Navigation Links
Army drug users twice as likely to use synthetic marijuana as regular marijuana
Date:5/8/2014

Social work researchers from the University of Washington have found that among a group of active-duty Army personnel who use illicit drugs, the most abused substance is synthetic marijuana, which is harder to detect than other drugs through standard drug tests.

The research will be published in the July 2014 issue of Addictive Behaviors, but is already online.

Synthetic marijuana, sometimes called "Spice," is made with shredded plant material coated with chemicals that are designed to mimic THC, the psychoactive compound found naturally in marijuana. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has listed several of synthetic marijuana's main compounds as Schedule 1 substances, making them illegal. But producers of the drug keep synthesizing new compounds to try to get around those bans.

"Because the formulation is constantly changing, one batch could be innocuous while the next batch affects you totally differently and you land in the hospital with seizures," said Tom Walton, project director for the UW study and a research coordinator in social work. "So the health effects are very unpredictable."

Those health effects have not been widely studied yet, but emergency rooms have reported seizures, nausea, vomiting, and cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Psychological effects of using synthetic marijuana can include anxiety, confusion, agitation, irritability, depression and memory issues.

The U.S. military has banned synthetic marijuana in all branches of the service.

Participants in the UW study came from the Department of Defense-funded Warrior Check-Up, a telephone-based intervention trial for Army personnel with untreated substance use issues who are ambivalent about making changes or engaging in treatment. All participants were stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state at some point during the 2011-2014 recruitment period.

Nearly one-third said they had used illicit substances within the previous 90 days; 38 percent of those used synthetic marijuana, twice as many as had used regular marijuana.

Study participants told researchers they believed that use of synthetic marijuana was significantly higher in the military than in the civilian population. It was the only substance that soldiers believed they used more than civilians, which supports the idea that synthetic marijuana is particularly attractive to military personnel, the researchers said.

"What we think other people do tends to be important in prevention efforts and intervention efforts," said Denise Walker, lead author of the study and a UW research associate professor of social work. "If soldiers think it's common for military personnel to use Spice, then they might think it's OK to use it."

Walker said soldiers tend to avoid treatment for substance abuse issues because seeking treatment automatically goes on their record.

"Who would sign up for that in the civilian population if your boss and your coworkers will immediately know?" Walker said.

The Warrior Check-Up is not considered treatment, and participation is strictly confidential.

Users of synthetic marijuana were younger and less educated than those who were dependent only on alcohol. They were more likely to be single and earned less money than those who were dependent on other drugs or alcohol. But there were no differences in ethnicity, race, deployment history or religion. Researchers also found that synthetic marijuana users were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop drug dependence than those who used other drugs (but not alcohol).

The majority of participants believed their use of synthetic marijuana resulted in failing to meet obligations, such as being late for work, doing their job poorly, or not handling home and child care responsibilities well.

One hazard of using synthetic marijuana was needing more and more to get the same effect, a hallmark of drug dependence. More than three-quarters of users reported using it for much longer than intended (i.e., planning to take just a few puffs after work, but then smoking it for hours).

Walker said there are many reasons why someone would become dependent on alcohol or drugs, but soldiers face added stressors.

"They live very stressful lives. Most of them are young, and they may be going to war or coming back from war," she said. "Being in the Army is very demanding."

The military recently announced that it has developed a urinalysis that can detect synthetic marijuana, but Walton said that test doesn't necessarily have a very high success rate.

"Those drug tests aren't identifying all the users out there," he said. "And, unfortunately, because of the consequences of self-reporting to substance use treatment, positive drug tests are the primary reason soldiers enter treatment. The Warrior Check-Up hopes to change that by helping military personnel change their substance use before it negatively impacts their lives and careers."


'/>"/>

Contact: Denise Walker
ddwalker@uw.edu
206-543-7511
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. The fatality rate among hard drug users is 14 times higher than for the general population
2. Mobile Health Prescription Discount Cards Saved Users 67% in 2013 off Prescription Costs
3. Healthspek Users Can Now Import Their Doctors’ Records into Their Personal Health Record
4. Social media helps users embrace differences and provide support to one another, MU study finds
5. 2013 1099 Software by W2Mate.com Brings Pressure-Seal 1099s, SSN Masking and Blank Paper Printing to QuickBooks Users
6. 123Greetings.com Celebrates A Green New Year As Users Helped Save Over 15,500 Trees in 2013
7. Heavy marijuana users have abnormal brain structure and poor memory
8. New tech lets cholesterol-tracking smartphone users take lifesaving selfies
9. EZ-P Enables Female Users to Give Urine Samples More Conveniently - Designed by InventHelp Client (DLL-2593)
10. Morgan & Morgan Wants to Hear from Users of 23andMe’s Personalized DNA Test Kits
11. Pixel Film Studios Provides Final Cut Pro X Users With Geometric Video Backdrops
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... ... With FCPX Overlay Embers from Pixel Film Studios users can now apply ... user can select from up to 40 effect overlays. With FCPX Overlay Embers users ... value, contrast, glow, and more all within a click of a mouse. , ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... , ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... of Nursing with an in-kind gift of a VeinViewer® Vision vein finder ... they learn how to start an IV and draw blood, combining technology with ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... Tech Outlook’s top Clinical Data Management Solution Providers list for its expertise in ... functional and domain expertise to serve the technology needs of global clients. DDi ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The law firm of Morrow, Morrow, Ryan ... The purpose of these scholarships is to encourage applicants to pursue a degree in ... within these two parishes. , “We have available jobs in St. Landry and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... CDRH Enforcement Trends: , ... http://www.fdanews.com/cdrhenforcementtrends , As Winston Churchill said, “Those who don’t learn ... 2015 will show what to expect when they come knocking this year. But that takes ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - Demers Ambulances announces its first delivery in the state ... County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) consisting of four ... van. Quality Emergency Vehicles in Lecanto, FL ... This is the latest in Demers, ongoing expansion of sales.  ... Demers. --> Benoit LaFortune , Executive Vice President ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Feb. 12, 2016   HeartWare International, Inc . ... and webcast to discuss its financial results for the ... Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. ET.  The ... the conference call and webcast.  On the conference call ... highlights from the fourth quarter and business outlook.   ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Kalifornien, 12. Februar 2016  Sequent Medical, Inc. ... von Patienten für eine Studie zur Sicherheit und ... speziell für die Behandlung von rupturierten intrakraniellen Aneurysmen ... Leiter der Neuroradiologie an der Universitätsklinik Bicètre in ... der CLARYS-Studie hat den ersten Patienten aufgenommen. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: