(Cape Cod Times, July 26) Fewer high school students are using drugs and alcohol, according to a new study. Research from the US Centers for Disease Control's Youth Risk Behavior study found that overall use of marijuana in the past decade has decreased from 27.6 percent in 1997 to 21.7 percent last year. Other drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, psychedelics and others, have also decreased steadily. In Massachusetts, alcohol use dropped from 53 percent in 1997 to just 33.9 percent last year. Similarly, marijuana use decreased to 24.5 percent.
(New York Post, July 12) Thirty-three people were stumbling through the streets of Brooklyn, foaming at the mouths and vomiting after overdosing from a bad batch of synthetic marijuana. Also known as K2, the drug is designed to mimic real marijuana, except its origins and makeup are chemical. READ MORE.
(Forbes, July 6) Using marijuana recreationally can damage the brain's response to monetary rewards. The reward center of the brain, the nucleus accumbens, produces dopamine, which presents a sense of pleasure. Study subjects at the University of Michigan pushed a button after seeing a target which then rewarded them with money. Those who reported frequent marijuana use had a smaller response in the nucleus accumbens. READ MORE.