Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Four Corners [Walls]: Messing with your intellect

Four Walls: "Imagine taking every single emotion, memory, experience, tablet all into one... and those fighting each other to see who is the victor." - Danny, 22.

"It just f... with your head. I had to sleep with a knife under my bed 'cos I used to think people were going to come in and bash me during the night or something. Just for me mull or something, yeah." - Danni, 17. "

But obviously Danny has a mental problem most likely paranoid schizophrenia a problem that insidiously had been there long before he took up smoking?

Four Walls: "A whole generation of Australians has grown up believing that smoking pot is a harmless pastime."

That's because smoking pot is harmless to most Australians except for those who have some mental problems about 1 per cent of the population.

Four Walls: "They need to think again? The view of cannabis as a benign drug is under challenge - not from conservative family or religious groups but from the science and medical community. [corporations and government.] Clinicians now believe that modern strains of super-strength cannabis are increasingly triggering psychoses, depression and anxiety disorders in teenagers."

They need to think again if they have a mental problem like schizophrenia, because pot which is only a herb can make you more paranoid when you first start smoking it, but after a while that diminishes when the other well know benefits are felt. That is if you haven't got a mental illness.

Four Walls: "Many young people begin smoking cannabis before they have even hit their teens? - And experts are warning that the younger the smoker, the greater the risk of mental illness."

What else did they begin consuming? And like if your mother gives it to you when you're a baby then the experts warning makes sense? For instance what would petrol sniffing do to young people?

Four Walls: "About half the young people who seek help for psychosis have a cannabis problem."

So how many have an alcohol problem? How many of those had a mental illness before they had a cannabis problem?

For instance everybody has a shit as well but not all people who have a shit have a mental problem, so the dear doctor's diagnosis is flawed and pro-government?

Four Walls: "According to doctors the proportion of cannabis users among these young patients has doubled in 20 years?

"For some teenagers there is no second chance. Ten to 15 per cent of young people with serious mental illnesses commit suicide or die from other causes within a few years of diagnosis."?

But mental health has its own problems that are yet to be diagnosed and treated because of lack of funding?

Of course cannabis is popular. The proportion of cannabis users with mental illness merely points out that it is a popular herb, taken by a large section of the population some with mental illness.

Perhaps the consumer should understand what works and what doesn't when they have a mental illness? A mental illness, which does not agree with the herb and should not be taken with a mental illness.

Four Walls: "Even for those who do recover, only half return to meaningful work or study?"

What with a mental illness? Makes lots of sense like disability, only half of them return to meaningful work or study!

Four walls:

Q: "And Jake how old were you when you started smoking?"
A: "Twelve."
Q: "And when did it become a problem for you, how old were you?"
A: "About 14 I started smoking regularly." - Jake, 18.

Q: "Where would you be if you never smoked pot?"
A: "Still be at school. I.... didn't even pass year eight." - Sam, 16."

Common Sense

Q: And Bud how old were you when you started smoking?
A: Seventeen
Q: And when did it become a problem for you, how old were you?
A: It never became a problem and I am 47 years old and I don't have a mental illness. What about that!
Q: Where would you be if you never smoked pot?
A: That's a hypothetical question. How long is a piece of string?

Four Walls: "So what accounts for this new concern about cannabis and youth psychoses?"

Beats me it's probably pro-government spin because if you look into the statistics of how many of our youth are affected by alcohol and what that drug does to people you wouldn't be so concerned about cannabis which is at best a herb!

Four Walls: "About half the young people who seek help for psychosis have a cannabis problem."

What about alcohol? What proportions of the mentally ill patients who seek help for psychosis have an alcohol problem? Strange how the fact that they also had a shit and most likely had taken alcohol, but those figures were not realised in the promotion of the Four Walls segment.

One does wonder what this story was really all about? And if you ask me THIS IS a story about MENTAL ILLNESS on top of consumerism and as we all know consumerism is ripe! So what has the story got to do with smoking herbs?

High strains of the herb as suggested - Clinicians now believe that modern strains of super-strength cannabis are increasingly triggering psychoses, depression and anxiety disorders in teenagers.

But what a load of rubbish. Smokers of the high strains don't suffer adversely unless as I have said they already have a mental illness. Add anything to a mental illness and obviously you're in trouble.

So this story is really about MENTAL ILLNESS!

