Health News

loading...

I absolutely loved living in Colorado.

Load Error

Family-oriented Pueblo is the state’s best-kept secret. Lake Pueblo, Pueblo Mountain Park, and Devil’s Canyon are perfect places to hike. We lived in an old Craftsman home in the historic district, with a beautiful garden and wonderful neighbors. I felt like I was living in a dream.

And then legalized marijuana came, and everything changed. It’s taken nearly a decade for Colorado’s elected leaders to understand the damage pot is doing to our children. I saw it years ago.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

My eldest son entered eighth grade in 2014, the year recreational marijuana stores opened in Colorado. Soon, his behavior changed. He became irrational and repeated things that didn’t make sense. I dismissed it as adolescent mood swings. He’d just broken up with a girlfriend. That’s all it was, I told myself.

By his freshman year, I realized he was using marijuana. I was still in denial, though, until he attacked his younger brother and then tried to kill himself. The hospital treated him and sent him home. A few days later, when it was clear he was still suicidal, I took him back to the emergency room. Don’t worry, they told me. It’s just marijuana. 

Marijuana is a serious drug

Eventually, my son told me he was dabbing, which I had never heard of. A dab (or wax or shatter) is a highly concentrated form of THC, marijuana’s active ingredient. It’s heated and smoked, delivering an instant, overwhelming high. Crack weed, my son called it. He knew it was making him crazy. He wanted to quit, but addiction had him firmly in its grip.

And yes, he was addicted. Addiction is a pediatric disease. In 9 out of 10 cases, it originates with drug or alcohol use before age 21. Marijuana, which has been linked to mental illness and psychosis in teens and young adults, slowly takes away your humanity. That’s what it did to my son, who turned to running the streets with homeless people. He had no trouble finding people to feed his addiction in return for selling their legally home-grown marijuana

I quit working, making it my full-time job to save my son. I soon found out that getting treatment wasn’t easy. Beds were full. Officials minimized marijuana's addictiveness.

I found a highly regarded treatment center in Utah; they required $36,000 up front that I didn't have. Finally, I found a place in San Diego that helped restore his health. He regained confidence and looked good. In the meantime, I had learned about a recovery community in Houston, where host families provide positive peer support. My son got better when he left Colorado, so I moved him there in 2016. My other son, who had developed posttraumatic stress disorder, and I followed in 2018.

Rein in this monster

Sadly, my story isn’t unique. Families across Colorado have experienced the same heartbreak and worse. More and more, marijuana is implicated in teen suicides. From 2014 to 2018, marijuana was present in nearly one-third of teen suicides. Pot is taking our children from us.

That’s why a bipartisan legislature this year passed a bill that begins to rein in this monster. The bill:

► Authorizes a study on the effects of high-potency THC products on the developing brain and how to keep those products away from teens. These unbiased experts will make a recommendation for next steps to the legislature.

► Requires doctors issuing medical marijuana recommendations to consider the person's mental health history; 

► Orders a report on hospital discharge data when marijuana use is likely;

► Directs coroners to screen for THC in non-natural deaths;

► Reduces the amount an 18-year-old medical card user can purchase in a single day. This closes a loophole that could be exploited to stock up on marijuana concentrates, which they sell to their younger friends. 

It’s a baby step, but it’s significant that the state that pioneered marijuana legalization is finally recognizing there are harmful consequences.

© Family handout Aubree Adams in Houston, Texas, in October 2021.

We can’t keep going down this road. We can’t keep sacrificing our children on the altar of pot. Big Marijuana promotes high-potency, addictive concentrates with no proof they are safe for anyone. Colorado’s commission, when it reviews all the research already done, will confirm that this product is dangerous to children and much too easy for them to get.

Maybe lives will be saved. Maybe other states will be warned against following Colorado’s lead Maybe no more families will have to endure the hell that mine has.

But it comes too late for me and my oldest son. He started using again. I haven’t seen him in a year.

Aubree Adams is director of Every Brain Matters. She is the parent coordinator for a Houston recovery community, where she lives with her youngest son and two dogs.

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

Full screen 1/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 2/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 3/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 4/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network Slideshow continues on the next slide 5/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 6/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 7/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 8/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network 9/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network Slideshow continues on the next slide 10/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 11/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 12/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 13/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 14/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Slideshow continues on the next slide 15/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 16/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 17/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 18/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 19/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 20/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 21/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 22/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 23/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 24/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 25/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 26/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network 27/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 28/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, UA TODAY Network 29/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 30/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Nathaniel Archer, USA TODAY Network 31/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 32/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 33/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Kevin Necessary, USA TODAY Network 34/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 35/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 36/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 37/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 38/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 39/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 40/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 41/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 42/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 43/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Kevin Necessary, USA TODAY Network 44/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Nathaniel Archer, USA TODAY Network 45/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 46/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 47/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 48/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 49/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 50/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 51/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 52/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 53/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 54/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network 55/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 56/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 57/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network 58/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 59/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network 60/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 61/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 62/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 63/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 64/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 65/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Kevin Necessary, USA TODAY Network 66/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network David Cohen, USA TODAY Network 67/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 68/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Kevin Necessary, USA TODAY Network 69/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 70/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 71/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Mike Thompson, USA TODAY 72/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 73/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network 74/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 75/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network 76/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 77/77 SLIDES © USA TODAY Network Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network 77/77 SLIDES

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Marijuana legalization was a mistake. Highly-concentrated pot is destroying my son's life.

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/marijuana-legalization-was-a-mistake-highly-concentrated-pot-is-destroying-my-sons-life/ar-AAPD5Sw

Marijuana legalization was a mistake. Highly-concentrated pot is destroying my son's life.
How COVID-19 Has Contributed To More Advanced Cancer Cases For American Women
The Latest: Another record in Russia's daily virus numbers
Women of Woodside team sets fundraising pace in Aiken's Walk to End Alzheimer's
US coronavirus: The Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine offers good protection now. A booster shot will maximize that, experts say
Op-Ed: The cavalry saved me, and 18 years later, I was the cavalry — with a kidney donation
Calmatters: Hospitals Brace For Strikes As California Workers Protest Staff Shortages
Deadlines arrive for school staff to be vaccinated in Washington region
Will New Covid Treatments Be as Elusive for Poor Countries as Vaccines?
Illinois Shelter Partners With Health Groups to Build Trust
[LIMITED STOCK!] Related eBay Products