and how it is actually less dangerous.

  • Brian Kelly

    Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and glorified as an All American pastime, booze.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Marijuana Nationwide!

  • Ian James

    The greatest danger with pot is cops.

    It’s time to end prohibition.

  • Manthra koliyer

    Marijuana is highly fatal and this article very well tells its danger.

Next Story

Google AI can focus on individual speakers in a crowd

The visual signal not only improves the speech separation quality significantly in cases of mixed speech, but, importantly, it also associates the separated, clean speech tracks

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Google india launches 'Tz' to help people pay their utility bills. Wikimedia Commons
Google AI to identify speakers from crowd. Wikimedia Commons

Just as most smartphone cameras now allow users to focus on a single object among many, it may soon be possible to pick out individual voices in a crowd by suppressing all other sounds, thanks to a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) system developed by Google researchers.

This is an important development as computers as not as good as humans at focusing their attention on a particular person in a noisy environment. Known as the cocktail party effect, the capability to mentally “mute” all other voices and sounds comes natural to us humans.

Google has collaborated with getty images. Wikimedia Commons
Google AI will identify individual speakers now. Wikimedia Commons

However, automatic speech separation — separating an audio signal into its individual speech sources — remains a significant challenge for computers, Inbar Mosseri and Oran Lang, software engineers at Google Research, wrote in a blog post this week. In a new paper, the researchers presented a deep learning audio-visual model for isolating a single speech signal from a mixture of sounds such as other voices and background noise.

“In this work, we are able to computationally produce videos in which speech of specific people is enhanced while all other sounds are suppressed,” Mosseri and Lang said. The method works on ordinary videos with a single audio track, and all that is required from the user is to select the face of the person in the video they want to hear, or to have such a person be selected algorithmically based on context.

Also Read: Want To Know What Facebook, Google Know About You?

The researchers believe this capability can have a wide range of applications, from speech enhancement and recognition in videos, through video conferencing, to improved hearing aids, especially in situations where there are multiple people speaking. “A unique aspect of our technique is in combining both the auditory and visual signals of an input video to separate the speech,” the researchers said.

google
This will also help in speech enhancement . VOA

“Intuitively, movements of a person’s mouth, for example, should correlate with the sounds produced as that person is speaking, which in turn can help identify which parts of the audio correspond to that person,” they explained.

The visual signal not only improves the speech separation quality significantly in cases of mixed speech, but, importantly, it also associates the separated, clean speech tracks with the visible speakers in the video, the researchers said. IANS