Alcohol abuse:

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is a disease. Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease with symptoms that include a strong need to drink despite negative consequences, such as serious job, relationships, or health problems.

Like many other diseases, it has a generally predictable course, has recognized symptoms, and is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors that are being increasingly well defined.

About prevalence and incidence statistics:

The term 'prevalence' of Alcohol abuse usually refers to the estimated population of people who are managing Alcohol abuse at any given time.

The term 'incidence' of Alcohol abuse refers to the annual diagnosis rate, or the number of new cases of Alcohol abuse diagnosed each year. Hence, these two statistics types can differ: a short-lived disease like flu can have high annual incidence but low prevalence, but a life-long disease like diabetes has a low annual incidence but high prevalence.

Prevalence of alcohol use in 1999

Experience with alcohol was high amongst secondary students, with use becoming more common as age increased. By the age of 14 around 90% of students had tried alcohol and by the age of 17 over 70% of students had drunk alcohol in the month prior to the survey.

The proportion of students drinking in the week prior to the survey (defined here as current drinkers) increased with age from around 22% of 13-year-olds to reach a peak of 55% among 17-year-olds.

Hazardous drinking was defined as having eight or more drinks in one day for boys and six or more drinks in one day for girls. Of current drinkers aged between 12 and 15 years, 12% of boys and 13% of girls had engaged in hazardous drinking in the previous week. Among 16-17-year-old current drinkers, 38% of boys and girls had drunk at a hazardous level in the preceding week.

Some type of spirit (eg vodka, scotch, rum) was the most common type of drink consumed by drinkers of all ages. Allowing for multiple responses, the most commonly consumed alcoholic drinks were spirits (47%), beer (33% ordinary beer; 5% low alcohol beer), alcoholic sodas (20%), wine (11%) and liqueurs (10%). While more girls than boys drank alcoholic soda, more boys than girls drank beer.

Across all age groups, 15% of boys and 12% of girls bought their last alcoholic drink.

Buying alcohol was related to age and increased from 5% of 14-year-old boys and girls to 42% of boys and 30% of girls aged 17.

Parents were the most common source of alcohol with 38% of boys and 32% of girls indicating their parents gave them their last drink?

The three main places for students to drink were the family home, a friend's home or a party. Over all age groups, 21% of students had not received any lessons about alcohol use in the previous school year, while 39% had received more than one lesson about this topic.

Four Walls: "Recent research shows that the human brain does not fully develop until a person reaches their twenties. Teenage brains, therefore, are more vulnerable than adults to cannabis."?

And what else? ALCOHOL

Modern technology multiplies the dangers. Hydroponically grown, [lettuce] genetically modified varieties of marijuana [Lettuce] plants are believed to contain much greater concentrations of the chemical THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. [Just plain Rubbish] Cannabis is cheap, too, making it more easily available to today's teenagers than it was for their parents' generation.

And what else? ALCOHOL

In this wake-up call to a disturbing new trend, young cannabis users in treatment for psychoses speak openly about their experiences to reporter Janine Cohen, while doctors and drug specialists explain what the new research means for young people's mental health.

Don't let them Mess With Your INTELLECT

1. ALCOHOL Background

Drinking alcohol by adults is both widely accepted and expected within the Australian community.

Correspondingly, alcohol is seen as a pleasant social beverage rather than a drug, with most people drinking in moderation and in a non-addictive manner. Because alcohol use is so accepted within the Australian community, limited use of alcohol by adolescents is often sanctioned by adults.

However, unsupervised and/or excessive use of alcohol by young people, while generally not sanctioned, is not uncommon.

Excessive use of alcohol by adolescents has been associated with long-term ill health as well as immediate harm-related behaviours such as drunk driving, accidental injuries, risky sexual behaviour and violent behaviours.

The extent of harm associated with alcohol use among adolescents and young adults is reflected in recent health-related statistics showing that alcohol dependence and its harmful effects is one of the leading causes of disease and injury burden among people between the ages of 15 and 24 years.

Preventing the abuse of alcohol among adolescents has been identified as one way of reducing the human and financial costs associated with alcohol abuse.

Young people are therefore a major target group for policies and programs aimed at reducing excessive use of alcohol. Education programs to inform adolescents about the dangers of the excessive use of alcohol and the negative consequences of getting drunk have been conducted since the 1980s.

