Study: History Of Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased In-Hospital Mortality In Trauma Patients

thumbs_upTrauma patients who test positive for marijuana upon their admission to the intensive care unit are less likely to die during hospitalization than are age-matched controls, according to data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

A team of researchers from the University of Arizona analyzed the in-hospital mortality rates of adults admitted into the ICU over a five-year period, of which 2,678 were matched (1,339: marijuana positive, 1,339 marijuana negative).

Authors concluded: “Patients with a positive marijuana screen had a lower mortality rate (5.3 percent versus 8.9 percent) compared to patients with a negative marijuana screen. … Prospective studies with long-term follow up will be useful in answering many of the remaining questions surrounding the specific impact of marijuana on outcomes after trauma.”

Prior studies have similarly reported greater survival rates among marijuana-positive patients hospitalized for traumatic brain injuries and heart attacks as compared to matched controls.

An abstract of the study, “How does marijuana effect outcomes after trauma in ICU patients? A propensity matched analysis,” appears online here.

Trauma in childhood linked to drug use in adolescence

Latest research from a national sample of almost 10,000 US adolescents found psychological trauma, especially abuse and domestic violence before age 11, can increase the likelihood of experimentation with drugs in adolescence, independent of a history of mental illness. This is the first study to document these associations in an American national sample of adolescents.

Christiane Wells, MSW, publishes second book: ?Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder?


Littleton, CO (PRWEB) July 29, 2010

Christiane Wells, MSW, has published her second book, “Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder,” a personal account of her journey through severe mental illness and addiction. She learned how to manage bipolar disorder and has gone on to receive her master of social work degree. She is currently working on her doctorate in psychology. Her first book, “No Guarantees,” was published by New Discovery Press in 1993 and describes overcoming addiction as a teenager.

It appeared Wells was destined for success until the symptoms of bipolar disorder became undeniable. Unable to free herself from depression, mania, and psychosis, at age 21 she was committed to a state psychiatric hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. Following her first hospitalization, Wells sought comfort in a variety of illicit drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, methamphetamine, and others. During her twenties she was prescribed over 25 different psychiatric medications. She was hospitalized 10 times for bipolar disorder. For years, she tried to find success in college or the workplace, only to find she couldn’t make it in the real world.

Years later, she married, had a child, and is trying to live a “normal” life. One factor contributing to her triumph is a curious phenomenon dubbed the ?Alternate Universe,? a complex coping mechanism developed in childhood to deal with trauma. Throughout her life, Wells lived in two realities. She was fortunate to have family and other caring people to help her stabilize, overcome addiction, and find success.

http://www.christianewells.com







Study: Cannabis May Mitigate Traumatic Memories In Patients With PTSD

[Editor's note: This post is excerpted from this week's forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML's news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.]

The use of cannabis and cannabinoids appears to mitigate symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a new review of clinical and preclinical evidence published online in the scientific journal Drug Testing and Analysis.

An international team of investigators from Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom reported that the use of cannabis to “dramatically reduced” PTSD symptoms in a single 19-year-old male patient.

Authors reported: “In the case report presented in this review, the patient displayed a grave pathology involving anxiety, dissociation and heavy flashbacks as a consequence of PTSD. … The patient stated that he found cannabis more useful than lorazepam. … It is evident from the case history that the patient experienced reduced stress, less involvement with flashbacks and a significant decrease of anxiety.

Authors further cited “accumulating clinical and preclinical evidence that cannabinoids may mitigate some major symptoms associated with PTSD.”

They concluded: “Cannabis may dampen the strength or emotional impact of traumatic memories through synergistic mechanisms that might make it easier for people with PTSD to rest or sleep and to feel less anxious and less involved with flashback memories. … Evidence is increasingly accumulating that cannabinoids might play a role in fear extinction and anti-depressive effects. It is concluded that further studies are warranted in order to evaluate the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in PTSD.”

Last year, administrators at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) blocked investigators at the University of Arizona at Phoenix from conducting an FDA-approved, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the use of cannabis in 50 patients with PTSD.

Under federal law, any clinical trial evaluations involving cannabis must receive NIDA approval because the agency is the only source of legal cannabis for FDA-approved research purposes. In 2010, a spokesperson for the agency told The New York Times: “[O]ur focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use. We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”

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