Marijuana use among minority youths living in public housing developments.
Youths residing in public housing developments appear to be at markedly heightened risk for drug use because of their constant exposure to violence, poverty, and drug-related activity. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a model of marijuana etiology with adolescents (N = 624) residing in public housing. African-American and Hispanic seventh graders completed questionnaires about their marijuana use, social influences to smoke marijuana, and sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics. Results indicated that social influences, such as friends' marijuana use and perceived ease of availability of marijuana, significantly predicted both occasional and future use of marijuana. Individual characteristics such as antimarijuana attitudes and drug refusal skills also predicted marijuana use. The findings imply that effective prevention approaches that target urban youths residing in public housing developments should provide them with an awareness of social influences to use marijuana, correct misperceptions about the prevalence of marijuana smoking, and train adolescents in relevant psychosocial skills. (+info)
School and community influences on adolescent alcohol and drug use.
Social environment risk factors present in schools and communities have not been thoroughly investigated. This study cross-sectionally examined the social environments of schools and communities, and their influence on adolescent alcohol and drug use. Survey responses of eighth grade students (N = 2309), a random half of their parents (n = 943), community leaders (n = 118), school principals (n = 30), school counselors (n = 30) and chemical health providers (n = 14) were pooled to create indices of social environmental norms, role models, social support and opportunities for non-use of alcohol. Each index was examined for its association with prevalences from 30 schools of alcohol use onset, last-month alcohol use, heavy alcohol use and last-year marijuana use in univariate and stepwise regression analyses. Increases in the levels of norms, role models and opportunities for non-use predicted decreases in alcohol use prevalences. The explanatory power of the examined constructs in multivariate analyses was acceptably high (R2: 38-53%). These findings further support the notion that community-wide efforts need to be launched to affect changes in the normative, role model and opportunity structures of adolescents' social environments in order to curb adolescent alcohol and drug use. (+info)
Marijuana use and increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. In some subcultures, it is widely perceived to be harmless. Although the carcinogenic properties of marijuana smoke are similar to those of tobacco, no epidemiological studies of the relationship between marijuana use and head and neck cancer have been published. The relationship between marijuana use and head and neck cancer was investigated by a case-control study of 173 previously untreated cases with pathologically confirmed diagnoses of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and 176 cancer-free controls at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center between 1992 and 1994. Epidemiological data were collected by using a structured questionnaire, which included history of tobacco smoking, alcohol use, and marijuana use. The associations between marijuana use and head and neck cancer were analyzed by Mantel-Haenszel methods and logistic regression models. Controlling for age, sex, race, education, alcohol consumption, pack-years of cigarette smoking, and passive smoking, the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck was increased with marijuana use [odds ratio (OR) comparing ever with never users, 2.6; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1-6.6]. Dose-response relationships were observed for frequency of marijuana use/day (P for trend <0.05) and years of marijuana use (P for trend <0.05). These associations were stronger for subjects who were 55 years of age and younger (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.0-9.7). Possible interaction effects of marijuana use were observed with cigarette smoking, mutagen sensitivity, and to a lesser extent, alcohol use. Our results suggest that marijuana use may increase the risk of head and neck cancer with a strong dose-response pattern. Our analysis indicated that marijuana use may interact with mutagen sensitivity and other risk factors to increase the risk of head and neck cancer. The results need to be interpreted with some caution in drawing causal inferences because of certain methodological limitations, especially with regard to interactions. (+info)
The dynamics of alcohol and marijuana initiation: patterns and predictors of first use in adolescence.
OBJECTIVES: This study, guided by the social development model, examined the dynamic patterns and predictors of alcohol and marijuana use onset. METHODS: Survival analysis and complementary log-log regression were used to model hazard rates and etiology of initiation with time-varying covariates. The sample was derived from a longitudinal study of 808 youth interviewed annually from 10 to 16 years of age and at 18 years of age. RESULTS: Alcohol initiation rose steeply up to the age of 13 years and then increased more gradually; most participants had initiated by 13 years of age. Marijuana initiation showed a different pattern, with more participants initiating after the age of 13 years. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that: (1) the risk of initiation spans the entire course of adolescent development; (2) young people exposed to others who use substances are at higher risk for early initiation; (3) proactive parents can help delay initiation; and (4) clear family standards and proactive family management are important in delaying alcohol and marijuana use, regardless of how closely bonded a child is to his or her mother. (+info)
Large lung bullae in marijuana smokers.
