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Forums > Social Discussion > Bad news for cannabis smokers

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4363075.stm
br>
frown

What are your opinions on what has been done?


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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:Written by: Bram

How about actually being a bit of a hardcore stoner for abit and then talk to me



A contradiction in terms, surely? ubblol

*remembers fondly an earlier comment about usage and bias...*

Written by: The Tea Fairy

With ganja, the 'toxins' that are harmful are in the smoke. The plant itself, when not set alight and inhaled, I would imagine to be no more toxic than, say, a leaf of cabbage. THC is not really toxic in itself, as far as i'm aware it's all the other chemicals in the smoke.




When ganja is eaten, it's processed through the liver,making the THC more potent and longer lasting than it would be through smoking.

Is "loopy" not a bad enough effect of overdose?


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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_khan_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

_khan_

old hand
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Total posts: 768
Posted:when prescribed, it can come in many forms. including the standard buds (which here in california are vaporized rather than smoked). the vaporizer, for those of you who may not know about these devices, consists of a heating element (ceramic, covered with glass) plus another glass "bowl" connected to a tube. it looks kind of like a hookah-tube. the plant matter goes into the bowl, which is held up to the heating element. the element heats the plant matter enough to vaporize the thc without burning anything. what is inhaled then, is thc vapor, and it is not as harmful as smoking it would be since nothing is actually being burned. it feels more like it feels when it's been ingested.

a friend of mine who has a prescription (to combat wasting syndrome due to HIV/AIDS) also has gotten lozenges and a pill form called "marinol".

frankly, i think if someone has a psychotic break, they were heading down that road anyway. the marijuana may have exacerbated a condition already there, but to say it "caused" the psychosis is really, based on personal experience, a load of anti-drug propaganda. my partner is a psychoanalyst who specializes in working with psychotic adults (and some teenagers) and scoffs at the idea that smoking pot causes psychosis. hallucinogens or amphetamines are another story, but marijuana, no. he can be much more articulate about his reasoning than i can, however.


taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: blueboy


frankly, i think if someone has a psychotic break, they were heading down that road anyway. the marijuana may have exacerbated a condition already there, but to say it "caused" the psychosis is really, based on personal experience, a load of anti-drug propaganda. my partner is a psychoanalyst who specializes in working with psychotic adults (and some teenagers) and scoffs at the idea that smoking pot causes psychosis. hallucinogens or amphetamines are another story, but marijuana, no. he can be much more articulate about his reasoning than i can, however.



cause vs. exacerbation.

Does it necessarily matter? If someones got an underlying tendency that, without a weed habit, wouldn't mainfest, but, with a weed habit, will- isn't it fair to say that they're far better off not smoking it?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Bumfro


Bumfro

Its a bum with an afro...
Location: Newcastle NSW

Total posts: 223
Posted:yeh, i ate a big red candle

Racism is a weapon of mass destruction

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_khan_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

_khan_

old hand
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Total posts: 768
Posted:No, perhaps it doesn't necessarily matter. As for being better off not smoking it -- perhaps, but that doesn't mean that the break wouldn't have happened even without the weed as many psychotic episodes are associated with extended periods of stress or a traumatic event. And when drugs are involved, it tends to be in the LSD or methamphetamine realm. And, so much of it depends on other factors in an individual's life.

I'm not claiming to know I'm right, given my layman's knowledge, but the understanding I've gleaned from conversations with mental health professionals and my own personal experience leads me to believe that smoking weed would hardly be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back in the case of a psychotic event.


taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Well Tea Fairy, at least I've done some research tongue



I dunno about toxins, but too much of anything can be poisonous, even water. And you can get a lot more thc into your system if you ingest, as in cookies. And people have certainly ODd on cookies.



First there were some rather naive Mormons who ate too many cookies while doing the rounds. They ended up off their tree and were hospitalised. The culprits were severely punished. Then there are my experiences from an alternative lifestyle festival in Aust, where people were hospitalised because they ignored advice and ate two many cookies. Ive also read about similar incidents occurring at British festivals. And there was the teacher who baked a cake Wot dont you believe?



blueboy, too much pot can cause hallucinogens ubbloco





wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I talked with a buddy of mine who is quite the expert in this field and he told me that an "overdose" brought on by eating too much cooked weed isn't fatal,,but it will leave you maybe wishing you were dead.

