Stories about: Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research(CeASAR)

Emergency Department visits related to Molly narcotic skyrocket

Molly can be in pill or powder form, and can be diluted in a drink

Emergency Department (ED) visits related to the drug MDMA have exploded recently, fueled by the popularity of Molly—a powdered form of the drug often celebrated in popular culture. A recent report from U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that among young people, ED trips for MDMA have increased 128 percent between 2005 and 2011.

Molly, which doubles as both a stimulant and hallucinogen, gives the user a euphoric high but can also dangerously increase the heartbeat, spike blood pressure, constrict blood vessels and disrupt the body’s ability to regulate and recognize temperature.

But despite all its dangers, Molly maintains a soft public image.

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Marijuana use up among teenagers

Compared to 30 years ago, today’s teenagers are drinking and smoking less. If you’ve got a teenager those kinds of stats are encouraging news, but unfortunately it’s too early to let your guard down completely. According to a new study more kids are using marijuana than before and start smoking at a younger age. The cause of the spike is still unclear, but John R. Knight, MD, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research(CeASAR), says mixed messages about pot’s dangers are likely to play a role.

Troubling Trend: Teen Pot Use: MyFoxBOSTON.com

Have you found drugs in your child’s room and are unsure what to do? Here’s more advice from Dr. Knight.

To learn more about how marijuana’s softening reputation could impact your kids, read this interview with Dr. Knight. If you are concerned about your child’s substance use, contact a member of Dr. Knight’s team for help in scheduling an appointment.

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Could monitoring Facebook impact drinking in college?

A new study published in Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine suggests that the majority of college students who post on Facebook about drunkenness and dangerous drinking habits are also at a higher risk for alcohol abuse and dependence.

The message seems fairly obvious, but the real interesting takeaway of the study is the researchers’ suggestions about how that information could be used.

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Exploring the financial incentives behind medical marijuana

image: flikr/trawin

Can you imagine McDonald’s targeting marijuana smokers, touting the Big Mac as a cure for the ‘munchies?’ What if Oprah opened a clinic to distribute medical marijuana in a building that looks and functions like a doctor’s office?

 

As unlikely as these marketing ideas may sound, they’re not far off from reality:

Last week, Jim Hagedorn, the chief executive of lawn care giant Scotts Miracle-Gro, told the Wall Street Journal that his company was interested in reaching out to medical marijuana growers as potential customers.

“I want to target the pot market,” Hagedorn said in the interview. “There’s no good reason we haven’t.”

That same afternoon, former daytime TV staple, Montel Williams, announced that he had opened a brand new Californian medical marijuana dispensary. Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, says the effects of marijuana has helped ease his pain in a way traditional medication couldn’t and hopes his ‘high end’ dispensary can help remove some of the stigma around use of the drug.

So, if celebrity endorsements and corporate backing were any indication, it would appear that a significant portion of the population supports medical marijuana. Or, in the very least, support it as long as they can profit from it.

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