Effect of marijuana on the testis and accessory reproductive organs

Roth crude marijuana extract (CME) and THC produced a decrease in the weight of the reproductive organs of rats when given over a prolonged period of time and over several dosage ranges. The greatest effects were reported for high dosages (15 and 75 mg/kg orally daily for 77 days). Fujimoto et al. () showed significant reduction in ventral prostate, seminal vesicles, and epididymal weight, which was correlated with a decrease in plasma testosterone levels and was accompanied by a reduced number of sperm in the fluids of the epididymus. Treatment of the rats for only 5 days produced none of these changes. The effects of the cannabinoids appeared to be reversible, because there was a return to control levels of organ weights 30 days after cessation of drug treatment. Similarly, Dixit and Lohiya () report that cannabis extract produced a marked reduction in the weights of seminal vesicles, ventral prostate, epididymus, and preputial glands of castrated adult male mice. Further, if cannabis extract was administered in combination with testosterone propionate, the growth stimulation produced by testosterone propionate alone was inhibited, indicating that cannabis extract may be antiandrogenic. However, there was no indication Read more […]

The global regulation of opiates: the role played by the United States

In the late 20th century there is a global system in place regulating all trade in opiates. It is worth investigating why the regulatory regimes did not remain national in scope, such as, for instance, the formal aspects of alcohol control. What are the roots of the current global regulatory regime for opiates? The national protest movements in Britain and the Netherlands that have been described above, whatever part they may have played in shaping public opinion, were certainly not decisive in bringing about the decline and eventual abolition of the colonial opium trade. The crucial factor was the international political climate, which, around the turn of the century, turned resolutely against this particular brand of commercialism. The international furore about the opium trade that arose at this time was part and parcel of a general process of decolonization in the region that would unfold completely later in the 20th century, a process that would be directed by the United States, that well knew what it meant to be a colony. As an incipient world power, the US took the lead in suppressing the international trade in opium, which conflicted with the interests of colonial powers past their prime such as Britain Read more […]

Opioid Use by Adolescents

Screening for alcohol abuse and illicit drug use needs to be a standard procedure in any practice that cares for adolescents and young adults. Recent national surveys indicate that prescription pain relievers have replaced marijuana as the most common entry drugs for adolescents beginning to experiment with drugs. In this chapter, we review appropriate screening tools and management approaches for use in this population. We cover standard treatment options with a focus on the treatment of adolescents dependent on heroin or opioid pharmaceuticals and the promising role of buprenorphine in the treatment of this high-risk population. A case is presented at the end of this chapter, including related questions for additional consideration. Epidemiology Opioid abuse among adolescents is a growing problem in the United States. According to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future study, use of “narcotics other than heroin” has doubled among high school students since the year 2000, with marked increases in the use of long-acting oxycodone tablets and hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination tablets. In 2007, the annual prevalence for oxycodone and hydrocodone use reached its highest level Read more […]

Anxiety Conditions and Depersonalisation Syndrome

Cannabis intoxication can induce anxiety attacks of varying strength. Such attacks of panic anxiety are probably a relatively frequent side-effect; they are believed to be more common in occasional smokers or smokers who ingest a larger amount of THC than they are used to. Further, the anxiety attack may signal the beginning of a protracted panic-anxiety syndrome which does not differ from panic-anxiety illness that begins in some other way. Cannabis smoking can also provoke a relapse into panic-anxiety syndrome. On occasion, experiences of unreality, which are a common feature of cannabis intoxication, may become so strong that they dominate the experience of intoxication. These anxiety-like “depersonalisation syndromes” generally abate rapidly after intoxication. There are, however, a number of published case studies where the feelings of unreality have persisted over a very long period after being provoked; in some cases, the disorder has had an invalidating effect and has been very difficult to treat. In a survey of 117 patients with chronic/long-lived depersonalisation syndrome, cannabis was found to be the third most frequent provoking factor. Anxiety Conditions One of the contradictory characteristics Read more […]

Cannabis Smoking and Schizophrenia

It is well known among clinicians that cannabis smoking interacts with manifest schizophrenia: cannabis smokers experience more relapses (more frequent hospitalisation), their symptoms are more dramatic, and they are less susceptible to the effects of neuroleptic medication. It is also considered a well-established fact that intensive cannabis smoking can be the precipitating (in the sense of activating) factor when particularly sensitive individuals fall ill for the first time. In addition to this, some studies suggest that the onset of cannabis-precipitated schizophrenia occurs, on average, at a younger age (four years earlier, according to some calculations) than spontaneous onset of schizophrenia. Can cannabis cause schizophrenia, i.e. provoke schizophrenia in individuals who would not otherwise have developed the illness? There is a growing body of indications in support of the claim that the answer to this question is “yes”. The largest study in this field is the Swedish one of military conscripts. Until recently, no other study had repeated it in order to contribute to corroborating its conclusions in a convincing way. However, given van Os’s (2002) thorough study of 5,000 randomly chosen Dutch people Read more […]