He's saying that the toxic dose of cannabis, in humans , has yet to be determined but it's not unconceivable that someone stupid enough to cook up and eat something like an ounce of weed may find themselves seeking medical attention Call it a case of too much of a good thing


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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:People have died from excited delerium from eating pot? Who? What case? I have never heard of anything along these lines.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever, EVER died from marijuana. Now marijuana triggering a psychotic episode because the person has way overdone it I could understand. There are cases of people actually dying from not being able to stop laughing (From the book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat), so I could see the psychosis argument having at least SOME basis...

But saying that marijuana causes death, in any instance, seems like complete rubbish propoghanda. And actually, the lethal dosage of THC was in fact studied... I believe it came out to something so rediculously impossible that it basically shot the idea that pot could ever be a lethal drug in the head. Something like having to smoke a few hundred pounds in a few minutes. Again, taking this from somewhere in the Emperor, cited sources available therin, and from Jack Herar's site.

There is a VERY important difference between direct cause and contributing factors. That being, one means "If I smoke pot, THEN I will go psychotic" and the other meaning "if I smoke pot, AND x AND y AND z, then I MIGHT develop psychosis". That is a huge difference. Not to mention the possibility that people who are prone to psychosis for one reason or another (preexisting personality disorder, etc.) are generally much more prone to alcohol or drug abuse. Not that these CAUSE their problems, but are contributing factors. If your just going to point at contributing factors (which are really just statistical correlations were talking about... and statistics are definitely prone to saying whatever someone wants them to), we can point at any number of things that a person does that contribute to their development of psychosis, that really DONT but are correlated. For instance, lets say all schitzophrenics drove cars at one time... then driving cars causes psychosis! See, correlation doesn't say anything like that, it just points out a coincidental fact. As I already pointed out for this study before, the "facts" aren't even that strongly supported. Look at the percentages again in the actual study. "Statistical significance" is a tricky thing.

What you are all calling an "overdose" is not really and overdose. Its just a negetive reaction to the effects. It would be like someone taking cold medecine and getting wigged out by the way it effected his breathing and running to the doctor.

Im not saying there aren't drug related psychosis'... In fact there is a new entry in the DSM IV dealing specifically with this. It seems that the authors of the article that put it forth (Ill go searching for it on PsychINFO in a bit) estimate that a good amount of "schitzophrenic" cases involving previous heavy drug use are actually this drug psychosis... BUT it isn't what you think. What causes the psychosis is not the physical effects of the drugs. Rather it is the paranoia of worrying all the time about being caught and thrown in jail, about being looked down on in society for using, etc. IE it is the mental effects of your "drug wars" that is driving these people to psychosis, not the drugs.

The general feeling Im getting from this discussion is that everyone thinks that drugs are changing something in these peoples heads to make them sick. Do any of you realize that all psychology is just correlational study and statistics? Have you ever seen that commercials for anti-depressent drugs, with the little drawn frowny face and such, and it says "Though the cause of X isn't known, it might be because of this so eat this pill"? That pretty much sums up psychology in a nutshell. When we say "This person is schitzophrenic" we are going to the DSM IV (Our diagnostic manual), and trying to fit this person into a disease, not trying to see if they are healthy. Its almost as if in the eyes of psychology, we're all at least a little bit crazy. Now of course the higher schedule disorders, such as schitzophrenia and such are a bit more obvious, but...

For an example: There was a guy (Milgrum I think?), who a lot of psychologists hate because he basically showed how silly our diagnostic methods were, who got together several psych teachers and told them to go to different psych hospitals and try and get admitted. Every single one of them was. For saying that they heard someone say "thud" once in a while. That was all. And then they immediatly said it stopped after being admitted. Some of them were held as long as six months (admitedly, most were let go after a few weeks). Now this was a long time ago, around the DSM II I think, but you know what happens NOW if you try and repeat it? The doctor will say "That's weird, eat this pill for a while and see if it does anything". Pharmachology has become our answer to everything, which I think is absolutly rediculous.

Anyway, what I'm getting at here is that while your trying to point at drugs and say "See, these schitzophrenics took drugs, so drugs caused it!" but that just isn't so. Schitzophrenia effects something like 1-2% of the population I believe. I'm willing to bet that the prevalence rate of psychosis in the general population isn't that much different than the prevalence rate in the drug user population. These studies just try and lay blame on something that society has already tried to demonize because they aren't really educated about it. Abuse of ANYTHING will be a contributing factor to a psychosis. USE is not ABUSE, first of all, and this study definitely did not make those kinds of distinctions.

