Tag Archives: eMedicineHealth

University of Waterloo study: Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles

9 Feb

Often children who evidence signs of a substance abuse problem come from homes where there is a substance abuse problem. That problem may be generational. eMedicineHealth lists some of the causes of substance abuse:

Substance Abuse Causes
Use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs may begin in childhood or the teen years. Certain risk factors may increase someone’s likelihood to abuse substances.
Factors within a family that influence a child’s early development have been shown to be related to increased risk of drug abuse.
o Chaotic home environment
o Ineffective parenting
o Lack of nurturing and parental attachment
Factors related to a child’s socialization outside the family may also increase risk of drug abuse.
o Inappropriately aggressive or shy behavior in the classroom
o Poor social coping skills
o Poor school performance
o Association with a deviant peer group
o Perception of approval of drug use behavior
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/substance_abuse/article_em.htm
Substance abuse is often a manifestation of other problems that child has either at home or poor social relations including low self-esteem. Dr. Alan Leshner summarizes the reasons children use drugs in why do Sally and Johnny use drugs? http://archives.drugabuse.gov/Published_Articles/Sally.html

Science Daily reported in: Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18:

A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.
The study led by UW Medicine researchers interviewed 521 students recruited from four Seattle public middle schools. Researchers used data from annual assessments when students were ages 12-15 and then again when they were 18. The results were published in the journal Addiction.
“The findings suggest that if we can prevent or reduce chronic depression during early adolescence, we may reduce the prevalence of cannabis use disorder,” said lead author Isaac Rhew, research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
What researchers called “a 1 standard deviation increase” in cumulative depression during early adolescence was associated with a 50 percent higher likelihood of cannabis-use disorder.
According to researchers, during the past decade cannabis has surpassed tobacco with respect to prevalence of use among adolescents. Cannabis and alcohol are the two most commonly used substances among youth in the United States. They pointed to one national study showing increases in prevalence of cannabis use disorder and alcohol use disorder in the United States, especially among young adults.
Longitudinal studies looking at the link between depression and later use of alcohol and cannabis, however, have been mixed. Some show a link. Others don’t. But most studies have assessed adolescent depression at a single point in time — not cumulatively, said the researchers. Further, there have been differences in how substance use has been measured ranging from the initiation of any use to heavier problematic forms of use.
The study oversampled for students with depressive and/or conduct problems. The researchers were surprised to see that the prevalence of cannabis and alcohol use disorder in this study was notably higher than national estimates with 21 percent meeting criteria for cannabis use disorder and 20 percent meeting criteria for alcohol use disorder at age 18.
What effect the easing of marijuana laws in Washington state had on the youth is unclear. Researchers said it would be informative to conduct a similar study in a state with more strict marijuana laws to understand whether the relationship between depression and cannabis misuse would still hold in areas where marijuana may be less accessible…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717151031.htm

Citation:

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18
Seattle-focused study suggests earlier intervention with depressed youths could reduce rate of cannabis-use disorder
Date: July 17, 2017
Source: University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
Summary:
Young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence, found a study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth.

Journal Reference:
Isaac C. Rhew, Charles B. Fleming, Ann Vander Stoep, Semret Nicodimos, Cheng Zheng, Elizabeth McCauley. Examination of cumulative effects of early adolescent depression on cannabis and alcohol use disorder in late adolescence in a community-based cohort. Addiction, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/add.13907

Resources:

Marijuana medical benefits – large review finds very few https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/marijuana-medical-benefits-large-review/

Marijuana and Cannabinoids | NCCIH
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/marijuana

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/marijuana/           https://drwilda.com/tag/what-is-medical-marijuana/             https://drwilda.com/tag/marijuana-how-can-it-affect-your-health/

Science Daily reported in Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles:

Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new University of Waterloo study.
The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.
The researchers also found that descriptive information, such as symbols and words, are more effective in helping consumers understand THC potency and approximate serving sizes for cannabis products.
“Using THC numbers to express potency of cannabis products has little or no meaning to most young Canadians,” said David Hammond of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems. “We’ve known for many years that people struggle to understand the numbers on the back of food packages and cigarette packages. Consumers seem to have equal or even more difficulty with THC numbers, which are used to indicate the potency of cannabis products.”
He added, “Effective THC labelling and packaging could help reduce to accidental over-consumption of cannabis edibles and adverse events, which have increased in jurisdictions that have legalized recreational cannabis….”
The study also found that a ‘traffic light’ system, which uses traffic light colours to indicate potency, allowed two-thirds of respondents to identify products with high levels of THC, compared to 33 per cent of respondents who only used numerical THC information.
In 2018, Statistics Canada found that 32 per cent of cannabis users consumed edibles.
“New regulations that limit cannabis edibles to a maximum of 10 mg per package are particularly important given that most consumers do not understand THC numbers,” Hammond said. “However, the findings suggest that consumers will need easier-to-understand THC information for other products, including oils, concentrates and dried flower.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200207123801.htm

Citation:

Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles
Date: February 7, 2020
Source: University of Waterloo
Summary:
Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new study. The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.

