Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marijuana F.A.Q.

Can I die from a marijuana overdose?
A lethal overdose of marijuana is virtually impossible; however, deaths from accidents and multiple drug use are not uncommon.

I smoked pot in the 1960s. I went to a party last weekend and took a hit off a joint and thought I was going to die. I have never been that high before - what happened?
There may be several factors involved, but the most likely reason is the increase in the potency of today’s marijuana. Today, marijuana is up to 16 times stronger than what you smoked in the 1960s.

Why are doctors against the use of marijuana as a medicine?
They generally are not against it, but doctors are interested in administering active and effective treatments. It takes scientific studies to prove that a medication is safe and effective and is better than existing treatments. Smoked marijuana should be held to standards equivalent to other medications for approval, standardization of dose, efficacy and safety. Most of the work in the area of smoked marijuana does not meet the standards for FDA approval.

Why is marijuana use among American teens escalating?
Increases in use can be attributed, in part, to cultural influences that minimize the danger or glamourize drug use. Specifically, 41% of teens and 53% of their parents say that American culture glamourizes the use of illegal drugs.

What is marijuana treatment?
Recently, researchers have been testing different ways to attract marijuana users to treatment and help them abstain from drug use. Currently no medications for treating marijuana dependence are available. Treatment programs focus on counseling and group support systems.
A marijuana treatment group is typically an abstinence-based group of 10-12 persons trying to end their dependence on marijuana. In one recent study, 14 groups were started; they met once a week for 14 weeks and were led by two co-therapists. People were able to join without proving that they had stopped smoking pot before requesting assistance; thus, people entered the groups at varying levels of dependence. The intervention was designed to help people quit using marijuana by the fourth week. They were not asked to leave the group if they were unable to completely stop using marijuana. Instead, those still using the drug were encouraged by the therapists and group members to continue trying to stop.