Tuesday January 28, 2020

Study: Teenagers, Adults More Likely to Try Drugs for First Time in Summer

The study used data collected from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2011 and 2017 involving about 394,415 people aged 12 and older

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In addition, 30 per cent of marijuana, 30 per cent of ecstasy --also known as MDMA or Molly and 28 per cent of cocaine use was found to begin in the summer months. Pixabay

Researchers have found that US teenagers and adults are more likely to try illegal or recreational drugs for the first time in summer. “First-time users may be unfamiliar with the effects of various drugs, so it is important to first understand when people are most likely to start these behaviours,” said Joseph J. Palamar, Associate Professor at New York University.

In 2017, according to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than three million people in the US tried LSD, marijuana, cocaine, or ecstasy for the first time. The study used data collected from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2011 and 2017 involving about 394,415 people aged 12 and older.

According to the researchers, participants were surveyed about their use of various drugs through a computer-assisted interview. New users were asked to recall the month and year when they initiated use.

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The findings, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, showed that over a third (34 per cent) of recent LSD initiates first used the drug in the summer. Pixabay

The findings, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, showed that over a third (34 per cent) of recent LSD initiates first used the drug in the summer. In addition, 30 per cent of marijuana, 30 per cent of ecstasy –also known as MDMA or Molly and 28 per cent of cocaine use was found to begin in the summer months.

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The investigators suggest that the results could be explained, in part, by people having extra recreational time during the summer, as well as the growing popularity of outdoor activities, such as music festivals, at which recreational drug use is common.

“Parents and educators who are concerned about their kids need to educate them year-round about potential risks associated with drug use, but special emphasis appears to be needed before or during summer months when rates of initiation increase,” Palamar said. (IANS)

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Cannabis Usage Common in Adults with Pain Disorders: Study

Cannabis use disorder more common in adults with pain

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Researchers have found that non-medical use of cannabis including frequent or problematic use is much more common in adults who have pain than in others. Pixabay

Researchers have found that non-medical use of cannabis including frequent or problematic use is much more common in adults who have pain than in others.

Since 1996, 34 US states have passed medical marijuana laws and 11 states have legalised recreational cannabis use.

Studies indicate that heavy cannabis use increases the risk of vehicle accidents, respiratory and psychiatric symptoms, and cannabis use disorder.

“Despite this evidence, many people view cannabis use as harmless, and non-medical use of cannabis on a daily or near-daily basis has increased,” said study lead author Deborah Hasin from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in the US.

“In our study, we hoped to identify factors–such as pain–that may increase the risk of cannabis use disorder,” Hasin added.

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66 per cent of adults now view marijuana as beneficial for pain management, the researchers said. Pixabay

For the findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, research team analysed data on marijuana use from the National Epidemiologic Surveys on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001-2002 and 2012-2013.

The researchers compared non-medical cannabis use patterns in adults with and without pain (approximately 20 per cent of participants in both surveys had moderate to severe pain).

Overall, non-medical marijuana use increased from about four per cent in 2002 to 9.5 per cent in 2013.

In addition, in the most recent survey, those with pain were significantly more likely to engage in frequent non-medical cannabis use than those without pain (5.0 per cent vs. 3.5 per cent).

According to the researchers, the risk of cannabis use disorder was also significantly higher in those with pain (4.2 per cent vs. 2.7 per cent).

Also Read- BP Problems in Youth May Lead to Heart Diseases

Although meta-analyses of cannabis for treating pain show only mixed efficacy, particularly for plant marijuana, 66 per cent of adults now view marijuana as beneficial for pain management, the researchers said.

“Given that about 20 of the adult population experienced moderate to severe pain, this puts a large group of US adults at risk for frequent non-medical use and cannabis use disorder,” Hasin said. (IANS)