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ALCOHOL
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– VICTORIA

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AOD STATS
Interactive
Data Site

Introduction: Welcome to AODstats, the Victorian alcohol and drug interactive statistics and mapping webpage.
AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria.

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Published 4 December 2017 By Ana Sandoiu  Fact checked by Jasmin Collier

It's a well-known fact that many young people use cannabis, and studies have pointed to a link between the drug and psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia. However, the links between cannabis use and the development of bipolar symptoms over time have been insufficiently studied — until now.

Using regression analysis, the scientists adjusted for gender, alcohol and other drug use, early environmental risk factors — such as childhood adversity or abuse — and depression and psychosis at the age of 18.

The study found that using cannabis at least two or three times per week was a strong predictor for hypomania in early adulthood.

The authors conclude:

"Adolescent cannabis use may be an independent risk factor for future hypomania, and the nature of the association suggests a potential causal link. As such it might be a useful target for indicated prevention of hypomania."

Dr. Marwaha comments on the findings, saying, "Cannabis use in young people is common and associated with psychiatric disorders. However, the prospective link between cannabis use and bipolar disorder symptoms has rarely been investigated."

According to the latest statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 35 percent of 12th graders — who are usually 17–18 years old — said that they used marijuana in the year leading up to the survey, and 6 percent admitted to using it "daily or near-daily."

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By Erin Allday: November 26, 2017 

Just weeks before recreational pot becomes legal in California, San Francisco public health officials have published a report on their best guesses for problems that could arise from widespread marijuana use, including abuse of the drug by young people and unforeseen health risks among adults.

The challenge, authors of the report noted, will be warning new users about the hazards of cannabis consumption — like the possibility of overdosing or driving under the influence — without straying into fearmongering…The report also discusses public health hazards associated with clustering pot dispensaries in certain neighborhoods; already, medical marijuana shops are largely located in lower-income areas with more black, Asian and Latino residents. But in interviews, public health officials said they make no recommendations on the issue and are leaving decisions about where dispensaries should be allowed to policymakers...Drug and public health experts praised the report, but some said it’s not strong enough in warning of possible hazards of regular marijuana consumption, including addiction.

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November 8, 2017

“At this time, surprisingly little is known about the impacts of cannabis on the development of cancer in humans,” said Dr. Callaghan, the study’s lead author. “With Canada and other countries currently experimenting with the decriminalization or legalization of recreational cannabis use, it is critically important to understand the potential harms of this type of substance use.”

The results from the recent study, as well as three prior case-control studies in this area, suggest that cannabis use may facilitate later onset of testicular cancer.

“Our study is the first longitudinal study showing that cannabis use, as measured in late adolescence, is significantly associated with the subsequent development of testicular cancer. My hope is that these findings will help medical professionals, public health officials and cannabis users to more accurately assess the possible risks and benefits of cannabis use.”

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Schizophrenia Bulletin, sbx158

Published: 28 November 2017

Background

Cannabis use in young people is common and associated with psychiatric disorders. However, the prospective link between cannabis use and bipolar disorder symptoms has rarely been investigated. The study hypothesis was that adolescent cannabis use is associated with hypomania in early adulthood via several potential etiological pathways.

Results & Conclusions

Data were available on 3370 participants. Cannabis use at least 2–3 times weekly was associated with later hypomania (OR = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.49–3.28) after adjustment - Adolescent cannabis use may be an independent risk factor for future hypomania, and the nature of the association suggests a potential causal link. Cannabis use mediates the link between childhood abuse and future hypomania. As such it might be a useful target for indicated prevention of hypomania.

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Teens who use a lot of marijuana and alcohol are less likely to have a full-time job when they grow up, or to get a college education or get married, according to a new study by University of Connecticut researchers.

The study of 1,165 young adults from across the U.S. also found that dependence on pot and booze may also have a “more severe effect on young men” than on young women.

This study found that chronic marijuana use in adolescence was negatively associated with achieving important developmental milestones in young adulthood.

— Elizabeth Harari, University of Connecticut researcher

Young women who were dependent on marijuana and alcohol were also less likely to go to college and had a lower standard of living than nondependent women, but were equally likely to be employed full time and to get married as nondependent women.

“This study found that chronic marijuana use in adolescence was negatively associated with achieving important developmental milestones in young adulthood,” Elizabeth Harari, a UConn Health psychiatry resident and author of the study, told UConn Today.

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