While there are certainly pit falls to beware of, they are rarely any deeper than the ones involved with anything else we do. That is NO reason for them to be illegal. Didn't the drug use rates in some of the countries that have decriminalized it and regulated it actually FALLEN since that? Forgive me, its been a long time since Ive had to argue these kinds of things. When government starts telling us what we can and cant do with our own bodies, it has overstepped its limits severely. Warn us, fine, thats cool. But I enjoy my freedom.


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:i8beefy2, personally I think there are a lot of self-medicating people out there, but enough folk law for today.

ok. i dont think they actually do lethal dose experiments on humans. If you don't think cough medications are dangerous either? Then I think you should go straight to the valts or sumthing, and have a good read before you make any more "outrageous" statements or blow a gasket. Ditto on the "home-grown" DIY psychology.

meditate


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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quiet


quiet

analytic
Location: bristol

Total posts: 503
Posted:'Do any of you realize that all psychology is just correlational study and statistics?'

No, no, no, no, no. Have you ever studied it?

You're right to point out that there is a difference between cause and correlation. But the key point is that smoking pot *is* linked to development of psychoses. I grant you, it's not easy to control for the various confounding factors; but the studies do try to do so. If a study showed that there was a correlation between smoking cigarettes and getting cancer, would you just say 'well, that's just statistics, and statistics lie'?

'What causes the psychosis is not the physical effects of the drugs. Rather it is the paranoia of worrying all the time about being caught and thrown in jail, about being looked down on in society for using, etc.'

That claim is a) strong and b) ridiculous. Psychosis is often a matter of brain chemistry; that's why antipsychotic drugs work. You're not honestly suggesting that people develop paranoid schizophrenia because they're worried about being caught?

'I'm willing to bet that the prevalence rate of psychosis in the general population isn't that much different than the prevalence rate in the drug user population.'

Really? Why do you think that? Especially since you earlier suggested that there was a correlation, but not a causal one. The whole point of this thread was that there *is* such a correlation, and there is good reason to think that this correlation is a causal one.

You also don't seem to realise that contributing factors are themselves also causal. For instance, smoking cigarettes doesn't guarantee that you'll die of cancer (in fact, it's 50/50 as to whether you die from a smoking-related illness or not). Does that mean that cigarettes don't cause cancer?

The studies didn't distinguish between use and abuse because that wasn't what they were investigating. The point is that there seems to be a connection between drug *use* [even moderate, sensible drug use] and mental illness.

'While there are certainly pit falls to beware of, they are rarely any deeper than the ones involved with anything else we do.'

Where's your evidence? You think that drugs are no more dangerous than a cheese sandwich? Come on . . .

I'm not going to get stuck into the issue of government regulation of dangerous activities. Even if I allow that 'what we can and cant do with our own bodies' is our business, and not the government's, then it still seems reasonable to suppose that the government can regulate *trade*. In other words, legitimately ban the sale of dangerous substances. For instance, it's illegal to sell home-distilled booze. Why? Because homegrown stills produce unacceptably high levels of methanol, and that's poisonous. Just a thought.

Summary:

1. Do some research, please.
2. Contributing factors ARE causes, and ARE worth worrying about.
3. Drugs can, and do, change your brain chemistry.
4. Some severe psychological disorders are largely a matter of brain chemistry.

Argh. Apologies if I come across as terse, but one thing that *really* winds me up is people dismissing scientific research without having a clue what they're talking about. It's like people who say 'evolution is just a theory'. No, it isn't just a theory; it's such a well-evidenced theory that only a complete moron would deny it.

E


ture na sig

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tumtum


tumtum

member
Location: space

Total posts: 33
Posted:Everything in moderation. Two asprin will take a headach away, 200 asprin will kill you ( Science FACT). We take in so many poisons everyday in everything that we do. Soap, food, hairspray, biting nails, even stepping out for some 'fresh air' in the city introduces so many new toxins into your system, all of which could potentially alter your body for the rest of your life and even kill you. All I know is that if I think about the nicest people I know, theyre all stoners.This does not neccisarily mean that all stoners are nice people, however. Each to their own. As I said, everything in moderation.

Im hungry!!!

