Is Marijuana Safe?

A new study confirms that cannabis use is related to impaired and lasting effects on adolescent cognitive development.

To understand the relationship between alcohol, cannabis use and cognitive development among adolescents at all levels of consumption (abstinent, occasional consumer or high consumer), the research team followed a sample of 3,826 Canadian adolescents over a period of four years. Using a developmentally sensitive design, the authors investigated relationships between year-to-year changes in substance use and cognitive development across a number of cognitive domains, such as recall memory, perceptual reasoning, inhibition and working memory. Multi-level regression models were used to simultaneously test vulnerability and concurrent and lasting effects on each cognitive domain. The study found that vulnerability to cannabis and alcohol use in adolescence was associated with generally lower performance on all cognitive domains.

Yikes.  Read the full story here.

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What the News Left Out About K2

As a psychiatrist, I have encountered countless individuals in the emergency room who come through and do not want help. “What K2? I don’t use that stuff.” They will deny it, laugh it off, or scoff at me. They threaten to commit suicide if I don’t let them stay the night, and demand extra sandwiches and clothes. These individuals have the ability to decipher their options.  If the person’s thinking suddenly clears and there is no sign of physical instability, he or she can just walk out the emergency room almost minutes after presenting. In the dead of night, I’ve had unconscious patients who wake up abruptly only to demand to leave. I have no choice but to discharge them “home” to no particular address, since none are listed.

Here’s the link to the full article.

 

Social Isolation Transforms the Brain

In mice.

Confirming and extending previous observations, the researchers showed that prolonged social isolation leads to a broad array of behavioral changes in mice. These include increased aggressiveness towards unfamiliar mice, persistent fear, and hypersensitivity to threatening stimuli. For example, when encountering a threatening stimulus, mice that have been socially isolated remain frozen in place long after the threat has passed, whereas normal mice stop freezing soon after the threat is removed. These effects are seen when mice are subjected to two weeks of social isolation, but not to short-term social isolation — 24 hours — suggesting that the observed changes in aggression and fear responses require chronic isolation.

Though the work was done in mice, it has potential implications for understanding how chronic stress affects humans.

Get out of the house.  Socialize with friends and family.  Leave the cell phone at home.

Social media is not social.  It’s a serious public health problem for the brainwashed masses with addictive behaviors.

Read the source article here.

When Teens Cyberbully Themselves (another reason to take the phone away)

Recent research and clinical psychologists now suggest that some adolescents are engaging in a newer form of self-aggression — digital self-harm. They’re anonymously posting mean and derogatory comments about themselves on social media.

Digital self-harm.

Parents – take the phone away.

Very interesting article.  HT to naked capitalism.

Put The Phone Down…

And keep your hands where I can see them.

Use of computer games was found to be negatively related to all personality and mental health variables: self-esteem, extraversion, narcissism, life satisfaction, social support and resilience.

The use of platforms that focus more on written interaction (Twitter, Tumblr) was linked to depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms.

In contrast, Instagram use, which focuses more on photo-sharing, was linked to positive mental health variables.

Go here for a link to the actual German study.

Read about Teenage Suicides here.

Seriously, put the damn phone down.

ADHD Prescriptions Skyrocket Among Young Women

The percentage of women who filled a prescription for an ADHD medication rose from 0.9% in 2003 to 4.0% in 2015 ― an increase of 344%, the researchers report.

ADHD prescriptions increased for all subgroups of female patients aged 15 years to 44 years (analyzed in 5-year increments), and in all geographic regions of the country. The largest increase in ADHD prescriptions occurred among women aged 25 to 29 years (700% increase), followed by women aged 30 to 34 (560% increase).

WHY???  Read the Medscape article (and comments) here and the MMWR report at this link.