The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chipping at the myths

Marijuana Use Seldom Associated With Emergency Room Visits, First Ever National Study Says

Lifetime use of marijuana is rarely associated with emergency room visits, according to an analysis of epidemiologic survey data published online by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Investigators at the University of Michigan reviewed the overall prevalence of drug-related emergency department (ED) visits among lifetime users of illicit substances. Researchers analyzed data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, which is a nationally representative survey of 43,093 residents age 18 or older. The study is the first to use nationally representative data to examine patterns and correlates of drug-related ED visits.

Among those surveyed, subjects that reported using cannabis were the least likely to report an ED visit (1.71 percent). Respondents who reported lifetime use of heroin, tranquilizers, and inhalants were most likely (18.5 percent, 6.3 percent, and 6.2 percent respectively) to report experiencing one or more ED visits related to their drug use.

Investigators concluded, ³[M]arijuana was by far the most commonly used (illicit) drug, but individuals who used marijuana had a low prevalence of drug-related ED visits.²

A 2009 Swiss study published in journal BMC Public Health previously reported that the use of cannabis was inversely associated with injuries requiring hospitalization.

A prior case-control study conducted by the University of Missouri also reported an inverse relationship between marijuana use and injury risk, finding, ³Self-reported marijuana use in the previous seven days was associated Š with a substantially decreased risk of injury.²

Most recently, a RAND study published this month reported that fewer than 200 total patients were admitted to California hospitals in 2008 for ³marijuana abuse or dependence.² By contrast, there are an estimated 73,000 annual hospitalizations in California related to the use of alcohol.

These findings belie the myth that adult marijuana use is a primary cause of hospitalizations or ED visits. The reality is that few if any therapeutic or psychoactive substances possess a safety profile comparable to cannabis.


larry kurtz said...

This was in today's Bozeman Chronicle.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is being successfully treated with cannabis without the lost libido, flat affect, and kidney pain associated with the TCAs and SSRIs usually prescibed as treatments.

Boob Fallis said...

HOw will havin more stoned peple in societey help?

Donna said...

Boob- (or you do you prefer to be addressed as Fallis ?) the issue on the ballet is for medical use of marijuana. These are people whose chronic pain, terminal illness pain, or one of several medical conditions, could best be treated with cannabis, which they are currently denied in this state. Making it accessible to these people just makes good common sense. How can that hurt society ?

Bob Newland said...

Donna, I believe Boob Fallis was parodying Bob Ellis. And Bob Ellis won't answer the question.

Ken G said...

Bob E. and friends are under the impression that because pots illegal, nobody uses it. If it were legalized for medical use all of the sudden everyone's going to start smoking pot.

He's afraid it's a path towards recreational legalization.

What he doesn't want is his grandchildren smoking dope, just like you and I. Only difference is under his version of regulation, the kids ARE the dealers. He fails to see that under regulation like alcohol, adults are the dealers. And they wonder why so many kids try pot .... because kids by and large are currently "THE" distributors of America's pot.

Barry Smith said...

Good point Ken. How many people does Ellis think are out there waiting for pot to be legalized so that they can start smoking it? Taking it away from the black market will also reduce it as a gateway drug, since it is the black market were the hard drugs are sold.