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  Marijuana Can Become Addictive for Abusers
Posted by CN Staff on February 11, 2007 at 21:48:32 PT
By Frank Ready 
Source: Daily Orange 

cannabis USA -- Many college students are not strangers to marijuana use. Contrary to common belief, a recent study has found marijuana users can become dependent on the illegal drug.

The use of marijuana, psychedelic drugs and alcohol is higher on college campuses than anywhere else, said Dessa Bergen-Cico, a senior part-time instructor in the College of Human Services and Health Professions and a specialist in drug abuse prevention and research.

Marijuana is more addictive than originally thought, according to the study, performed in 2006 by Ronald Kadden, a psychiatry professor and head of the University of Connecticut Health Center's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center.

For associate professor Paul Caldwell of the Syracuse University School of Social Work, the idea that marijuana dependency can occur is nothing new, he said in e-mail.

"Marijuana has long been known to meet criteria associated with substance dependence, the diagnosis to which 'addiction' refers," Caldwell said.

Marijuana use can develop into a habit, but there is no evidence that it is addictive, said psychology professor Tibor Palfai. It depends on the person who is using it.

Potential side effects of marijuana include a lack of energy and activity, as well as dropping grades. If a user were to become dependent, he might experience symptoms of increased tolerance, compulsive use and impaired control. These symptoms would not deter users from continuing despite physical and psychological problems, Caldwell said.

But dependence is not the only danger presented by marijuana. The biggest danger may be inhalation, its method of delivery, Palfai said.

"The components in its rare form add up to about 20 cigarettes," Palfai said, adding that long-term damages brought on by marijuana depend on how much a user smokes.

Continuous use can eventually lead to serious health conditions such as lung cancer, Palfai said.

Not all marijuana users become dependent. Some have the power to quit but simply don't want to, Caldwell said.

"This might be the more common status of regular marijuana users, that is, they can stop, but they don't," Caldwell said. "They willingly risk the potential consequences of marijuana use, such as respiratory damage, compromised immune systems, and impaired social and mental health functioning, which are more common among marijuana users than in the general population."

Although the drug's usage is certainly not limited to any one age group, college-aged men and women are usually most prone to marijuana use, Palfai said.

The desire of young people to experience everything as part of the reason for this problem, Bergen-Cico said. She added that students who are civically engaged are less likely to be depressed or abuse drugs.

Not everyone believes that keeping busy will steer students clear of marijuana and other drugs.

"I think the busier they are the more stressed out they could be," said Josh Taffet, a freshman public communications major. "They might look to drugs or drinking as a release."

Marijuana may not be the most threatening drug found on college campuses. According to Palfai, alcohol could possibly be more harmful in the long run than marijuana.

"You can develop dependence and addiction to alcohol far more than you could to marijuana," Palfai said.

As far as alcohol serving as a potential gateway drug to marijuana, or marijuana serving as a gateway drug to other drugs, Palfai said this is not true. He said that there are no gateway drugs.

"This is political jargon so that people get scared," Palfai said.

It remains somewhat unclear whether students are actually scared by the facts and statistics.

"Most people who mix alcohol and marijuana have done it before, and if they've lived through it, they are most likely to live with the fact and do it again," said sophomore Jane Tran.

Others suspect that facts and figures are the farthest thing from students' minds during the weekend.

"I don't think anyone really thinks about the statistics when they are at a party and being offered a drink," Taffet said.

The Options Program at the SU Health Center helps those battling substance abuse, supplying students with three certified counselors they can talk to.

Complete Title: Smokers Be Warned: Marijuana Can Become Addictive for Abusers

Source: Daily Orange, The (NY Edu)
Author: Frank Ready
Published: February 12, 2007
Copyright: 2007 The Daily Orange Corporation
Contact: : letters@dailyorange.com
Website: http://www.dailyorange.com/

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Comment #13 posted by rchandar on February 16, 2007 at 21:11:11 PT:

museman
Mostly it's because they're so stupid and boorish that they know there's no other way they can be important.

A columnist used a better term a few years ago. "Blood lust".



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #12 posted by rchandar on February 16, 2007 at 21:09:33 PT:

Think About It
Let's look at premodern times. All things considered "vice"--sex, alcohol, drugs--were legal, weren't questioned. In the absence of belief in God, these new prohibitions meant to shore up power and make punitive the daily lives of everyday citizens. We follow the dictates of Nietzsche today, not Christ. If someone has the animate power, the willingness to hurt others to shore up one's position, we respect them. People who are dignified supporters of humanity are, generally speaking, the last people to negotiate privilege.

An Unemployed Professor--Like You Care

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by rchandar on February 16, 2007 at 21:06:11 PT:

SamAdams
There are clinics for sex addiction, gambling addiction, even coffee addiction.

