Generation Rx – April Edition

Generation Rx is comprised of a group of pharmacy students from the University of Saint Joseph who believe educating the public about prescription and OTC drug abuse/misuse is extremely important.  In this newsletter we hope to share important facts about this issue while simultaneously helping you and the ones you love become more aware and educated about the topic of prescription and OTC drug abuse/misuse.

This edition is about marijuana.

 

Myth: It is harmless

Generation Rx is comprised of a group of pharmacy students from the University of Saint Joseph who believe educating the public about prescription and OTC drug abuse/misuse is extremely important.  In this newsletter we hope to share important facts about this issue while simultaneously helping you and the ones you love become more aware and educated about the topic of prescription and OTC drug abuse/misuse.

This edition is about marijuana.

 

Myth: It is harmless

·         It can cause problems with concentration and thinking

·         Deficits in mathematical skills and verbal expression as well as impairments in memory retrieval processes

·         Lead to increase anxiety, panic attacks, depression

·         Traffic safety

·         Gateway drug!

 

Myth: It is not addictive

·         Some heavy users of marijuana develop withdrawal symptom: Irritability, anxiety, difficulty sleeping

 

Myth: It is not as harmful to your health as tobacco

·         Level of carbon monoxide absorbed with smoking marijuana are 3 to 5 times greater than among tobacco smokers

·         Can cause chronic coughing, wheezing and more frequent acute chest illnesses

 

Myth: It makes you mellow

·         Kids who use marijuana weekly are more likely to report they engage in violent behavior

·         Links have been made between increased marijuana use and the following:

o   Greater likelihood to commit weapons offenses

o   Commission of attempted homicide

o   Reckless endangerment

Myth: If I buy it I am not hurting anyone else

·         Trade of growing and selling marijuana often turns violent when dealers or growers have conflicts.

·         Consequences can hurt families, communities, as well as society in a number of ways including:

Myth: It is used to treat cancer and other diseases

·         Marijuana smoke is crude THC and can send harmful substances into the body

o   Synthetic THC (the active ingredient in Marinol®) is safe and appropriate to use

 

Myth: It is not as popular as MDMA (Ecstasy) or other drugs among teens

·         It is more popular.

o   More than two million (8.2 percent) of kids age 12-17 report past marijuana usage.

§  Less than 1 percent reported use of hallucinogens with only half actually using ecstasy.

 

Myth: My kids wont be exposed to marijuana

·         Easily attainable from a friend can buy from someone in school

·         Seen in the movies, heard about in music they listen to, read about in magazines the flip through. The biggest culprit may be the internet.

 

Myth: There is not much a parent can do to stop their kids from experimenting

·         Stay involved and know what your kids are doing

·         Set limits, rules, and establish clear consequences

·         Make sure to keep the channels of communication open

 

Myth: The government sends otherwise innocent people to prison for casual marijuana usage

·         Many states have downgraded the possession of an ounce or less of pot to anywhere from a misdemeanor offense or a simple civil offense.

·         On the federal level the concern is traffickers, kingpins, and other major drug criminals.

·         A majority of marijuana possession sentences were initially more serious crimes that were reduced through plea agreements.

 

Reference:

National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Office of National Drug Control Policy. Marijuana Myths & Facts: The Truth Behind 10 Popular Misperceptions; Rockville MD: 2012. Available from: https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/pdf/marijuana_myths_facts.pdf