Friday, November 19, 2010

2009 SAMHSA Report Has 20% of U.S. Adults as Mentally Ill

A recent SAMHSA report concluded that nearly 20% of U.S. Adults had some form of mental illness in 2009 - with 11 million having severe illnesses. The SAMHSA report stated that, "Young adults aged 18 to 25 had the highest level of mental illness at 30 percent, while those aged 50 and older had the lowest, with 13.7 percent."

The survey results gravitate towards the impact of record unemployment rates, which last year hit a 25-year high as struggling employers slashed jobs to cope with a weak economy. The chain of events starts with loss of employment and then loss of health insurance, leaving many unable to get treatment.

Pamela Hyde, SAMHSA's administrator said, "The consequences for individuals, families and communities can be devastating. If left untreated mental illnesses can result in disability, substance abuse, suicides, lost productivity, and family discord."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Arizona Passes Medical Marijuana Act

Arizona became the 15th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana by approving Proposition 203, which legalizes marijuana for medical use.   Under the measure, physicians can prescribe marijuana for patients with "debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and Alzheimer's disease." Patients, who will be required to register with the state health department, will be able to purchase up to two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana every two weeks at licensed dispensaries, or to cultivate their own plants if they live too far away from approved outlets.

The 14 other states that have enacted laws that legalize medical marijuana (Date Legalized) include:

Alaska (1998)
California (1996)
Colorado (2004)
Hawaii (2000)
Maine (1999)
Michigan (2008)
Montana (2004)
Nevada (2000)
New Jersey (2010)
New Mexico (2007)
Oregon (1998)
Rhode Island (2006)
Vermont (2004)
Washington (1998)

The Federal Court System has ruled that the Federal guidelines supersede the States when dealing with compassionate laws on marijuana use. The Supreme Court has ruled that employers and the government can prosecute in those states that have compassionate laws on marijuana use. Employers need not accommodate the state rule. When it comes to quality employment drug testing solutions employers and risk mitigation professionals should solely rely on a professional drug testing firm like Mobile Medical Corporation (MMC). Mobile Medical Corporation (MMC) can help you with all of your substance abuse testing needs. MMC works closely with all clients to establish focused policies and testing procedures that comply with both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Non-Federal testing programs.


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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Alert - California Votes "No" on Proposition 19 - Marijuana Legalization

Yesterday, California citizens voted down Proposition 19. Yahoo News reported that if passed Prop 19 would have allowed adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of pot, consume it in nonpublic places as long as no children were present, and grow it in small private plots. It also would have authorized local governments to permit commercial pot cultivation, as well as the sale and use of marijuana at licensed establishments.

White House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske said, "Today, Californians recognized that legalizing marijuana will not make our citizens healthier, solve California's budget crisis, or reduce drug related violence in Mexico.

Even if Proposition 19 passed, federal authorities would have fought against it claiming federal jurisdiction.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Alcohol Tops List of Most Lethal and Destructive Substances According to Brits

British substance abuse experts recently conducted a study where they evaluated substances and drugs and ranked them based on how destructive they are to individuals and to society.

The substances that were reviewed included: Alcohol, Cocaine, Heroin, Ecstasy, Marijuana, Crack, LSD, Meth.

The study showed that alcohol outranked all other substances.  Experts believe that alcohol ranked so high because it is so widely used and has devastating consequences not only for drinkers but for those around them.  A professor of psychiatry and addiction at the University of Amsterdam said, "Just think about what happens (with alcohol) at every football game." The professor concluded, "When drunk in excess, alcohol damages nearly all organ systems. It is also connected to higher death rates and is involved in a greater percentage of crime than most other drugs, including heroin."