National prevalence surveys conducted triennially since 1984 suggested that the introduction of these programs was associated with a decrease in the prevalence of drinking among students.

However, this trend seemed to be reversed in the early 1990s with increases in the prevalence of alcohol use being found between 1990 and 1996.

Australia was not the only country for which an increase in the prevalence of alcohol use was found among adolescents. Canada also noted that the prevalence of alcohol use among students increased between 1993 and 1999 and that this was accompanied by an increase in the proportion of students drinking five or more drinks in a row.5 In the United States of America, the results of the Monitoring the Future studies suggested that while the proportion of Year 12 students using alcohol in the previous year decreased during the 1980s, usage levels remained stable in the early to mid 1990s and increased slightly between 1996 and 1999.

Understanding current trends in the prevalence of alcohol use among secondary students in Australia is essential for planning and implementing appropriate interventions and campaigns.

This report had two aims. The first was to describe the alcohol-drinking behaviours of Australian secondary students in 1999. The behaviours focused on were the prevalence of never drinking, drinking in the year, month and week preceding the survey, drinking at hazardous levels, types of drinks consumed, sources of alcohol and places where students drink. The second aim was to examine both short and long-term trends in the prevalence of alcohol use among Australian secondary students. For this the 1999 prevalence estimates were compared first with those from a similar survey of students conducted in 1996, and secondly with those from similar surveys conducted every three years since 1984.3,7,8,9,10,11

The 1999 survey was a collaborative project between state member organisations of the Australian Cancer Society, state health and education departments and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.

By Janine Cohen and Just Us posted 8 March 05


Community links Ellison to corporate greed, organised crime, politics The Federal fascist Government has accused Western Australian Premier Geoff Gallop of fostering organised crime under laws allowing people to grow small amounts of cannabis?

People: 'Prisoners' of Drugs'
According to an Australian Medical Association report, 83% of prisoners behind bars are there as a result of drug-related offences. In a NSW study it showed the frequent amount of burglaries depended on the rate of spending money on drugs. Neil Comrie, Victorian Police estimates 70% of all criminal activity is drug related. Inadequate treatment services as well as treatment of drug addiction as a crime, rather than a health issue has criminalised a huge number of people.

NSW police drug amnesty under review
A drug amnesty for the New South Wales police force is under review, Police Commissioner Ken Moroney has said. Under the amnesty, police officers who have come forward to say that they have used illegal drugs, are treated by rehabilitation counsellors.

One in six youth deaths caused by alcohol: report
ALMOST one in six deaths amongst young Australians can be attributed to the irresponsible consumption of alcohol, research by the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) has revealed.

UK: This absolutely preposterous idea/theory of allowing a person/s to be possibly charged with 'possession', if found to have a drug substance within their bloodstream, just goes to prove such hypocrisies which certain hierarchies feel justifies passing legislation, is another blow for democracy!

Prison guards test positive for drugs
NSW prison visitors banned from using the toilet The visit is only for about one hour and any thing less than that is an insult. If it's proved that a visitor has broken the rules the punishment should apply to them. But collective punishment on all visitors should not be made general when others haven't broken the rules especially if it restricts all visitors from normal human needs like using a toilet.

Big Pharma snared by net
UK The web has helped consumers turn tables on the drug giants, says Cheryll Barron.

Fremantle police at centre of missing cannabis claims
Western Australian Police Minister Michelle Roberts says cleaning up the Fremantle Police Station will be a big test for new Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan.

Research points to corporate journalists alcohol-schizophrenia link New research has revealed more evidence of a link between corporate media journalists and schizophrenia.

Canadian PM pledges to decriminalise marijuana
Prime Minister Paul Martin has pledged to reintroduce legislation this year to decriminalise the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana.

You're one of my kind?
Over 80% of the population consumed alcohol in the previous 12 months, with 11% of males and 6% of females drinking daily. In terms of risk of harm in the long term, 10% of males and 9% of females drank alcohol in a pattern that was risky or high risk. In terms of short-term risk, 24% of males and 17% of females drank at least once a month in a manner that was risky or high risk for short-term harm.

CWA wants pot legalised
PERCEIVED as the height of conservatism, the Country Women's Association has had a reputation for baking and handicrafts until now. The organisation yesterday confirmed it is seeking to have cannabis legalised for health reasons. A recommendation to be put forward to the annual meeting in May calls for the legalisation of the drug for the treatment of terminally ill patients.