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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague

Total posts: 1841
Posted:Oh. my people to be fre, to be free. Do not use bad drugs.

light :R


POI THEO(R)IST

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quiet


quiet

analytic
Location: bristol

Total posts: 503
Posted:damn straight. stick to the good ones.

ture na sig

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bairie fen


lord high king of swingers *(now defunct)**(but will rise again ! !)*
Location: wild wiltshire

Total posts: 165
Posted:dunno about this weed pshycosis thing, but i got up yesterday morning after an extended period of smoking, had no weed, ended up in an argument with my partner, became depressed and anxious, went for a walk and ended up completly losing it a [censored] who stole my cheese sandwich and ate it right in front of me, I would of really hurt him except he wouldn't fight back, just ran away, perhaps it was the bottle i'd thrown at him ?
I'm in no way proud of this and its the first time its happened in 27 years, i still feel bad about, after all it was only a cheeses sandwich !
later on i smoked some dope and had a good old laugh about it !
so do i have cannabis pshycosis or is it all a bit too easy to pigeon hole someone who's having a bad day ??? is there such a thing as recgognized work place pshycosis ?> girlfriend pshycosis ?????
love and light
xxx


fly fairies, fly high, fly wide and take no prisoners !!!!!!

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:When I smoked (both weed and tobacco) I did feel my life to be more out of control; not so much that arguments and hard to deal with situations arose that much more often; but that I didn't deal them them as well as I do now.

If bad stuff happened, and I dealt with it by basically regulating my mood with a smoke, then, at a later point, similar situations would arise; over and over again.

Now, as a non-smoker, I tend to deal with it by understanding the causes, communicating effectively (if another person is involved etc.

Perhaps most important, having no recourse to chemical means, I have to face up to, and deal with, any negative feelings that arise.

And this is the biggest change since quitting weed and tobacco (around five years ago)- I had to face up to the fact I was, and had for most of my life, been suffering from depression and a very negative world view.

Looking back, it's totally clear to me now, but, at the time, it just seemed normal.

I believe that I was using weed and tobacco to mask much of what was happening.

Compared to those times, I really have (relatively speaking) no problems whatsoever now; or rather, any problems that do come up, I deal with, and have the confidence that I deal with them to the best of my abiliity.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:i8beefy: you describe psychiatrists and doctors, and theres usually a big difference between them and psychologists.

Statistics have given our society a lot, the only problem with them really is that they cannot predict outcomes for individuals, only proportions of populations....this doesnt make them useless however.


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:Well, as I AM a psych major, yes I have studied it.

The correlation? Are you serious? Did you actually LOOK at the actual study instead of just reading the nice little newspaper article about it? The risk of people "adjusted for socieo-economical status, 'urbanicity', other drug use, and predisposition for psychosis"... all of which introduce error into the study because you can generally not control for such things 100%, WITHOUT the predisposition was 5.6% of the population (of about 2000 kids 14-24 or something). They call this "significant" but what that MEANS is "statistically significant". The general population prevalence is about 1-2% depending on what source your looking at (in Americans anyway... dont know world wide statistic) for schitzophrenia. BUT this study is studying psychosis, not just the limited area of schitzophrenia. The prevalence rates of "psychosis" is going to be higher (a) and it may even include "drug-induced psychosis" (b), which of course wiould help them reach this conclusion.

Here's another study in Australia that lends itself to my view a bit better: http://www.cannabis.net/psychosis/schizoprecip.html
br>Known as Technical report 121

And yes, psychology IS all correlation my friend. We measure things to do what with? What is the primary methodology if psychology? Measurement and correlation. That is the reasearch methodology. Where do you think our testing measures COME from? And OUR statistical significance is very much more fluid than hard sciences, which is why psychology and sociology and most of the other social sciences have had a hard time making a name for themselves. Which is why you must realize that EVERY correlation has four possible meanings:

1. a causes b
2. b causes a
3. c causes a and b
4. a and b are not really related

Now I already went over most of this above so I'll let you hunt that down to not waste more space. They DONT define their stats (what is use for instance? One time, sustained, etc.?) and most stuides like this dont. Just like the "monkey study", to define such things would usually show how hair brained some of these studies are.

I agree with Dave on several points, that it is easy to use things as a crutch and such. Its just not necessarily as cut and dry as some of us are trying to make things. Now for the cigarette thing, would I say that 50% is statistically significant? Well significant enough for me to stop smoking cigarettes... but not for others I know. Actually Id be interested to know what other things might be the contributing factors to the cancer deaths of the 50%.

The thing is, 5.6% is HARDLY 50%, and even the raised risk group, that is the ones WITH a predisposition toward psychosis, was slightly less than HALF that at 23%.


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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:anything we do/drink/eat or smoke is bad for us (so says "the man") in my view.... you only live once, and everything in moderation. yes i smoke (occasionaly) and a few other naughty substances(regularly hehe) but that detracts from the point........

do what ever you, as a person feels right for you. be true to yourself, and respect others around you. for it will be them, that take care of you in times of need ubbrollsmile


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: ravehead


anything we do/drink/eat or smoke is bad for us





Somewhat misleading IMO...



