There seems to be a growing consensus on the medical and mental health concerns associated with smoking marijuana. Beginning in the summer of 2007, a series of research studies into the health risks of smoking marijuana began to appear in medical and research journals. Several of them are summarized here for your convenience. I will periodically update this synopsis of research findings as new studies on marijuana are made public. This was last updated on 1/23/2017.
This is a revised version of AWARE Questionnaire (Advance WArning of RElapse). It was originally designed as a measure of the warning signs of relapse as described by Terence Gorski. This instrument was developed through research funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA, and is in the public domain. So it may be used without specific permission provided that proper acknowledgment is given to its source. See this copy for the correct citation.
It is possible to understand drug craving and to learn how to manage craving without returning to use. A model that allows people to identify set-up behaviors, trigger events, and the cycle of craving itself, and intervening upon this process has proven effective in reducing relapse among addicts.
Methadone maintenance is a corrective treatment for the high social toll of opiate use; but it doesn’t really treat opiate addiction. It “treats” the legal, medical and interpersonal negative consequences that result from a dependency to heroin and other opiates. But the price paid by the “patient” is that they must gamble on chaining themselves to a slowly developing addiction-dragon that may be harder to get away from than the original chaos and potential death they sought to escape from in active heroin addiction.
In addition to methadone, there is another opiate replacement medication on the U.S. market, buprenorphine (as Suboxone or Subutex). This article will examine the perceived advantages and disadvantages of buprenorphine for opioid dependence treatment, assess the abuse potential of buprenorphine, and critique the supposed efficacy of maintenance treatment for opiate abuse and dependence.
Problems with the abuse of prescription drugs has been on the rise for several years. In a May 2010 study US hospital admissions due to poisoning by prescription drugs (opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers) reportedly rose from 43,000 to 71,000 between 1999 and 2006. That is a 65% increase; about double the increase observed for poisoning by other drugs and medicines. The largest increase in hospitalizations for poisonings was for methadone (400%). The abuse and trafficking of prescription drugs appears to be ready to surpass illicit drug abuse worldwide.
Globally, an estimated 243 million people, about 5.2% of the world population aged 15-64 used an illicit drug in 2012. There has been an increase in opioid and cannabis use since 2009, while opiates, cocaine and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) have either remained stable or decreased. New psychoactive substances (NPS) are now found in most of Europe and North America, as well as Oceania, Asia, South America and several African countries. The number of NPS rose from 251 in July of 2012 to 348 in December of 2013. This compares to 234 psychoactive substances controlled at the international level. “The use of new psychoactive substances is thus emerging as a truly global phenomenon.”