Tag Archives: Addiction
Officials in Bogotá, Colombia are currently considering a program that would use marijuana to help those addicted to hard drugs kick their deadly habit. Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine. However, within the country thousands are addicted to basuco, a substance somewhat similar to crack but reportedly far less pure. It’s essentially the leftover material from converting cocoa leaves into cocaine and contains unwanted residues including kerosene. Even more …More
Joe | Apr 01, 2013 | Comments 0
Reports out of Colombia say that officials in the country’s capital city, Bogota, are looking into a new way to get addicts off of basuco, which is the country’s version of crack cocaine. Authorities want to set up a pilot program to see if marijuana can be beneficial in mitigating the withdrawal symptoms of the basuco.
An expert in Bogota estimates that the city has at least 7,000 “problem users,” which means they could take up to 15 to 20 hits a day. And while basuco isn’t exactly like crack, it is an impure version of cocaine that is common among poorer segments of society in Colombia.
“The first thing you do is to start to reduce the dose. After that, you begin to change the way that it’s administered: if you were injecting heroin, you move to smoking heroin; after smoking heroin, you move to combining it with cannabis; after that, you’re staying with the cannabis,” said Julián Quintero, from the Bogota-based non-profit organization Acción Técnica Social. “What you’re looking for is for the person to reach a point where they can stabilize the consumption and that the consumption doesn’t prevent them from being functional.”
This idea would be met with scorn here in the U.S., especially among most elected officials. And since our federal government does it’s best to squash all kinds of cannabis research, an idea like this probably won’t even be looked into until after legalization on the federal level.
One also has to account for the massive “rehab” industry in this country and how much money they spend to keep cannabis illegal. They need so-called “marijuana addicts” to be forced into their facilities by a court of law, but they also need to avoid cannabis as direct competition for getting people off of hard drugs.
If the program in Bogota is implemented and is successful, at least advocates in other countries will have statistics to point to when proposing a similar idea.
A new study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that THC, the primary psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis, triggers stronger nicotine addiction in lab rats. The study was published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. Prior to this, the THC–nicotine connection had been largely anecdotal, as many cigarette smokers who also partake of pot have said that getting stoned makes them crave a cigarette even more than usual. Some pot …More
If laughter is the best medicine, then Jason Mewes is quite healthy these days. We caught up with Mewes, best known as best known as the talking half of the duo Jay and Silent Bob, in advance of tonight’s live taping of their successful (and hysterical) weekly comedy podcast, Jay and Silent Bob Get Old at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado.
For fans, it’s basically Mewes and Smith as two dirty-minded teenagers stuck in the bodies of men approaching middle age, complete with fart and poop jokes. Probably not too different from you and your friends on any given Friday night after a joint or two.
The duo are in Colorado this week recording for an episode of the podcast dubbed, appropriately, the POTcast. I had a chance to catch up with Mewes about the show, his addiction to oxys an cocaine, and his undying love for cannabis–even if he’s not smoking it these days.
“Our podcast is something we started nearly two years ago, talking and telling behind-the-scenes stories behind our friendship. We’ve known each other for 25 years, so we’ll talk about stuff that happened twenty years ago and stuff that might have happened a week ago,” Mewes said over the phone earlier this week. “We talk about everything and put it out there and try and make it entertaining. Like the first time I had a threesome, or the first time I woke up next to some random girl and had crapped my pants.”
For the rest of our interview with Mewes, head over to our sister paper Westword.com. And to check out Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, click over to their Smodcast page and spin one up. Snoochie Boochies.
More links from around the web!
By Katrina Woznicki
WebMD Health News
The study, by Alexis Conason, PsyD, of the New York Obesity Research Center, and colleagues also found a link between a specific operation, laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, and an increased risk of alcohol abuse after the procedure. The findings appear in the Oct. 15 online issue of Archives of Surgery.
“We’re only talking about a minority of patients here,” Conason says. “But what we’re seeing is some patients who seek out bariatric surgery have a history of using food to deal with emotions.”
When such patients no longer can overeat as a way to cope with their feelings, they may turn to “other external coping mechanisms like drugs or alcohol,” Conason says.
The study looked at 132 women and 23 men who underwent either Roux-en-Y — one of the most common weight loss surgeries — or laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery to treat their obesity. Participants answered questionnaires about their behaviors and history of drinking or drugs before their surgery and then again one, three, six, 12, and 24 months after their operations.
“When we looked at patients individually, we didn’t see a huge difference, but when you looked at the whole group, we saw a significant increased risk for drug and alcohol use at the two-year point after the surgery,” says Conason. “Our findings are important because it raises some concerns about who is at risk.”
Struggling With a New Body
Nearly 36% of the adult U.S. population is obese. Some 200,000 adults have bariatric surgery each year, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Psychological profiles vary among severely obese patients seeking bariatric surgery. Conason says patients’ issues range from depression and anxiety to loneliness, difficulty dealing with relationships, and dealing with the social stresses of being obese.
Many bariatric surgery patients may lose 60% of their excess body weight within a year. The change can be emotionally shocking for some patients.
“Many of these people have struggled with obesity their entire lives, and in a very short period of time, they literally develop these new bodies,” Conason says. “Patients will walk by a mirror and say they don’t recognize themselves. Their weight loss changes how family and friends relate to them. They’re getting different kinds of attention, and it’s a lot to adjust to. For many patients, bariatric surgery often lifts their depression, but other patients may struggle with their new bodies.”
Erik Dutson, MD, is the director of bariatric surgery and executive medical director of the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology at the UCLA Health System in Los Angeles. He says that surgeons are aware of some bariatric surgery patients being at risk for substance abuse.
“It’s referred to in our circles as addiction replacement, which isn’t unique to bariatric surgery,” Dutson says. “If they’re using food in this way and they undergo bariatric surgery, they can’t go back to eating the way they did, and the brain’s reward system becomes starved.”