Beaverton Together

  • Marijuana

    Marijuana is the second most used drug of choice for Beaverton Youth.  For those parents who used marijuana when they were young, it may seem that there is “much ado about nothing”. Much like alcohol, you may believe that it is better than some of the alternatives. What is the difference from when you were growing up?  Marijuana has a chemical in it called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  A lot of other chemicals are found in marijuana too - about 400 of them, some of which may cause lung cancer. But THC is the main active ingredient.  In 1974, marijuana averaged less than one percent THC.  Now the minimum is four percent with some as high as 25%.

    So what happens to the brain with marijuana?  For some people, smoking marijuana makes them feel good. Within minutes of inhaling, a user begins to feel "high," or filled with pleasant sensations. THC triggers brain cells to release the chemical dopamine. Dopamine creates good feelings for a short time but affects brain function.   Researchers have found that THC changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted on by the part of the brain that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations.

    Because a teen brain is still “under construction”, research on marijuana use among young people below college age indicates those who used have lower achievement than the non-users.   Due to the part of the brain that is affected, a teen shows greater rebelliousness, poorer relationships with parents, and more associations with delinquent and drug-using friends.

  • Old (and new) drugs for the new year

    Old (and new) drugs for the new year

     From Prevention Matters Site

    Alcohol continues to be the most widely used addictive substance in Oregon. About one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities involve alcohol, and alcohol-induced diseases are one of the five leading causes of death for Oregon men and women 35 to 64 years old.

    Marijuana use in Oregon has been affected by the Medical Marijuana Act, which allows marijuana to be grown and used for pain suppression. It continues to be exploited by local producers who use it to facilitate illegal cultivation for commercial purposes.

    Prescription drugs are the second most abused drugs by the young. They include oxycodone and hydrocodone products, anabolic steroids and methadone and are responsible for the largest number of drug-involved deaths.

    Methamphetamine is considered by many in law enforcement to be the biggest threat. Two years ago, Oregon enacted the toughest anti-methamphetamine laws in the country, resulting in the near elimination of local meth labs and meth toxic waste dumps. The supply of meth, however, is greater than ever, due to the influx of meth from Mexican drug cartels.

    Heroine use in the United States exploded from 2007 to 2012, rising from 273,000 to 669,000 users. Some say this is a low estimate because many heroin users are homeless, incarcerated or otherwise outside the reach of pollsters. Cocaine and opioid availability is down due to drug enforcement and cartel infighting while poppy farming in Afghanistan has increased.

    Krokodile, or desomorphine, is a cheap derivative of codeine that's mixed with gasoline, oil, alcohol or paint thinner and injected. It causes, scaly patches of dead and decaying skin, thus the street name. Even users who kick the habit are often severely disfigured for life, suffering serious scarring, bone damage, amputated limbs, loss of speech and motor skills, and varying degrees of brain damage. While krokodile has been confined to Russia and former Soviet Bloc, a few cases have started appearing in the United States, although none in Oregon.

    E-cigarettes, originally developed to help nicotine users break the addiction are now being used to smoke liquid THC, which is found in marijuana, cannabis and hash oil. Because it produces no smoke or smell, users can smoke narcotics in public and unless there are signs of intoxication, may go undetected.