The case histories are presented of four men with multiple large upper zone lung bullae but otherwise relatively preserved lung parenchyma. Each had a history of significant exposure to marijuana. In three of the four cases the tobacco smoking load had been relatively small, suggesting a possible causal role for marijuana in the pathogenesis of this unusual pattern of bullous emphysema. (+info)
Detection of cannabis in oral fluid (saliva) and forehead wipes (sweat) from impaired drivers.
Saliva and sweat have been presented as two alternative matrices for the establishment of drug abuse. The noninvasive collection of a saliva or sweat sample, which is relatively easy to perform and can be achieved under close supervision, is one of the most important benefits in a driving-under-the-influence situation. Moreover, the presence of certain analytes in saliva is a better indication of recent use than when the drug is detected in urine, so there is a higher probability that the subject is experiencing pharmacological effects at the time of sampling. We developed an original procedure using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to test for delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, in oral fluid and forehead wipes, collected with Sarstedt Salivettes and cosmetic pads, respectively. Blood, urine, oral fluid, and forehead wipes were simultaneously collected from 198 injured drivers admitted to an Emergency Hospital in Strasbourg, France. Of the 22 subjects positive for 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THCCOOH) in urine, 14 and 16 were positive for THC in oral fluid (1 to 103 ng/Salivette) and forehead wipe (4 to 152 ng/pad), respectively. 11-Hydroxy-THC and THCCOOH were not detected in these body fluids. Two main limitations of saliva and sweat are apparent: the amount of matrix collected is smaller when compared to urine, and the levels of drugs are higher in urine than in saliva and sweat. A current limitation in the use of these specimens for roadside testing is the absence of a suitable immunoassay that detects the parent compound in sufficiently low concentrations. (+info)
Outcome after in-patient detoxification for alcohol dependence: a naturalistic comparison of 7 versus 28 days stay.
Research has tended to show that the gains of residential rehabilitation are short-term and cost-inefficient. This study compares the outcomes of two samples, one group staying at a non-statutory sector alcohol detoxification unit for < or =7 days (short stay: SS) with a second group also admitted for detoxification but who stayed at the Unit for a further 8-21 days (long stay: LS). Allocation was not at random: the longer stay was either at the request of the client, referring or treatment agency itself and then had to be approved by an external funding agency. Sixty-four DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) alcohol-dependent subjects were studied. Baseline data included socio-demographic information, illicit drug use during the past 12 months, severity of alcohol dependence, alcohol problems, physical/psychological symptoms, depression and indices of quality of life. At baseline, LS subjects reported more recreational cannabis use than SS subjects. Sixty-two (97%) subjects were re-interviewed 12 weeks after baseline assessment. During follow-up, equal proportions of each group relapsed (> or =21 units/7 day period fo males; > or =14 units/7day period for females). There was a trend for SS clients to have consumed less alcohol in total than the LS clients. The trend was towards improvement in the study measurements for the SS group, though none of the changes was significant. In the LS group, all variables tended towards a deterioration in health status. The longer stay did not appear to confer any extra benefit to the LS group. Cannabis use and illicit drug use at baseline, while commoner in the LS group, did not predict drinking or social adjustment in the follow-up period in this sample and thus could not be used to explain the lack of a better outcome in the LS group. (+info)
Evaluating alternative cannabis regimes.
BACKGROUND: Cannabis policy continues to be controversial in North America, Europe and Australia. AIMS: To inform this debate, we examine alternative legal regimes for controlling cannabis availability and use. METHOD: We review evidence on the effects of cannabis depenalisation in the USA, Australia and The Netherlands. We update and extend our previous (MacCoun & Reuter, 1997) empirical comparison of cannabis prevalence statistics in the USA, The Netherlands and other European nations. RESULTS: The available evidence indicates that depenalisation of the possession of small quantities of cannabis does not increase cannabis prevalence. The Dutch experience suggests that commercial promotion and sales may significantly increase cannabis prevalence. CONCLUSIONS: Alternatives to an aggressively enforced cannabis prohibition are feasible and merit serious consideration. A model of depenalised possession and personal cultivation has many of the advantages of outright legalisation with few of its risks. (+info)