Source:  Novus Medical Detox Center / Press Release May 22, 2014

Studies show that cannabis is now more than two times more potent than it was 20 years ago. Novus Medical Detox says the drug’s accelerating strength, along with pressure for widespread legalization, are jeopardizing the health of American society.

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla., May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — While proponents of legalized marijuana have long touted the drug’s relaxing effects as evidence of its harmlessness, recent reports have linked marijuana to heart problems, cognitive impairment and even poorer educational outcomes. (1) Further studies have shown that today’s marijuana is not the “Woodstock weed” which was consumed by baby boomers in the ’60’s and ’70’s, but rather a much more potent variety. Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage RX drug abuse patients, maintains that growing levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and the accompanying support for legalization are putting American lives at risk.

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THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive ingredient in the marijuana plant. THC stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine, thereby creating euphoria and interfering with how information is processed in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for forming new memories. THC can also induce hallucinations, change thinking and cause delusions (2)—a fact which many healthcare advocates deem troubling, as recent reports indicate that marijuana has become increasingly potent due to rising THC levels.

A study conducted by the University of Mississippi Potency Monitoring Project which analyzed tens of thousands of marijuana samples confiscated by state and federal law enforcement since 1972 found that:

●   The average THC level of all seized cannabis has increased from a concentration of 3.4 percent in 1993 to nearly 9 percent in 2008;

●   The THC levels found in sinsemilla (the flowering tops of unfertilized female plants) have jumped from 5.8 percent to 13.4 percent during that same time period. (3)

●   The lab also found THC levels as high as 37 percent in certain marijuana strains. (4)

While some say that the associated risks of marijuana use are minimal when compared to those of illicit substances, Novus Executive Director, Kent Runyon, states that the high achieved from cannabis can result in risky and sometimes deadly behaviors; Runyon points out that reports of fatal crashes involving marijuana use have tripled during the previous decade, contributing to 12 percent of 2010 crashes compared to 4 percent in 1999; such reports are indicative of the true danger. (5)

“The negative effects of marijuana have been proven several times over and yet our society is still entertaining the thought of widespread legalization, despite the fact that already-legal substances, such as prescription drugs, have caused an overwhelming epidemic that we have yet to gain control of,” Runyon said. “We, as a society, need to be more cognizant of the health threat that marijuana poses.”

One probable consequence of marijuana’s rising THC levels is the high number of emergency room admissions for marijuana-related reactions—marijuana accounted for over 374,000 emergency room visits (37.7 percent of total drug-related visits), a number surpassed only by cocaine-related incidents, which accounted for 48 percent of visits. (5)

In lieu of increasing public access to addictive substances such as marijuana, Runyon maintains that it is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to conduct responsible research into the medicinal properties of marijuana that could result in the use of non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy attainable medications. In addition, Runyon suggests the use of public education about the real dangers of marijuana use, rather than incarceration, for people currently struggling with addiction.

“The general public is largely unaware of the true dangers associated with drug use; by providing a forum for this information and making it an inherent part of our everyday lives, we can then begin progressing as a society and continually phase out the use of drugs for recreational purposes.”

Runyon advises those who are dependent on any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those employing integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible. Novus opened its doors with the purpose of fixing the detox process in order to ensure that anyone could overcome prescription drug addiction comfortably. The detox center handles the toughest of drug and alcohol cases, many of whom are rejected from other facilities as “too high a risk.”

For more information on Novus Medical Detox’s addiction and detox programs, visit www.NovusDetox.com.

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, television, DVD player and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit www.novusdetox.com.

1.   Payne, Cathy, and Michelle Healy. “Marijuana’s Health Effects.” Usatoday.com. N.p., 7 Dec. 2012. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/06/nih-marijuana-effects/1751011.

2.   Cox, Lauren. “What Is THC?” 8 May 2014. livescience.com/24553-what-is-thc.html.

3.   Kennedy, Patrick. “Has the Potency of Pot Changed since President Obama Was in High School?” PolitiFact. N.p., 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 07 May 2014. politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jan/24/patrick-kennedy/has-potency-pot-changed-president-obama-was-high-s/.

4.   Hellerman, Caleb. “Is Super Weed, Super Bad?” CNN. Cable News Network, 9 Aug. 2013. Web. 07 May 2014. cnn.com/2013/08/09/health/weed-potency-levels/.

5.   Thompson, Dennis. “Fatal Car Crashes Involving Pot Use Have Tripled.” Webmd.com. N.p., 4 Feb. 2014. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. webmd.com/mental-health/news/20140204/fatal-car-crashes-involving-pot-use-have-tripled-in-us-study-finds.

6.   Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality 2011. Drug abuse warning network, 2008: national estimates of drug –related emergency department visits. samhsa.gov/data/2k11/DAWN/ED/DAWN2k8ED.pdf.

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