Marijuana Use and Prediabetes Linked?
A recent study reported in Diabetologia entitled: Marijuana use and risk of prediabetes and diabetes by middle adulthood: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, showed that both current and former marijuana users have a higher chance of developing “prediabetes.” Prediabetes does not indicate that an individual has diabetes, but rather is experiencing poor blood sugar control. The researchers (Bancks et. al) report that due to the rise in studying the effects of marijuana in recent years, many possible adverse long-term side effects have been seen with marijuana use.
The researcher’s data from the study indicated that 65 percent of current marijuana users were at great risk of developing prediabetes. Previous long-term users were at a 45 percent risk level. Although these rates are high for prediabetes, there was no direct link between marijuana and actual diabetes. Interestingly, those who reported using marijuana 100 times or more in the course of their lifetime had a greater risk for prediabetes than those who had never used marijuana.
The study also looked at other aspects that could be affecting the development of prediabetes, including race, age and weight since those factors contribute to the development of diabetes itself. The researchers also concluded that future studies on topics related to marijuana use and overall metabolic health would be helpful and noted that Marijuana use in young adulthood is associated with an increased risk of prediabetes by middle adulthood, but not with the development of diabetes by this age.
This Weekend: Drug–Take Back Day
The Office of Diversion Control, a division under the U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it will hold its annual drug–take back event this Saturday, September 26, 2015. If you have unused medication in your home and want to dispose of it safely, now is the time.
The ODC reported that in the last nine take–back events alone, the DEA has collected almost five million pounds of prescription medications. That number is astounding. If these take–back events did not occur, that large amount of unused medication would have either been disposed of improperly, or worse, fueled or began someone’s addiction.
Because a high number of addicts get their first painkiller from the medicine cabinet, proper disposal of unused medicine is crucial. Many Americans are not aware of how to properly dispose of medication. It often gets flushed down the toilet or left to sit and expire in medicine cabinets. The national drug take–back program will provide a safe was to dispose of unused medicine while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
So clean out your medicine cabinets find a collection site near year by visiting http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback
Hand Sanitizer and Dangerous Blood Alcohol Levels
Recent reports are indicating that more and more children are unknowingly ingesting hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer, a formula used to clean hands without soap or water, is commonly used in schools, households, and everywhere else these days. Children are especially prone to ingesting the chemicals because they do not recognize the dangers of doing so. In fact, many teachers and parents don’t realize how dangerous hand sanitizer is either.
CNN.com reported about a 6 year old student who swallowed “three or four squirts of seemingly innocuous liquid hand sanitizer at school. It tasted good, she said, like strawberry.” CNN indicated the child ended up drunk (with a blood-alcohol level of .179- twice what’s considered to be legally drunk as an adult) in the emergency room, slurring her words and unable to walk due to the high amount of alcohol she had swallowed.
Many poison control centers across the nation are seeing a rise (a 400% increase) in the misuse of hand sanitizer, resulting in ER visits. The amount of alcohol in hand sanitizer can be as little as 45% or as much as 95%. Ingesting even small amounts — as little as two or three squirts in some cases — can cause alcohol poisoning – especially in small children. To illustrate how much alcohol that is, alcohol typically consumed by adults, like wine and beer, contains about 12% and 5% alcohol respectively.
Alcohol poisoning can cause confusion, vomiting and drowsiness. In severe cases, a child can stop breathing. At a poison control center in Georgia, CNN reports that
3,266 hand sanitizer cases related to young children were reported to poison control centers in 2010. In 2014, the number increased to 16,117 cases.
Young children don’t recognize that swallowing hand sanitizer is dangerous often because of the attractive kid friendly packaging. Hand sanitizer may appear tasty to kids, especially the ones that come in strawberry, orange, and grape or other kid friendly scents. Teens, on the other hand, may ingest hand sanitizer on a dare, knowing it will cause drunkenness. However, teens will probably not realize just how high their blood-alcohol levels will actually become. Awareness about hand sanitizer and the dangers of ingesting it is key to keeping kids of all ages safe.
September is National recovery month
September is recognized as National recovery month each year in the United States. During the month of September, communities and business dedicate their time and resources to raising public awareness about substance abuse and mental illness. Unfortunately, both substance abuse and mental illness are becoming more and more commonplace in the United States.
In fact, over 20 million people will use an illicit drug each year in the U.S. according to recent studies. Not all, but many become addicted to dangerous substances and end up damaging and hurting themselves, their friends and their families throughout the process. This damage is fairly common but people are too ashamed or embarrassed or angry to talk about it. Some people continue to live in denial of their problems. National recovery month is about changing that and helping people to get help for themselves.