Journal Reference:
Cesar Leos-Toro, Geoffrey T. Fong, Samantha B. Meyer, David Hammond. Cannabis labelling and consumer understanding of THC levels and serving sizes. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2020; 107843 DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.107843

Here is the press release from the University of Waterloo:

Waterloo News

Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2020

Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new University of Waterloo study.
The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.
The researchers also found that descriptive information, such as symbols and words, are more effective in helping consumers understand THC potency and approximate serving sizes for cannabis products.
“Using THC numbers to express potency of cannabis products has little or no meaning to most young Canadians,” said David Hammond of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems. “We’ve known for many years that people struggle to understand the numbers on the back of food packages and cigarette packages. Consumers seem to have equal or even more difficulty with THC numbers, which are used to indicate the potency of cannabis products.”

He added, “Effective THC labelling and packaging could help reduce to accidental over-consumption of cannabis edibles and adverse events, which have increased in jurisdictions that have legalized recreational cannabis.”
Health Canada currently requires cannabis packages to list the ingredients, product type, potency and other essential information, including weight in grams, and percentage of THC (or CBD, depending on the product), but not symbols or intuitive labeling on THC levels.
The researchers conducted two experiments with 870 Canadians aged 16-30 in 2017: The first investigated whether consumers could understand how many servings there were in a package, and the second examined if consumers could identify how potent the product was.
The study found approximately 6 per cent of consumers could correctly identify serving size on products that had no label, or only listed the weight. Seventy-seven per cent could identify the serving when the dosage was listed.
The study also found that a ‘traffic light’ system, which uses traffic light colours to indicate potency, allowed two-thirds of respondents to identify products with high levels of THC, compared to 33 per cent of respondents who only used numerical THC information.
In 2018, Statistics Canada found that 32 per cent of cannabis users consumed edibles.
“New regulations that limit cannabis edibles to a maximum of 10 mg per package are particularly important given that most consumers do not understand THC numbers,” Hammond said. “However, the findings suggest that consumers will need easier-to-understand THC information for other products, including oils, concentrates and dried flower.”
The study, Cannabis labelling and consumer understanding of THC levels and serving sizes, was published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, and co-authored by Cesar Leos-Toro, Geoffrey Fong, Samantha Meyer and David Hammond, all at the University of Waterloo.                                                                   https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/few-consumers-understand-thc-levels-cannabis-edibles

If you suspect that your child has a substance abuse problem, you will have to seek help of some type. You will need a plan of action. The Partnership for a Drug Free America lists 7 Steps to Take and each step is explained at the site. http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

If your child has a substance abuse problem, both you and your child will need help. “One day at a time” is a famous recovery affirmation which you and your child will live the meaning. The road to recovery may be long or short, it will have twists and turns with one step forward and two steps back. In order to reach the goal of recovery, both parent and child must persevere.

Related:

University of Washington study: Heroin use among young suburban and rural non-traditional users on the
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/13/university-of-washington-study-heroin-use-among-young-suburban-and-rural-non-traditional-users-on-the-increase/

Resources

Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base
http://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/teenage-substance-abuse/adolescent-substance-abuse/signs-drug-use/

Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse
http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/drugsofabuse/a/driug_abuse20.htm?r=et

Is Your Teen Using?
http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

Al-Anon and Alateen
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

WEBMD: Parenting and Teen Substance Abuse
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/teen-substance-abuse-choosing-a-treatment-program-topic-overview

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a very good booklet for families What is Substance Abuse Treatment?
http://store.samhsa.gov/home

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a web site for teens and parents that teaches about drug abuse NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
http://teens.drugabuse.gov/

THE JURY IS OUT ON THE MEDICAL USES OF MARIJUANA.

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Battling teen addiction: ‘Recovery high schools’

8 Jul

Teen substance abuse is at epidemic levels.

What is Substance Abuse?

HELPGUIDE.ORG defines substance abuse and also describes some of the traits of a substance abuser.  Although, the focus of this article is children and teens who abuse various substances, there is a widespread problem with their parents and caretakers. A recent report found that many children live with parents who are substance abusers Often children who evidence signs of a substance abuse problem come from homes where there is a substance abuse problem. That problem may be generational.

eMedicineHealth lists some of the causes of substance abuse:

Substance Abuse Causes

Use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs may begin in childhood or the teen years. Certain risk factors may increase someone’s likelihood to abuse substances.

· Factors within a family that influence a child’s early development have been shown to be related to increased risk of drug abuse.

o Chaotic home environment

o Ineffective parenting

o Lack of nurturing and parental attachment

· Factors related to a child’s socialization outside the family may also increase risk of drug abuse.

o Inappropriately aggressive or shy behavior in the classroom

o Poor social coping skills

o Poor school performance

o Association with a deviant peer group

o Perception of approval of drug use behavior

Substance abuse is often a manifestation of other problems that child has either at home or poor social relations including low self esteem. Dr. Alan Leshner summarizes the reasons children use drugs in why do Sally and Johnny use drugs?

How Can You Recognize the Signs of Substance Abuse?