One of the greatest tour de forces of the current establishment is that they outlawed things that caused pleasure. Threatening legal punishment for the crime of having pleasure was a sure-fire way to make people afraid of the government. I could take away your wife or your kid, but on a momentary basis they are replaceable, though we wish it weren't so. Take away my beer? That'll get you to be afraid.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by afterburner on February 15, 2007 at 22:21:44 PT
cannabis is fungible, SCOTUS said so
{ As far as alcohol serving as a potential gateway drug to marijuana, or marijuana serving as a gateway drug to other drugs, Palfai said this is not true. He said that there are no gateway drugs. }

Alcohol and cannabis are fungible. If one is not available, the other might be substituted.

"You can develop dependence and addiction to alcohol far more than you could to marijuana," Palfai said.

Cannabis, Safer.

Caldwell said. "[regular marijuana users] willingly risk the potential consequences of marijuana use, impaired social and mental health functioning..."

"impaired social functioning"

Si, that Mexican bandito smile is such a turn off, Not! The upbeat happy attitute of a cannabis partaker can create empathy, or a contact high.

"impaired mental health functioning"

Duh, do'h, "Da do do do da da da da, That's all I want to say to you. Da do do do da da da da. It's meaningless and all that's true."

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by BGreen on February 15, 2007 at 08:35:42 PT
I've seen withdrawals from drugs. It ain't good!
I've never experienced any negative effects (besides a return of my medical condition due to taking away my medicine) from being without cannabis.

I've witnessed people nearly die trying to detox from booze.

I've witnessed cigarette smokers cough up phlegm for several minutes before being able to get their first cup of coffee for the day.

I witnessed Mrs. Green give up cigarettes almost 16 years ago and saw how it tore up this incredibly strong woman.

I have no problems except a government that wants to exterminate me and every other cannabis partaker.

So, pop your pills and have a few mixed drinks, Uncle Sam, because you're in for one helluva fight ... one you've continuously lost and will never win.

The Reverend Bud Green

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by museman on February 15, 2007 at 08:08:07 PT
'addiction'
Apparently the DEA, cops, and other repug-like law enforcement persons, all seem to be addicted to to stale, old bullshit, because they just won't stop doing it!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on February 12, 2007 at 08:57:28 PT
Addiction
The concept of "Addiction" did not even exist until the early 1900's, when the nascent psychiatry profession coined the term. Before then, you were either a drinker or you weren't. If you were a drunken bum, you went to a church-run shelter and sang hymns and listened to sermons all day in exchange for a place to sleep & food. It didn't cost taxpayers a thing, and nobody went to jail.

Why don't these people go back to grad school for another 10 years and leave us alone! Mind your own business, you prudish busybodies!



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by dongenero on February 12, 2007 at 08:00:53 PT
right duzt
This head of the local drug treatment center can spout off what is obviously just his opinion,(bias).

However, his statements regarding lung effect is in direct conflict with the extensive, recent findings in the UCLA study. In that study they actually found lower incidence of lung problems in marijuana smokers and they determined that cannabis may actually have a protective effect against lung cancer.

Still, I would recommend a vaporizer. As for his terms of addiction. It's probably less so than the coffee I drink every morning. I know people who cannot resist chocolate. It's habit, desire, something you enjoy and want.

Addiction? Opiates and alcohol....now you are talking real addiction.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by duzt on February 12, 2007 at 06:42:01 PT
i could stop drinking milk........but
I guess i'm a milkoholic too. This arguement can be used for anything. I choose to do everything I do so I guess I'm addicted to everything. What tells me right off that this doctor is another gov. spokesperson, other than everything else written here, is the comment that it leads to lung cancer again. Even thought that has never happened, they still seem to say that all the time. Potato chips are more cancer causing. And yet I still eat those too. I guess I'm addicted to everything.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #4 posted by Storm Crow on February 12, 2007 at 06:39:51 PT
Addictions?
My cousin was "addicted" to Coca-cola. Had to be Coke- Pepsi wouldn't do! He always had a pile of cases (at least a half dozen, usually more) of Coke in a corner of his kitchen. And what about sugar? I used to be "addicted" to sugar- as an older teen, I would eat candy until I started feeling sick and wash it down with sugary sodas. Junk foods? I know folks who eat the same junky fast foods every day...are they addicted? How about sex, shoplifting, dieting, sports, risk-taking or gambling? These are now "addictions" too. The term "addiction", is used FAR too much for things that we simply choose to do repeatedly and others don't like!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on February 12, 2007 at 06:16:46 PT
I'm An Addict
Okay, I'll bite. So I'm addicted to marijuana. Big deal.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by mayan on February 12, 2007 at 01:36:47 PT
Heh-Heh!
5 Grammys mark Dixie Chicks' comeback: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/entertainment/movies/16677679.htm

To hell with country radio and the Country Music Awards. The Dixie Chicks laugh last!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by mayan on February 12, 2007 at 00:48:47 PT
Cripe
Marijuana is more addictive than originally thought, according to the study, performed in 2006 by Ronald Kadden, a psychiatry professor and head of the University of Connecticut Health Center's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center.

Yeah, marijuana is addictive because the head of an alcohol and drug abuse treatment center says so. No vested interest in maintaining prohibition there!

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