Cannabis and Chronic Non-Schizophrenic Psychoses

On the basis of their studies, some researchers have maintained that cannabis smoking can also give rise to longer-lived psychoses, sometimes referred to as “cannabis psychoses”. The conditions in question have been psychoses whose clinical picture has differed in certain respects from that of schizophrenia. Still, despite the fact that studies have been carried out which support this position, the overall impression is that there is not sufficient evidence to support the existence of this alleged side-effect of cannabis smoking. In other words: what appears to be a separate type of functional psychosis is probably schizophrenia. A number of scientific studies have been carried out to answer the question of whether cannabis smoking can provoke long-lived, possibly chronic, psychoses. This, then, does not refer to a toxic psychosis which is maintained by means of continued cannabis smoking, but rather to psychotic conditions which remain after the toxic effect has ceased, often for a long period of time unless the condition is stopped through successful treatment. Simplifying slightly, it can be said that these reports and the discussions that they have given rise to have dealt with two different questions: a) Read more […]

The International Challenge of Drug Abuse: The Mexican Experience

The extreme complexity of drug addiction and the implacable organization of drug traffic are today, more than ever, a challenge that demands solidary action from all the nations of the Earth. Few other issues are so revealing of the close interrelationship between countries and of the extent to which anything one of them achieves or fails to achieve has a bearing on the others. This paper undertakes the task of briefly weighing past actions, analyzing the present situation, and predicting future trends in the Mexican struggle against drug addiction and drug traffic, in terms both of internal measures and international collaboration actions. International Cooperation Participation in international meetings Long before the problem reached large proportions internally, Mexico chose the path of active participation in those international forums which have stated the need for energetic action against the traffic in drugs of abuse, Mexico first took part in the 1912 The Hague Convention which established cooperation on narcotic control as a matter of International Law. Our country thereafter participated in the 1925, 1931 and 1936 Conferences held in Geneva. On February 16, 1946, the United Nations Economic and Social Read more […]

Multiple Drug Use

In this post attention is focused on multiple drug use or the reported use of at least two of the drug classes examined in this study. This is an initial report, and the question whether use of one drug leads to or “causes” use of another drug is not addressed, but the data can be used to establish the temporal order of usage. Use of pairs of drugs One tactic used by previous researchers to study multiple drug use is to examine all of the possible combinations of drug classes, note how many cases are observed for each combination and determine if some combinations are observed more frequently than would be expected by chance. As an example, one possible pattern is that none of the nine drug classes were used. It should be noted that in this and later analyses in this chapter, quasi-medical use of stimulants, sedatives and opiates was treated as no use of the drugs. In addition, there are nine different patterns in which one, and only one, drug class was used. If one adds the patterns in which two, three or more of the nine classes were used, the total number of possible patterns is 512. Only 86 of the 512 patterns actually emerged. This clearly established that it is not a matter of chance which drugs are found together Read more […]

A Review of Drug Abuse Data Bases

This chapter will identify and describe briefly data sources which may be used to project nonmedical drug use among young adults in future years. A wide variety of sources have potential utility in this regard. They range from individual studies conducted by local school districts or States to major national surveys involving thousands of respondents. Because of the proliferation of research on drug use in recent years, it was necessary to place some limitations on the data to be presented here. First, it was decided that since a complete review was conducted in 1974 (), it was unnecessary to duplicate those efforts. () The studies reviewed here are more recent and, with the exception of the earliest National Surveys, were not covered in the 1974 review. Second, this review is limited to those data bases which are national in scope. State and local surveys have severe limitations for purposes of making national projections of nonmedical drug use. For example: 1. The definitions used for nonmedical use often vary from one local or State survey to another. 2. Various local and State surveys are conducted in different time periods, so that it is often difficult to piece together a national profile. 3. The Read more […]

A Review of Drug Abuse Data Bases: Treatment-Oriented Data Systems

Six treatment-oriented data systems were studied: 1. Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Purpose. Project DAWN is a Federal program jointly funded by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). DAWN has been in existence since 1972 and was established to monitor the consequences of drug abuse using two indicators, emergency room visits and deaths. Respondents and Sampling. DAWN collects its information through episode reports provided by selected hospital emergency rooms, crisis centers, and medical examiners. In order to be eligible, emergency rooms must: Be open 24 hours per day; Be located in non-Federal short-term general hospitals (specialty hospitals, hospital units of institutions, and pediatric hospitals are excluded); and Have at least 1,000 patient visits to the emergency room per year. At the end of 1978, over 900 facilities were supplying data to the program. Reporting facilities are concentrated in 24 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA’S) which are not randomly selected but are chosen to account for approximately 30 percent of the population of the U.S. in geographically diverse locations. Drugs Investigated. DAWN distinguishes Read more […]