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[ Marijuana Smoked More Than Admitted In National Surveys ]

Marijuana Smoked More Than Admitted In National Surveys

USA-based studies show that tobacco and cannabis smoking are linked with four times as many young adult smokers using cannabis as non-smokers. However this age group is very varied, and hard to reach, so traditional means of monitoring substance use does not provide the full picture. New research from an online survey, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, shows that over half of smokers, aged 18-25, had also smoked cannabis in the past 30 days. Detailed analysis of the results from the survey show that 'stop smoking' campaigns need to factor in use of cannabis to their treatment plans. Internet surveys can have many benefits over traditional surveys which rely on face to face interviews or filling out a form and posting it, especially amongst the 18-25 age group.

Opioids Associated With Highest Risk Of Death

People with an opioid addiction had the highest risk of death when compared with rates for alcohol and other drugs, according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). For those dependent on opioids, the risk of death was 5.71 times higher than healthy individuals in the population of the same age, gender and race. Those with methamphetamine use disorders were next highest with a 4.67-fold risk, followed by those with addictions to cannabis (3.85), alcohol (3.83) and cocaine (2.96). Alcohol dependence was related to the highest number of deaths overall. The study, available online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, is the largest North American study to compare mortality rates among different drug users with the longest follow-up. It tracked records of more than 800, 000 individuals hospitalized with drug dependence between 1990 and 2005.

Opium Usage Almost Doubles Death Risk

Slaapbol R0017601 People who use opium have a considerably higher risk of dying from any cause, especially from cancer, respiratory conditions, and circulatory disease, researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, reported in the BMJ (British Medical Journal). The authors wonder what the long-term health risks might be for patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain treatment. This study was performed in northern Iran, where the consumption of opium is very common. The researchers say that this is the first study to compare death risk among opium users versus non-users. Approximately 20 million individuals globally use opium derivatives or opium itself. Previous studies have suggested that opium might raise the risk of developing bladder and throat cancers, coronary heart disease, as well as some other conditions and illnesses.

Testing, Counseling Of Cocaine And Heroin Users Reduces Unprotected Sex

Voluntary testing and counseling (VT/C) for HIV or sexually transmitted infections (STI) among cocaine and heroin users who were treated in the emergency department (ED), accompanied by referral to drug treatment, was associated with reduction in unprotected sex acts and fewer sex acts while high according to researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC). These findings currently appear on-line in Academic Emergency Medicine. In the United States, sexual risk behaviors are a greater source of HIV transmission than injection drug use. Although recent articles have focused on the opportunity for early HIV detection and treatment through an array of ED screening and testing strategies, the effect of VT/C and referral to drug treatment on the sexual behaviors of out-of-treatment drug users over time has not yet been reported.

Alcohol Misuse Into Adulthood Often Accompanied By Feelings Of Immaturity; Discovery Could Improve Substance Abuse Treatment

Tipping back one too many cocktails during an individual's early 20s doesn't correlate to a personal sense of immaturity; however if this habit doesn't stop as they reach age 30, young adults can feel psychologically underdeveloped, according to a University of Missouri study. Helping young adults acknowledge their mental impulse to "sober up" as they mature can improve substance abuse intervention programs. "When a heavy drinking 30-year-old comes in for therapy and says he doesn't feel like an adult, we can present this study and suggest that cutting back on alcohol could help him feel more mature, " said lead researcher Rachel Winograd, a doctoral student in psychology at MU. "People in their early 20s who accept their own heavy drinking and experience alcohol-related consequences may not realize that these behaviors can be associated with identity issues later on, " said Winograd.

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