Recoverymonth.gov indicates that this year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable!” and contains many useful resources for getting involved, joining in the recovery, being courageous, and promoting recovery in your area. Recoverymonth.gov’s theme this September not only recognizes peer support in recovery but also encourages others to be a strength in the recovery community by sharing their stories.
To get involved in this September’s National recovery month check your local government websites for any events or information that may be happening in your area.
2016 GOP Presidential Candidates and Marijuana Legalization
Many are watching, reading and listening to the GOP contenders in the race for the 2016 presidency. Many ideas and views are debated, discussed, and expressed. One of the hot topics in the upcoming run for office will definitely be legalization of marijuana. As The Huffington Post indicates, “with at least 10 more states expected to consider legalization in some form by 2016, the next president of the United States will almost certainly have to reckon with the disparity between state and federal law on marijuana.”
Although recreational marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and the District of Columbia- it is illegal under federal law. The stares that have legalized marijuana have only been able to do so because federal guidance has been in place. With a new election, those rights could be taken away. So what are the major GOP runner’s views on recreational marijuana legalization? Below is a quick summary:
Jeb Bush: He doesn’t believe in legalizing marijuana, but would support states right and would not revoke the federal guidance.
Marco Rubio: He opposes legalization and decrimilization of recreational marijuana. He said he doesn’t believe that we should legalize additional intoxicants in this country for the primary reason that “when you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is it can’t be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal.” (huffingtonpost.com)
Ted Cruz: Cruz has criticized Obama for permitting recreational marijuana laws to go into effect without federal intervention in the states that have legalized.
Rand Paul: He backs states in making their own laws concerning recreational marijuana.
Chris Christie: He is the most outspoken on this topic and says he will enforce federal law – even on those states who have already legalized recreational marijuana– and “will crack down and not permit it.”
Carly Fiorina: She says she is opposed to Prop. 19 and the legalization of marijuana.
Mike Huckabee: His stance isn’t clear, but he posted on Facebook that it doesn’t seem like the right thing to legalize when you think about the impact on kids.
John Kasich: He indicates that he is totally opposed to legalizing marijuana.
Ben Carson: Being a former chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Medical School he has seen the benefits of medical marijuana use. However, he says that legalizing recreational marijuana is “not something we want for our society. “
Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal are all opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana as well. Except for Jindal- who will push for more federal enforcement-, most seem to indicate that they will support state’s rights in them matter. So, no matter who gets the big job, it looks like a very strong opposition to any more legalization of recreational marijuana if the GOP wins the 2016 presidential election.
Gender and Alcoholism
Alcoholism is faced by both men and women, and does not discriminate between age, marital status or age. However, gender has been found to be an important factor influencing alcoholism vulnerability and treatment. There are both biological and physiological factors including hormones that show that gender differences occur in alcoholism.
In developed countries, the World Health Organization has estimated, 1 in 5 men and 1 in 12 women develop alcohol dependence during their lives. This gender difference is found to be the case all over the world and is one of only a few key gender differences in social behavior.
There are many reasons for this difference in alcoholism between men and women. Women metabolize alcohol in a different way than men — leading them to feel the effects of alcohol earlier and to a greater extent than men. Thus, women feel the bad effects of alcohol sooner and more intense and suffer the negative behavioral and high risk factors to a greater extent.
Also, women who drink alcohol expose themselves more health risks for themselves. Alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of cancers, including breast cancer and research has shown that women are more susceptible to organ damage due to alcoholism while drinking less and over a shorter period of time than men. Do to these factors, women are also at risk of chronic diseases, neurological problems, cardiovascular issues, psychological problems and social issues that are related to alcoholism.
On the other hand, men are twice as likely to suffer from alcoholism to suffer from alcoholism as women. Men drink more quantities and more often than women do and in turn, suffer from the long-term health implications. These diseases can include: brain and/or liver disease, cognitive problems, and depression. Excessive alcohol consumption is also found to be a factor in sexual dysfunction in men.
Although the causes and effects of alcoholism are different according to gender, the underlying result is the same: alcoholism is harmful no matter if you are male or female.
Post Surgery Prescriptions and Addiction
A recent study at University of Buffalo showed that addiction to prescription meds develops easily after surgery –often unintentionally. This rising epidemic is real and is of concern. The study found that 31 out of 75 patients entering an opiate addiction detox clinic developed their addiction from a prescription they received post surgery for pain management. Further, although they began their addiction with a legal prescription, 92% of those individuals illegally purchased other narcotics when in the grips of their addiction.
