possible treatment
April 13, 2001 4:59 AM   Subscribe

possible treatment for marijuana abuse.
posted by tiaka (16 comments total)
"marijuana abuse" ?

You're kidding, right?
posted by Outlawyr at 5:17 AM on April 13, 2001

"Marijuana abuse" is not as far-fetched as it sounds. While not physically addictive, it can be mentally addictive. But then again, so can chocolate, gambling, and reality-based game shows.

But you're right to laugh. Most pot smokers use it for recreational purposes, and not because they physically crave it. To use the phrase "marijuana abuse" assumes that the people who abuse pot are somehow addicted to the drug, when in reality, they are probably more addicted to the chance to escape whatever problems they may be dealing with in life.
posted by turaho at 6:19 AM on April 13, 2001

These sorts of treatments have long been available for alcohol and opiates -- some having much more nasty modi operandi, like making you puke your guts out if you touch the stuff -- and are remarkably ineffective at reducing dependence or addiction in the long term.

Unless you can actually force someone to take their regular dose under supervision as a condition, for example, of release on probation, it just doesn't work. And these drugs have never been approved for daily life-long prophylactic use.
posted by MattD at 7:12 AM on April 13, 2001

Chemically blocking the "high", eh? Sounds like any drugs developed from this could have all sorts of Draconian (ab)uses. I forsee schools and parents forcing their kids to take a marijuana-blocker as a "preventive" measure.
posted by Potsy at 7:13 AM on April 13, 2001

if the parents do that, Potsy, then kids will just find something else to get high off of, and i'm not talking about Jesus.
posted by tolkhan at 7:21 AM on April 13, 2001

I forsee schools and parents forcing their kids to take a marijuana-blocker as a "preventive" measure.

Forcing kids to take drugs in an attempt to keep them from taking drugs. No, there aren't any mixed messages there.
posted by harmful at 7:34 AM on April 13, 2001

Exactly, harmful. All it would teach them is that feeling good is bad--not drugs themselves.
posted by jpoulos at 8:49 AM on April 13, 2001

I think jpoulos really hit the mark.
Wish they would do some real studies like, how harmful is it compared to tobacco? Does 1 joint equal 5 cigarettes? 2 cigarettes?
I think that would make people pay more attention to their habit instead of believing in urban myths such as, "It's nothing compared to cigarettes." and "A bong filters out the carcinogens."
posted by keithl at 10:46 AM on April 13, 2001

Your friendly neighborhood Devil's Advocate here, with a thought:

If there were a widely available drug to block the effects of pot or booze, I imagine some kids would appreciate it. It's so hard to "say no" sometimes. Being able to say "my parents put me on Chemical X, so I can't get high" might be a real stress relief.
posted by jpoulos at 11:51 AM on April 13, 2001

keithl: There have been plenty of studies, but unfortunately they haven't been able to prove what you want them to.

"May 15, 1997, Oakland, CA - Conclusions from a comprehensive, long-term study by Kaiser Permanente show no substantial link between regular marijuana smoking and death, but suggested that marijuana prohibition may itself pose a health hazard to the user. "

"April 3, 1997, Los Angeles, CA - Habitual marijuana smokers do not experience a greater annual rate of decline in lung function than nonsmokers, according to the latest findings by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine. The results of the eight-year study appear in Volume 155 of the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Donald P. Tashkin, who headed the study, is one of America's foremost experts on marijuana smoking and lung function. "


Of course there *are* substantial links between tobacco use and pulmonary function or death (or both).

So -- 1 joint does not "equal" 5 cigarettes. 1 joint does not "equal" 2 cigarettes. Marijuana is not tobacco.
posted by greengirl at 12:15 PM on April 13, 2001

I would just be frustrated. You take a pill. You go to smoke pot. You never get high.

I think that's what hell is.
posted by dakotasmith at 1:04 PM on April 13, 2001

I like the pot -- > munchies -- > obesity connection in the article.

It makes sense, sure, but I always thought munchies were more of a stoner inside joke than an actual scientific fact. I can just see the researchers saying "so, wait a second -- if we can get rid of the munchies, there won't be any more fat people!"

Yeah, I know that's not the point. But still.
posted by jragon at 1:17 PM on April 13, 2001

Fear the munchies....for they are real! (At least, from what I remember.)
posted by jpoulos at 1:38 PM on April 13, 2001

The munchies are real. And now, we know why.
posted by dakotasmith at 3:43 PM on April 13, 2001

Uh, I hope nobody misunderstood me when said "I forsee ...". I'm certainly not endorsing that sort of thing. That's just a nightmare scenario that I can't help envisioning.
posted by Potsy at 7:41 PM on April 13, 2001

I think the pot -> munchies -> obesity reference is more about what causes the munchies than a pot == obesity causation.

There are times when I (an obese man) am not high but still have the munchies in a just as insatiable manner. If what pot does that causes the munchies has been found, then perhaps the non-pot induced munchies are similar, and can therefore be chemically prevented.

side note: I hate the word "obese". I don't know why, but I actually prefer being called fat.
posted by cCranium at 7:58 AM on April 14, 2001

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