Whilst everything we eat has some bad aspects, even 'good' stuff like fruit; these are far outweighed by the benefits.



For example, the benefits of eating food (with the accompanying 'bad aspects') far outweigh the negatives of not eating (starvation and death).



Contrast this with cigarette smoking, which almost certainly has no good health aspects, and considerable bad health aspects.



Thus IMO, it's fair to say that eating fruit and smoking cigarettes are entirely different, the first is 'good' for your health, the second is bad.



Written by: ravehead


......... and everything in moderation............









It's not possible for many. For example, an alcoholic cannot drink in moderation- his/her choice is complete abstention... or bingeing.



With cigarettes, most long term smokers cannot moderate or control their consumption.



Where alcohol and weed are concerned, some can use in moderation and others can't; unfortunatly, prior to using these substances, it's impossible to know what kind of individual you are.



-----------



your avatar is very nice smile


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:I agree, I like your avatar... smile

Yes, everything is bad for us. Did you know that Oxygen is bad for you? Something about the way it reacts, and free radicals or something... I think... Anyway, Dave's point is rather poinant. The thing is on a scale from almost wholly good for you (lets say air) and wholly bad for you (lets say arsenic), such substances as alcohol and marijuana range more toward center line / grey area. Arguably, marijuana is better than alcohol for various reasons, but I digress...

Our bodies are made to repsond and react to the environment and to protect us from the negetive health aspects. There is always the chance that our bodies will fail and we will become diseased. And the more you do something, the more your chances for that happening go up. But these are physical in nature and not mental, as psychosis. Psychosis is not always caused by brain damage, or some physical impairment. Those that it IS are victoms of genetics? Does environment even come into play (forgetting acidental brain damage). Marijuana may slow down brain functioning, and it may even destroy brain cells. BUT it isnt going to cause massive brain damage.... The studt people point to for that, the "monkey study" was complete rubish as already discussed.

What it does do is raise dopamine (or seratonine, whichever it is) levels, like any psychoactive drug. What it WILL do is something very similar to antidepresents if abused. Eventually your body will become accomodated, and then when you arent high you will feel more down than when you are. As Ive said, THIS is Daves strongest point, and one which I agree with. Dont abuse. But casual usage will not present these same issues, which is where I believe we disagree. Everything in moderation.

You ARE changing your chemical balances. They WILL return to normal when allowed to. Its like a fire. If you keep wood in, itll be a bonfire over time. If you do it slowly and control it, you will have wood for much longer.

Now as for people not being able to control themselves, I think that model of addiction is not universally applicable. If you have children, do you just lock them up away from all hot objects so they dont burn themselves, or do you teach them to use heat responsibly? Those that abuse may very well have problems. But the problems were there before the abuse of drugs. And I disagree that they wouldnt have shown up in some people without the drug abuse. Rather the drugs... hmm how should I put this... deplete the "mental immune system" to the point where a breakdown occurs in some individuals who can not self regulate. Stress does the same thing, just by the mind working to produce the highs internally instead of from an outside chemical.

Id love to be able to actively control the release of natural chemicals into my own bloodstream. Im probably lucky I cant, because I think itd be hard to not make myself happy all the time.... But I regulate external chemicals ok.... Those that cant need to learn willpower. That may seem pesimistic or unsympathetic, but theres only one person who can control your actions...


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:i8beefy2, you might have studied it in a book wink but have you witnessed psychosis on a real, day to day, level? I mean what you are saying is extremely offensive to people with, or have to deal with mental illnesses.

To say psychology IS all correlation my friend is really demeaning to people with serious illnesses. Perhaps you mean a lot of illnesses are boxed together?

Written by:
What it does do is raise dopamine (or seratonine, whichever it is) levels, like any psychoactive drug.


If this is all a psych major can come up with, then perhaps u should get the books out at least once.





Hows the fence ? wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Concerning 'Everything in moderation', which has now cropped up several times in this thread.

IMO 'everything in moderation' is incorrect.

There are lots of things that shouldn't be done in moderation, for example, ingesting arsenic.

For someone who is an alcoholic, alcohol should not be taken, even in moderation.

Fot those who have an 'addictive personality', moderate use of any recreational drug is probably inadvisable.