Also disheartening in the study was the fact that out of 53 patients, 74% of their doctors prescribed narcotic medications without asking if a history of substance abuse existed.
Drug addiction to prescription meds post surgery can easily develop especially when there is easy access with no questions asked regarding addictive tendencies/behaviors. Sadly, many who develop prescription drug addiction had no intention of abusing their prescription. But, because of the highly addictive components of many painkillers prescribed post surgery, individuals who would not otherwise develop addictions to these substances end up with major drug abuse problems.
In identifying if an addiction is present, even if the medication was prescribed legitimately, look for the following warning signs:
- Continued use after the initial pain has ceased
- Seeing multiple doctors to obtain more prescriptions
- Illegally buying the prescription or other drugs
- Increasing dose without or against doctors recommendation
- Isolating from friends, family and society
- More interested in medication than treatment options
- Mood or behavior changes, such as becoming hostile, agitated, anxious or irritable
- History of addiction
- Withdrawal from prescription pain medicine
White House Plans to Spend Millions to Fight Heroin
The CNN White House producer reported this week that the White House announced a new initiative of $2.5 million to fund fighting heroin trafficking along the Eastern seaboard. That part of the country has seen a recent spike in the last few years, and the White House is working to combat it.
The White House plan will include 15 states from the area and is aiming to focus more on addiction treatment and prevention than consequences. In effect, law enforcement agencies and public health officials will be paired in creating new heroin response teams who will communicate regarding the information obtained after heroin overdose incidents and drug raids. They also hope to map the trafficking routes of heroin distribution and train their first responders to treat overdoses more effectively. Further, the report indicates that officials want more access to a drug that is used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose, naloxone.
The CNN report also indicated that the White House plan was motivated by the huge increase in heroin use nation wide. For instance, just since 2002, overdose deaths from heroin have nearly quadrupled. This growing epidemic correlates with the increase in use of addictive prescription opiates, as well as the extensive availability of inexpensive heroin.
Many teens no longer turn to the shady school dealer for their highs these days. In fact, most just reach inside the medicine cabinet. Across the country, kids are taking dangerous handfuls of cold medicines known to them as “triple C.”
Cold, cough and congestion medications that are based on dextromethorphan, such as Coricidin are the new drug of choice for teens. The dangerous part is that they can find them at any grocery store or even in your home medicine cabinet – without parental permission.
Most teens take this triple C drug cocktail because it gives them euphoric effects. When they take these medicines at a dose higher then recommended, they feel very happy and may have hallucinations.
However, the hard truth is that although these over the counter drugs seem harmless to teens, the long term effects of abuse can include: psychosis, coma, movement problems, liver damage, and even heart trouble.
Parents need to be aware that cold medicines are being abused by kids. They should openly discuss the effects and long-term problems associated with taking too many pills or too much syrup devised to treat colds like in the triple C cocktails that are being experimented with.
Anorexia in Men: More Common Than You’d Think
Although most associate anorexia nervosa with women, studies show that many men suffer from the disorder as well. Anorexia is a severe, life-threatening disorder in which the individual refuses to maintain a minimally normal body weight, is intensely afraid of gaining weight, and exhibits a significant distortion in the perception of the shape or size of his body, as well as dissatisfaction with his body shape and size.
In men, behavioral characteristics can include: difficulty eating with others, lying about eating, frequently weighing self, preoccupation with food, focus on certain body parts, and/or disgust with body size or shape. These men may also participate in excessive dieting, fasting, restricted diets and have food rituals. They may have a preoccupation with body-building, weight lifting, or muscle toning and exercise compulsively.
Emotionally and mentally, men with anorexia tend to be depressed, isolate themselves socially, perfectionistic, controlling, and have a low sense of self worth. They often also have an intense fear of becoming fat or gaining weight and may have difficulty expressing their feelings.
Physically, anorexic men often have a low body weight (15% or more below what is expected for age, height, activity level). They have thinning hair or hair loss, low testosterone levels, decreased balance, lack of energy and lower body temperature, pulse rate and blood pressure.
In a recent study conducted by the National Eating Disorders Association, they found that 10 million men in the United States will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. Further, 33 % of adolescent males use unhealthy weight control behaviors, 37% of men who binge eat experience depression, and 43% of American men are dissatisfied with their bodies.
So, with those staggering statistics, eating disorders, particularly anorexia nervosa, are not specific to women. Men struggle a lot with their eating perceptions and body perceptions as well.