Marijuana Addiction Is Surging, But Experts Are Having Hard Time Convincing People It Even Exists
Treatment centers are seeing an upswing in people seeking help for marijuana dependency. But as the drug gains in popularity and public acceptance, doctors are battling the misconception that pot is not addicting. In other public health news: liver disease and homelessness.
Yes, You Can Become Addicted To Marijuana. And The Problem Is Growing.
Many people are unaware of marijuana addiction. But in the public health and medical communities, it is a well-defined disorder that includes physical withdrawal symptoms, cravings and psychological dependence. Many say it is on the rise, perhaps because of the increasing potency of genetically engineered plants and the use of concentrated products, or because more marijuana users are partaking multiple times a day. ...Although estimates of the number of people who have ever tried marijuana or who use it regularly vary widely from survey to survey, the federal government and the marijuana industry tend to agree that total marijuana use has remained relatively constant over the past decade. Increased use in the past three years has been slight, despite increased commercial availability in states that have legalized it. (Vestal, 6/6)
A Liver Disease You've Never Heard Of Is Putting 12 Million Americans' Lives At Risk
Liver specialists say there’s a form of hepatitis that is sneaking up on about 12 percent of the U.S. population, an estimated 25 million Americans, and they want to urge primary-care providers to send patients for testing earlier in the game. Called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH for short, it does not result from drug use, alcoholism, sexual contact, water contaminants or viruses. Rather this particular liver condition occurs when too much fat is stored in liver cells. (Anderson, 6/7)
The California Health Report:
Who Becomes Homeless? Data Paints A Startling Picture
According to last year’s point-in-time count, only 15 percent of Orange County’s homeless population had been released from jail or prison in the past 12 months. Nine percent of homeless adults have chronic substance abuse—down from 30 percent since 2013—and 12 percent have a serious mental illness—also down in the past five years. County Probation Department officials also told the nonprofit news site Voice of OC in March that only one convicted sex offender was among the 700 homeless people in the Riverbed—and that he would not have been eligible to stay at the proposed shelters. (Kandil, 6/6)