What about those young people who have yet to sample drugs? In the case of highly addictive substances like heroin, it's a fair bet that they will not be able to use moderately (though I'm sure a small portion of the population can do so); similarly, cigarette smoking, for the vast majority, will lead to addiction (ie, not moderate or controlled use).

On those grounds I think it's fair to say that 'Everything in moderation' definitly does not apply to heroin and cigarettes, because, for the vast majority, moderate use is not a possibility.

What about alcohol. Many can use alcohol in moderation, yet a significant minority cannot. Like I said before, for an individual new to it, they make a choice and they take the risk.

-----------------------

One thing I would like to bring up here is abstention.

This is an alternative to moderate use, and it is valid and effective alternative, despite the fact that many 'moderate' users of recreational drugs look down on it, and on those who practice it.

In the case of alcoholics it is the only practical approach; arguably, this is true also of long-term nicotine addicts.

For heroin, it is also the best approach.

As far as I'm concerned, in the matter of the individual exercising his/her 'freedom of choice' in the area of drugs- that freedom should extend to the choice of abstention, currently there tend to be a lot of bad associations with this option, and considerable peer pressure to 'experiment' instead.

Such pressures would include the obvious ones, such as those refraining from experimenting being labeled as 'square', 'wusses' etc.

But also the more subtle ones, such as the view that one can only really know, if one has sampled the substance.

This can be summed up in the well known saying- 'One can only know what is enough, when one has known what is more than enough.

As already explained, for some, by the time that they've established what is 'more than enough', it's all too late.

If a young person understands that, and takes it seriously enough that they choose to not experiment, then that is a valid and well thought out choice, and they should be respected for it and not pressured or ridiculed.

-------------------------

Cannabis is, for many, a drug which they can use in moderation.

A significant minority will, however, not be able to use it in moderation- they will end up smoking an ounce or more a week, and IMO, that is not moderate use.

So, where weed is concerned- yes, moderate use is entirely feasible; but, when it comes to a young person making the choice of whether to experiment, I think it's important for them to know that, for some, it has the potential to lead to problems.

And, as I previously mentioned, in UK style smoking cultures, where weed is generally accompanied by tobacco; there is a big risk of nicotine addiction developing.


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analytic
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Total posts: 503
Posted:i8beefy:

'The correlation? Are you serious? Did you actually LOOK at the actual study instead of just reading the nice little newspaper article about it? The risk of people "adjusted for socieo-economical status, 'urbanicity', other drug use, and predisposition for psychosis"... all of which introduce error into the study because you can generally not control for such things 100%, WITHOUT the predisposition was 5.6% of the population (of about 2000 kids 14-24 or something).'

Yes mate, I did look at the actual study. And yes, I am serious about the correlation. I had trouble understanding the second sentence: what do you mean, 'the risk of people . . . without the predisposition was 5.6% of the population'? Please clarify.

'The thing is, 5.6% is HARDLY 50%, and even the raised risk group, that is the ones WITH a predisposition toward psychosis, was slightly less than HALF that at 23%.'

And? I never asserted that cannabis posed the same level of threat to your mental health as tobacco poses to your physical health. And [having studied Experimental Psychology - you know, the one with the rigorous methodology] I'm aware that 'significant' means 'statistically significant'. You seem to have missed the point of what I was saying.

Again: the risk may not be vast, but the statistics *do* indicate a causal relationship.

Psychology isn't 'all statistics', friend, even if the research methods generally use statistics. Psychology also involves, for instance, a) deduction, b) inference to the best explanation, c) inductive generalisations. Don't you agree?

Furthermore, anyone who's a realist about the scientific project agrees that there must be something to ground the correlations; in other words, there is some fact of the matter which we are trying to describe. Again, it's not 'just statistics'.

I'm going to have one more go at making this clear. The study appears to indicate [as far as I'm concerned] that there *is* a correlation between cannabis use and onset of psychoses, and that, furthermore, a causal connection is indicated. Even if small, this is still worth worrying about. You, on the other hand, appear to be saying 'well, it's just correlations, the correlations aren't massive, so, you know, it probably doesn't really show anything.' I think this is just wrong, and obviously so.

And stuff like:

'The problems were there before the abuse of drugs. And I disagree that they wouldnt have shown up in some people without the drug abuse.'

Evidence? Anyone? Maybe some of those people would have developed psychoses anyway; but, even so, your position completely misses the point. The worry is that, in at least some cases, cannabis acts as a trigger for what would otherwise have remained latent.

beefy, you're making some very strong claims; you're not providing evidence to back them up; and you display a worrying lack of knowledge of detail for a psychology major.

