The United States does not need a third legal drug to add up to the already growing health implications caused by tobacco and alcohol, according to a news release from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The review published June 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine, said the health effects of marijuana use is linked to other complications such as marijuana addiction.
NIDA director Dr. Nora D. Volkow was quoted as saying, "By making marijuana legal, you have more widespread use and many more health implications. We don't need a third legal drug. We already have enough problems with the two we have."
The review noted that the national and state governments' move to legalizing marijuana use has more negative health consequences. The more it is legalized, there will be increased use and increased health impacts.
But Brady Granier, COO of BioCoRX Inc.(OTCQX: BICX), a leader in addiction rehabilitation in the U.S. said the public is giving too much attention on drug abuse. He said alcohol abuse is also a major problem in the U.S.
"The media spends a lot of time focusing on marijuana legalization and the heroin epidemic which are tremendously important issues, but alcoholism remains relatively sidelined from attention comparatively speaking. It's a massive problem that needs equal attention" said Granier.
NIDA's news release added that marijuana is addictive and the health effects are much stronger on the younger users. The review also found out the marijuana is a gateway drug, like alcohol and tobacco, increasing users risk to illegal drugs. The researcher showed thatmarijuana addiction can result to vehicular accidents.
One age group, the teens is more vulnerable to the harmful effects of marijuana. It impairs memory functions and critical thinking and regular use contributes to lower IQ into adulthood.
Marijuana is more potent when combined with alcohol, another potent legal drug which is known to cause addiction. About nine percent of those who tried marijuana will become addicted. The review also stated that some young users, such as those in the 12th grade started to use marijuana on a daily basis and unaware of its dangerous health effects. Research showed 17 percent of users below 18 years old, will become addicted.
"Physicians in particular can play a role in conveying to families that early marijuana use can interfere with crucial social and developmental milestones and can impair cognitive development," Volkow said. Several U.S. states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In Colorado, the first state to do so, recreational use of pot was legalized.
U.S. lawmakers meanwhile are supporting legislation that the national government should not a say on whether the states allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons.
Although still illegal in most countries in the world, marijuana contains an active ingredient called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (NYSE:THC), according to Good Science. Its legal use was approved in many U.S. states due to its many medical benefits in some patients.
Marijuana is said to aid treatment of certain diseases such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. It also contains properties that can be used as pain relievers especially helpful to cancer patients.
Despite, the so-called medical benefits of marijuana, Volkow said legalizing pot makes it more accessible like alcohol and tobacco. "Tobacco and alcohol have a far greater impact on health in the US," she was quoted as saying.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), although drinking alcohol is not a problem, too much consumption of alcohol could be fatal. The effects of alcohol can be felt a few minutes after taking a sip, however the higher the blood alcohol concentration is present in the bloodstream, the higher the consequences are. Alcohol impairs motor skills, concentration, reduces inhibition. It is a big factor to accidental deaths such as car crashes, homicides and suicides.
NIH added that in 2012 over 20 percent of adults have admitted to binge drinking in the past month and 7.1 percent admits to heavy drinking. Binge drinking is described as drinking five or more alcoholic drinks in a day. Heavy drinking is characterized as drinking five or more drinks in one occasion. The statistics further showed that there is an estimated 17 million Americans who have Alcohol Use Disorder. AUD is alcoholism and harmful drinking which has not yet reached the level of dependency.
Alcohol use had been proven fatal. There were 85,000 deaths each year in the US of alcohol-related causes. Alcohol dependency is preventable and can be treated. There have been many essential advances in treatment of alcohol addiction. There are several forms of treatment available for alcoholics in the form of medication, coaching programs and therapies, as well as combination of all these forms. One medication that has shown promise is Naltrexone, especially in implant form.
BioCorx Inc. has developed a program combining both Naltrexone Implants and Life Coaching, helping alcohol dependents to combat addiction on a long-term basis. Under theprogram patients are treated with a slow release dose, giving the treatment a higher success rate. Unlike being taken in the form of pill, naltrexone implants are more effective due to the use of time-released technology.
BioCorx Inc.'s Start Fresh Program is used by independently owned physician clinics around the U.S. Those clinics prescribed the implant and administer the recovery program if they deem the individual to be a good candidate.