Parents provides general signs of substance abuse and also gives specific signs of alcohol abuse, and several different drugs, narcotics, and inhalants. The general warning signs are:

· Changes in friends

· Negative changes in schoolwork, missing school, or declining grades

· Increased secrecy about possessions or activities

· Use of incense, room deodorant, or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odors

· Subtle changes in conversations with friends, e.g. more secretive, using “coded” language

· Change in clothing choices: new fascination with clothes that highlight drug use

· Increase in borrowing money

· Evidence of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, etc.

· Evidence of use of inhalant products (such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, common household products); Rags and paper bags are sometimes used as accessories

· Bottles of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils

· New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol

· Missing prescription drugs—especially narcotics and mood stabilizers

Remember, these are very general signs, specific drugs, narcotics, and other substances may have different signs, it is important to read the specific signs. One way of helping children recover and continue with their lives is a “Recovery High School.”

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, ‘Recovery High’ Schools Help Students Battling Addiction (VIDEO):

At Northshore Recovery High School in Beverly, Massachusetts, teachers are not only focused on helping their students pass their classes and graduate — faculty members also play an active role in helping the student body overcome addiction. There are an increasing number of “recovery high schools” like this one opening across the country, where students are finding a safe haven with peers who are similarly committed to recovery from drug and alcohol addictions.

“There was a 50/50 chance of me either dying or getting better,” former Northshore student Alyssa Dedrick told NBC. “I think going to a recovery school really increased my odds, not only of recovery, but of survival in general.”                                                           http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/recovery-high-school-help_n_1654041.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

All Treatment. Com provides a really good explanation of “Recovery High Schools.”

All Treatment interviewed Helene Cross, President and CEO of Fairbanks (in association with LaVerna Lodge) and Rachelle Gardner, Director of Adolescent Services at Fairbanks and COO for Hope Academy :

AT: What is a recovery high school?

Rachelle Gardner: It’s a school that provides a safe and sober environment, where young people can achieve academic success and also success in maintaining sobriety and support. It’s an environment that fosters relationships and long-term sobriety, giving young people the support in order to do that, and being able to achieve academic success, which in a normal traditional school, they haven’t been able to achieve. This gives young people hope and a chance to go on to secondary education, whether that is a community college or a large university.

This gives young people hope and a chance to go on to secondary education

AT: Who makes a good candidate for recovery high school?

RG: A young person who is willing to address their addiction issues, willing to receive support around staying sober and who want to achieve academic success. The two key points are that they want to be sober and they are interested in their education. If those two answers are ‘yes’ then a support system can be built around them in any type of recovery school.

Helene Cross: We should highlight the distinction between a recovery school and a treatment school. In recovery school, a young person has gone through treatment first and they have those tools that you learn in treatment, so there’s a common language and an opportunity to interact with peers in that culture using those tools.

RG: Most of the students are also receiving some sort of therapeutic support outside of the school. So they’re in an intensive outpatient program, family counseling, they’re seeing a private therapist, or they’re in some sort of halfway house. Since they’re treatment issues are dealt with outside of the school, the school is there to wrap their arms around them and support them in their recovery efforts.

AT: What should students and parents know before attending recovery high school?

HC: It’s a small school. One of the things parents want to know is how it is different than a normal school. We need to emphasize the difference in the way we teach and the fact that we understand recovery and provide this supportive environment, but there are some things they will sacrifice. A small school doesn’t have a football team, and a small charter school with a limit budget doesn’t have money for electives. We have talented teachers who can teach art and creative writing and music and we can play sports outside, but we don’t have organized sports the same way a normal school would. So they need to balance the sacrifices against the important goal – if we support the recovery and academic success, then this young person who is very vulnerable in terms of being able to graduate, will graduate. Sometimes it’s harder for the parent to give up their aspirations of their daughter being the homecoming queen or their son being a football star, but that’s a decision they have to make.                                  http://www.alltreatment.com/rehab-center-information-and-questions/rehab-interviews-recovery-high-schools

In Underage drinking costs society big-time, moi said:                                    Assuming you are not one of those ill-advised parents who supply their child with alcohol or drugs like marijuana in an attempt to be hip or cool, suspicions that your child may have a substance abuse problem are a concern. Confirmation that your child has a substance abuse problem can be heartbreaking. Even children whose parents have seemingly done everything right can become involved with drugs. The best defense is knowledge about your child, your child’s friends, and your child’s activities. You need to be aware of what is influencing your child                                      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/underage-drinking-costs-society-big-time/

Resources:

Association of Recovery Schools                                                                       http://www.recoveryschools.org/

Recovery High Schools: Giving Students a Second Chance                                          http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/addiction/recovery-high-schools-giving-students-a-second-chance

Related:

Seattle Children’s Institute study: Supportive middle school teachers affect a kid’s alcohol use                                                                                                            https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/substance-abuse/

The rich are different: Mercer Island underage drinking                                            https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/the-rich-are-different-mercer-island-underage-drinking/

Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children                                 https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/

New study about substance abuse and kids                                             https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/new-study-about-substance-abuse-and-kids/

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