'Our bodies are made to repsond and react to the environment and to protect us from the negetive health aspects. There is always the chance that our bodies will fail and we will become diseased. And the more you do something, the more your chances for that happening go up. But these are physical in nature and not mental, as psychosis'

Tripe. Psychosis can be (isn't always, but can be) a matter of brain chemistry, and *that* can be affected by drugs (duh). There isn't a sharp mental/physical divide in the case of mental illness, mate.

Apologies for being a bit anal about this, but I've known more than a few drugs casualties in my life, and I get irritated when people start asserting stuff which is a) unevidenced and b) relevant.

Oh, and it's 'schizophrenia', not 'schitzophrenia'.


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analytic
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Total posts: 503
Posted:Some references for you, beefy:

1. Schneider U, Leweke FM, Mueller-Vahl KR, Emrich HM. Cannabinoid/anandamide system and schizophrenia: is there evidence for association? Pharmacopsychiatry 1998; 2: 110-113.
2. Hall W. Cannabis use and psychosis. Alcohol Rev 1998; 17: 433-444.
3. Thomas H. A community survey of adverse effects of cannabis use. Drug Alcohol Depend 1996; 42: 201-207
4. Mathers DC, Ghodse AH. Cannabis and psychotic illness. Br J Psychiatry 1992; 161: 648-653.
5. Andreasson S, Allebeck P, Engstrom A, Rydberg U. Cannabis and schizophrenia. A longitudinal study of Swedish conscripts. Lancet 1987; ii: 1483-1486.
6. Allebeck P, Adamsson C, Engstrom A, Rydberg U. Cannabis and schizophrenia: a longitudinal study of cases treated in Stockholm county. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1993; 88: 21-24.
7. Linszen DH, Dingemans PM, Lenior ME. Cannabis abuse and the course of recent-onset schizophrenic disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1994; 51: 273-279.
8. Negrete JC, Knapp WP, Douglas D, Smith WB. Cannabis affects the severity of schizophrenic symptoms: results of a clinical survey. Psychol Med 1986; 16: 515-520
9. DeQuardo JR, Carpenter CF, Tandon R. Patterns of substance abuse in schizophrenia: nature and significance. J Psychiatr Res 1994; 28: 267-275
10. Kovasznay B, Fleishcer J, Tanenberg-Karant M, Jandorf L, Miller AD, Bromet E. Substance use disorder and the early course of illness in schizophrenia and affective psychosis. Schizophr Bull 1997; 23: 195-201

Some of the above are available on PubMed [via MedLine], and CrossRef. I suggest you take a look at some them and then tell me what you think of the research methodology. Personally, I think it's pretty rigorous.

e


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analytic
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Posted:last one [i know, i know]; thought you might like the abstract

Abstract: Cannabis and schizophrenia: A longitudinal study of Swedish conscripts. [Andreasson S, Allebeck P, Engstrom A, Rydberg U]

The association between level of cannabis consumption and development of schizophrenia during a 15-year follow-up was studied in a cohort of 45,570 Swedish conscripts. The relative risk for schizophrenia among high consumers of cannabis (use on more than fifty occasions) was 6.0 (95% confidence interval 4.0-8.9) compared with non-users. Persistence of the association after allowance for other psychiatric illness and social background indicated that cannabis is an independent risk factor for schizophrenia.


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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

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Total posts: 674
Posted:Well then let me clarify stone. Am I saying that psychological illness doesn't exist? No, not at all. What I am saying is that research in the field is all done through correlational research. Yes, inductive, theory laden work is involved, of course, but the confirmative research is done through correlational work. However I would argue that diagnosis is NOT always as perfect as people like to think in these situations. Schizophrenia (I always put that t there for osme weird habitual reason) and other psychotic disorders are perhaps much more clear cut cases, of course as their behavior patterns are usually more extreme in nature.

So in essence what I meant to convey is that the statistical nature of our confirming research means that we must look at what the statistics themselves are saying and decide whether or not they are significant. There are guidelines, yes, but still you can look and see if the "evidence" is strong or not. What I am saying is that a 5.6% prevalence rate of psychosis in a population that is going to attract those more prone to emotional instability, or latent mental issues, etc. is not STRONG evidence.

Dave, make no mistake Im not saying there is anything wrong with not doing these things. In fact I agree with you that people shouldnt do them for the health risks, but I disagree that they CANT be done responsibly. I believe it is important for someone to know about what they are getting into to. I am not saying anyone should be forced to take drugs... though legally others seem to think thats justified so I spose theres precedent for it... but I digress. I just dont feel the choice should be taken away just because it isnt the right choice for some people.

