Kathy Donaghy June 10 2018
Any debate around the legalisation of cannabis must take into account the harm it causes, one of the country's leading psychiatrists has warned.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Matthew Sadlier is calling for a public health campaign to educate people about the dangers of cannabis use.
As attitudes to cannabis use become more relaxed and tolerance increases in society in general, Dr Sadlier says many young people's lives are being wrecked by habitual use of the drug - and that this side of the story is not being heard.
In his work as a general adult psychiatrist in north Dublin over the last five years, he says he could comfortably say that a third of all his patients had been referred because of cannabis.
"There are people out there who have developed long-term psychotic illnesses from smoking cannabis. If they'd never smoked it, they would never have developed it. We know that acute usage causes neurological conditions. The question is does it have a long-term effect?
"We know that the younger you start smoking it, the more likely it is to have a lasting, damaging effect. What gets my blood boiling is that it's also carcinogenic. We have spent 40 years getting cigarette smoking down, but smoking cannabis has the same negative effects as cigarette smoking," says Dr Sadlier.
"I think there has to be a public health campaign because the information out there for young people is very confused. We have people speaking up for the medicinal effects. Street cannabis is a very different thing and it's very dangerous," he says.
"I have seen families ripped apart by cannabis use. I've seen people with good futures ahead of them fall into apathy due to chronic cannabis use. People need to be educated about this. In my opinion, it's much more dangerous than alcohol," says Dr Sadlier.
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Cannabidiol is a chemical that occurs in hemp plants and marijuana. It is possible that cannabidiol oil could help to treat the symptoms of menopause. Researchers have looked at other herbal and natural remedies as treatment options but have not yet proved that any of them are consistently effective…At present, there is very little reliable evidence to suggest that CBD oil can treat the symptoms of menopause. Researchers have only just started to understand how the endocannabinoid system works and the role it may play in different health conditions.
CHRISTOPHER RUGABER, Associated Press May 2, 2018
WASHINGTON (AP) — FPI Management, a property company in California, wants to hire dozens of people. Factories from New Hampshire to Michigan need workers. Hotels in Las Vegas are desperate to fill jobs.
Those employers and many others are quietly taking what once would have been a radical step: They're dropping marijuana from the drug tests they require of prospective employees. Marijuana testing — a fixture at large American employers for at least 30 years — excludes too many potential workers, experts say, at a time when filling jobs is more challenging than it's been in nearly two decades.
"It has come out of nowhere," said Michael Clarkson, head of the drug testing practice at Ogletree Deakins, a law firm. "I have heard from lots of clients things like, 'I can't staff the third shift and test for marijuana.'"
Though still in its early stages, the shift away from marijuana testing appears likely to accelerate. More states are legalizing cannabis for recreational use; Michigan could become the 10th state to do so in November. Missouri appears on track to become the 30th state to allow medical pot use.
And medical marijuana users in Massachusetts , Connecticut and Rhode Island have won lawsuits in the past year against companies that rescinded job offers or fired workers because of positive tests for cannabis. Before last year, courts had always ruled in favour of employers.
The Trump administration also may be softening its resistance to legal marijuana. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta suggested at a congressional hearing last month that employers should take a "step back" on drug testing.
"We have all these Americans that are looking to work," Acosta said. "Are we aligning our ... drug testing policies with what's right for the workforce?"
There is no definitive data on how many companies conduct drug tests, though the Society for Human Resource Management found in a survey that 57 percent do so. Nor is there any recent data on how many have dropped marijuana from mandatory drug testing.
But interviews with hiring executives, employment lawyers and agencies that help employers fill jobs indicate that dropping marijuana testing is among the steps more companies are taking to expand their pool of applicants to fill a near-record level of openings.
Businesses are hiring more people without high school diplomas, for example, to the point where the unemployment rate for non-high school graduates has sunk more than a full percentage point in the past year to 5.5 percent. That's the steepest such drop for any educational group over that time. On Friday, the government is expected to report another robust jobs report for April.
