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Health Risk Behaviors With Synthetic Cannabinoids Versus Marijuana

Published on Apr 1, 2017in Pediatrics5.401
· DOI :10.1542/peds.2016-2675
Heather B. Clayton8
Estimated H-index: 8
,
Richard Lowry50
Estimated H-index: 50
+ 2 AuthorsAlthea M. Grant17
Estimated H-index: 17
(CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Sources
Abstract
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Data are limited on the behavioral risk correlates of synthetic cannabinoid use. The purpose of this study was to compare the behavioral risk correlates of synthetic cannabinoid use with those among marijuana users. METHODS: Data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a cross-sectional survey conducted in a nationally representative sample of students in grades 9 through 12 ( N = 15 624), were used to examine the association between self-reported type of marijuana use (ie, never use of marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids, ever use of marijuana only, and ever use of synthetic cannabinoids) and self-report of 36 risk behaviors across 4 domains: substance use, injury/violence, mental health, and sexual health. Multivariable models were used to calculate adjusted prevalence ratios. RESULTS: Students who ever used synthetic cannabinoids had a significantly greater likelihood of engaging in each of the behaviors in the substance use and sexual risk domains compared with students who ever used marijuana only. Students who ever used synthetic cannabinoids were more likely than students who ever used marijuana only to have used marijuana before age 13 years, to have used marijuana ≥1 times during the past 30 days, and to have used marijuana ≥20 times during the past 30 days. Several injury/violence behaviors were more prevalent among students who ever used synthetic cannabinoids compared with students who ever used marijuana only. CONCLUSIONS: Health professionals and school-based substance use prevention programs should include strategies focused on the prevention of both synthetic cannabinoids and marijuana.
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Recent reports suggest that acute intoxications by synthetic cannabinoids are increasing in the United States (1,2). Synthetic cannabinoids, which were research compounds in the 1980s, are now produced overseas; the first shipment recognized to contain synthetic cannabinoids was seized at a U.S. border in 2008 (3). Fifteen synthetic cannabinoids are Schedule I controlled substances (3), but enforcement is hampered by the continual introduction of new chemical compounds (1,3). Studies of syntheti...
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Marijuana is the most consumed illicit drug in the world, with over 192 million users. Due to the current legalization push of marijuana in the United States, there has been a lack of oversight regarding its public health policies, as marijuana advocates downplay the drug’s negative effects. This paper’s approach is from a public health perspective, focusing specifically on the cases of violence amongst some marijuana users. Here, we present 14 cases of violence with chronic marijuana users that...
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