Again Im not saying its "just statistics", or at least thats not what I meant ot imply. Many things are correlated for different reasons, however, not just causally, and that is what I meant to convey. I havent read any of those articles, so I cant really comment on them right now. Ill take a look at some of them when I get the chance after finals week here. Im interested to see if any of them can show a causal instead of mere correlational relationship. I have not seen one that does so.


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Posted:Beefy: 'Do any of you realize that all psychology is just correlational study and statistics?'

So forgive me for thinking that you were implying that it was 'just statistics'. I think you miss the point of the scientific method entirely.

Statistical significance is a comparison against the likelihood of getting the observed result by chance. In other words, against the null hypothesis, there is a 95% chance that the hypothesis (given the data) is non-accidentally true. (a = 0.05 in most psychology experiments, at least).

The point is that such studies allow you to *infer*, with a high degree of confidence, the existence of a causal relationship.

'So in essence what I meant to convey is that the statistical nature of our confirming research means that we must look at what the statistics themselves are saying and decide whether or not they are significant.'

So you think that you are better placed to analyse statistical significance than the full-time researchers who carried out the study? I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't double-check, but it's arrogant to think that your judgement is likely to be better than theirs. After all, interpreting data requires some skill, and some experience.

Like the above abstract shows, the relative risk for schizophrenia among high (+50 occasions) cannabis users was 6.0 (a=0.05) compared with non-users, even AFTER CONTROLLING FOR OTHER PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS AND SOCIAL BACKGROUND.

You think that doesn't indicate a causal relationship?


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Total posts: 2830
Posted:Thanks for the clarification i8beefy2. What you say makes a lot more sense now. I think diagnostics would be difficult, but I thought your stats would have moved on a bit from correlation.

At best, correlation tells us there could be a relationship, and often implies causations which could be false. As you say Many things are correlated for different reasons, however, not just causally, and that is what I meant to convey.

Surely there must be newer and better methods in the world of psychometrics?


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i8beefy2
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Location: Ohio, USA

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Posted:Alright, I do agree that there is a relationship, BUT the nature of that relationship I am calling into question. Is that clearer?

You describe significance quite adequately. But correlational research does not prove cause-effect. Cause-effect is only one POSSIBLE relationship. The others are reverse cause-effect (schizophrenia causes marijuana use, unlikely here), they are not really related, but happen to only to be common in given situations, possible, and they are BOTH outcroppings of an underlying cause (say personality disposition). I reject that marijuana is a major cause of schizophrenia outright. I believe instead the last one.

Its been a while since my schizophrenia studies, so Im going to shoot out some basic assumptions real quick. Schizophrenia is a mystery: we don't know what causes it. There is the dopamine theory (schizophrenics have very high levels of dopamine, and antipsychotics that block dopamine receptors can have effects on symptoms). This supports the "drugs are bad" thing because many drugs like amphetamines do the same thing. At any rate, this only treats symptoms, and not the underlying cause: meaning they are not cures (antipsychotics). There is the genetic issue, since genetic twins show a 50% to 85% chance of sharing the disease, but this also shows that environment must have some effect as well, at least in a good number of cases.

As such genetic predispostion is a strong contributing factor. Its usually characterized as an underused frontal lobe and overactive parietal lobe, which some argue is responsible for some of the disease's symptoms. Abnormal brain structure and chemistry is common to all schizophrenics. Now can drug use agrivate schizophrenic episodes? Yes of course it can. So does stress like moving, bad relationships, etc. The environmental triggers are not CAUSAL though is what I'm saying. People predisposed to schizophrenia may very well finally have an episode because of drug use, but I disagree that it is the primary agrivating factor. RATHER I would say that schizophrenia is an underlying possibility that can be triggered by many different things, marijuana possibly being one of them, sure, but not any more than other environmental factors.

The other problem I have with these studies is that they all say "We controlled for this and this and this and this and this" but I don't think these things can be adequately controlled for. For instance, predisposition of a disease, other environmental factors, stress, etc. that are ALSO correlated with schizophrenia.

Just because some people have issues with it does not mean that everyone will though, and is not a valid reason to infer that legislation is necessary to make it illegal.


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bairie fen


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Posted:just too say that a little arsenic is actually good for you !!!!!
http://www.vitamins-nutrition.org/vitamins-guide/arsenic.html
br>so everything in moderation hey !


fly fairies, fly high, fly wide and take no prisoners !!!!!!

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