Excluding marijuana from testing marks the first major shift in workplace drug policies since employers began regularly screening applicants in the late 1980s. They did so after a federal law required that government contractors maintain drug-free workplaces. Many private businesses adopted their own mandatory drug testing of applicants.
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By Lynn Allison - 16 Mar 2018
A major new study claims that smoking marijuana dramatically increases a person’s risk of suffering a heart attack and other cardiovascular events. The study authors, along with top cardiologists across the country, are calling for more research into the use of medicinal and recreational cannabis in light of the startling new evidence.
Researchers found that over a 5-year period, regular users as young as in their early 30s were 4.6 times more likely to have a cardiac-related illness than those who did not smoke the drug.
Scientists from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio presented their findings at the recent American College of Cardiology (ACC) conference held in Washington, D.C.
While most medical concerns over the use of cannabis have been linked to mental disorders and depression, researchers also discovered a link between marijuana use and increased risk of stroke and heart failure.
“Even when we corrected for known risk factors, we still found a higher rate of both stroke and heart failure in those patients using the drug,” says Dr. Aditi Kalla, a cardiologist at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. “That leads us to believe that there is something else going on besides just obesity and or diet-related cardiovascular side effects.”
Modern mums were supposed to have it all, but the reality is far from the dream. Today the Sunday Herald Sun launches a three-part series highlighting what life is really like for too many hard-working mothers. This week we look at the increasing role of alcohol in their lives
STRESSED middle-aged women now rank as one of the most at-risk groups of drinkers amid warnings of a looming health crisis.
Alcohol-related hospital admissions for women increased 55 per cent state-wide in the decade to the end of 2015, from 8095 to 12,534.
A Sunday Herald Sun investigation has highlighted the private pressures women face as they juggle motherhood with working, ageing parents and domestic duties.
It has sparked calls for more support and better understanding of a “sandwich generation” of women as it’s revealed: WOMEN’S admissions to The Alfred hospital for alcohol treatment are approaching men’s for the first time; IN hotspot Bayside, the rate of women admitted to hospital for alcohol-related harms in 2014-15 exceeded that for men; ALCOHOL-RELATED hospitalisations for women rose sharply in Cardinia (up 395 per cent), Melton (up 233 per cent), South Gippsland (up 185 per cent), Frankston (up 149 per cent), Wyndham (up 148 per cent), Casey (up 139 per cent), Yarra Ranges (up 125 per cent), Bayside (125 per cent) and Geelong (up 109 per cent) in the decade to 2014-15 ; ONE sobriety support group reported around 70 per cent of those seeking help were women; and ABOUT 20 per cent of Victorian women report high levels of psychological distress.
Mounting stress and life’s pressures are being blamed for more women turning to alcohol.
AMA president Dr Michael Gannon said midlife women were now drinking “more than Gen Ys, Millennials and more than their parents (did)”. “The blokey machismo of 15 beers on a Friday night has been overcome and replaced by a normalisation of overconsumption of white wine by females,” he said.
Melbourne GP Grant Blashki said his clinic saw women battling to fulfil multiple roles. “A lot of women who come to the clinic and seem overwhelmed with juggling multiple roles in career and home, and often multi-generational responsibilities to kids, parents and their partner,’’ Dr Blashki said.
“People say, ‘I really can’t sleep, so I have a few drinks. I really can’t relax, but I find if I have a few drinks it turns my mind off.”
VicHealth’s Maya Rivis said a link had been found between alcohol consumption and women’s psychological distress.
“About 20 per cent of Victorian women report having high levels of psychological distress, many who suffer from depression or anxiety may drink to address those symptoms,” she said. “Women still do the bulk of the domestic work, the stress that comes with trying to juggle full-time work with domestic chores, and children — who are very active today so mums are juggling that with work and chores — means there’s very little time to recover. The more you drink and the more often you’re exceeding half a bottle, you’re putting yourself at risk.”
The Alfred hospital drug and alcohol physician Dr Benny Monheit saw more middle-aged women needing support for alcohol use. For complete article May 27 issue of The Herald Sun Digital Edition. WENDY TUOHY