Category: of aggressive behavior, compared 17 long-term heavy

Category:Social IssuesPaper Title:Text:I.

Marijuana causes behavioral changesA. Chronic Marijuana users become more aggressiveduring withdrawal.People who have smoked marijuana daily for many years display more aggressivebehavior when they stop smoking the drug, according to a new study byresearchers at Harvard Medical School. The study, funded by the NationalInstitute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, is furtherevidence that a withdrawal syndrome is associated with abstinence from long-termmarijuana use, and suggests that aggressive behavior is part of this syndrome.Human and animal studies conducted since the early 1970’s have suggested theexistence of a marijuana withdrawal syndrome, characterized by insomnia,restlessness, loss of appetite, and irritability. “This syndrome–althoughless dramatic than the withdrawal syndrome associated with alcohol, opiate, orcocaine withdrawal–may contribute to relapse among those dependent onmarijuana,” says NIDA Director Dr.

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Alan I. Leshner. “People addictedto marijuana may continue to use the drug at least partly to prevent the onsetof withdrawal symptoms. Identifying the exact nature of this syndrome is crucialto developing treatment strategies for those attempting to stop their marijuanause.”The Harvard study, using a computer test of aggressive behavior, compared 17long-term heavy users of marijuana with 20 people who were infrequent or formersmokers.

All of the volunteers were abstaining from the use of marijuana and allother drugs of abuse during the study. To avoid any suggestive influences, theinvestigators did not reveal to the volunteers that their aggressive behaviorwas being studied. Instead, the volunteers were told that they wereparticipating in a test designed to measure movements and a variety ofphysiological characteristics, such as pulse rate and body temperature. Theywere also told that another volunteer of the same sex was sitting in anotherexperimental chamber and would be participating in the test with them.Facing each volunteer in the experimental chamber was a computer monitor anda response panel.

On a panel were two buttons, labeled A and B. Pressing A 100times allowed the volunteer to gain 1 point, which was worth 50 cents. PressingB 10 times subtracted 1 point from the other participant, who, in actuality, wasnot a person but a computer. Three 1-second beeps signaled that the”opponent” was subtracting 1 point from the volunteer. The researcherslabeled the pressing of B as an aggressive response, and the point subtractionsfrom the volunteers as provocations.The volunteers participated in one of these sessions on each of fivedifferent occasions: at the beginning of the study, and at days 1, 3, 7, and 28of abstinence.

Results showed that the current marijuana users becamesignificantly more aggressive, as indicated by the number of times they pressedB, on days 3 and 7 of withdrawal, as compared to the infrequent of formermarijuana users.(National Institute on Drug Abuse)April 20,1999B. Each youths brain wave tracings(Electroencephalograms) Showed dysfunctionResearch studies of youngsters from kindergarten through high school showthat previously well–adjusted and intellectually endowed children inexplicablyare falling apart academically and emotionally in the teenage years with theonly new factor being that of occasional marijuana use.

Marijuana use leads toan inability to recognize good from bad, an inability to retain a strongself–image, and an inability to visualize and plan for the future. Usingmarijuana makes “great” people average, and average people”dumb”. Marijuana use is toxic to all cells, and most especially toxicto brain cells.

(Robert C. Gilkeson, M.D.)C.

Well adjusted and intellectually endowed childrenInexplicably are falling apart academically andEmotionally with occasional marijuana useResearch studies of youngsters from kindergarten through high school showthat previously well–adjusted and intellectually endowed children inexplicablyare falling apart academically and emotionally in the teenage years with theonly new factor being that of occasional marijuana use. Marijuana use leads toan inability to recognize good from bad, an inability to retain a strongself–image, and an inability to visualize and plan for the future. Usingmarijuana makes “great” people average, and average people”dumb”. Marijuana use is toxic to all cells, and most especially toxicto brain cells.(Robert C. Gilkeson, M.

D.)D. These impairments are the cause of the increase of violent and non violentjuvenile crimesThese impairments are the cause of increased violent and non-violent juvenilecrime, truancy and school dropout, teenage runaways and vagrancy, teenageprostitution and pregnancy, venereal disease, adolescent depression and suicide,poly-substance use and adolescent psychiatric referrals. Most alarming of all isthe fact that we have witnessed the appearance of a new chronic organic brainsyndrome called “burnout” caused by marijuana use.

Robert C. Gilkeson, M.D.)Social Issues

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