The Buzz - A Blog About the Disease of Addiction | CASAColumbia

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Welcome to The BuzzCASAColumbia’s online conversation about addiction and substance use.

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A new report from the Colorado Department of Revenue gives us insight into the size of the market and demand for legal marijuana (both medical and recreational) in the state. Demand is much higher than expected: total marijuana demand for adults is estimated to be between 104.2 and 157.9 metric tons. This is largely driven by daily users, who make up almost 70% of total demand. 

Welcome to Five Minutes With where we take a few moments to better get to know the CASAColumbia staff. Today we’d like to introduce Megan O’Grady, Research Scientist at CASAColumbia.

CASAColumbia—in partnership with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and North-Shore Long Island Jewish Health System—has implemented routine screening for substance use into seven health facilities in the New York region, including the new Lenox Hill HealthPlex emergency department. Now, patients age 18 and older who visit one of the participating health facilities will be asked several questions about their use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. If the patient’s answers indicate risky alcohol or drug use, they will be approached by a health coach during their visit.

On June 19, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders reached a deal to create a medical marijuana program for New York. Cuomo says that the agreement “strikes the right balance” between making marijuana available for people who have serious health conditions and protecting public health and safety at the same time. We share Cuomo’s concerns about the balance of making treatment available for people who need it while prohibiting smoked marijuana. 

One of the most pervasive myths about marijuana is that it is relatively harmless. Many believe that adolescents can smoke marijuana and not become addicted to it. Our analysis of data released last month from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) shows that in 2012, teens admitted to treatment were diagnosed with addiction involving marijuana far more frequently than other substances.

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