It's Time to Know

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [The University of Manchester Library]On: 09 October 2014, At: 08:51Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: MortimerHouse, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Journal of Psychoactive DrugsPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:</p><p>It's Time to KnowLynn Lafferty aa In-DEPTH ProgramPublished online: 06 Sep 2011.</p><p>To cite this article: Lynn Lafferty (1998) It's Time to Know , Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 30:2, 221-222, DOI:10.1080/02791072.1998.10399694</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content)contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensorsmake no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for anypurpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and viewsof the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information.Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs,expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly inconnection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in anyform to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>Baum, Joanne. It's Time to Know. (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Johnson Institute, 1996). 198 pp., $12.95. </p><p>Reviewed by Lynn Lafferty* </p><p>It's Time to Know, by Joanne Baum, Ph.D., is a poignant collection of case studies of recovering marij uana addicts, and an overview of the available information (and in some cases lack of information) about marijuana. Dr. Baum reviews recent research and statistics and presents case studies in order to clarify some of the confusions and myths surrounding marijuana, and to examine the powerful ways this "innocuous" drug can take hold of the lives of its users. </p><p>The book examines the lives of ten former marijuana users who have been in recovery anywhere from nine months to fifteen years. Their personal accounts take us step-by-step on a revealing journey through the stages of marijuana addiction. Through their own words we hear about the ways they were introduced to the drug, their different stages of use, their rationalizations and denials, the myths they believed about marijuana-most thinking that "marijuana is not harmful"-and the various problems the drug caused in their lives . Two paradoxical reasons for using marijuana resonate throughout the personal testimonials; one is the desire "to escape," and the other is the hope to "fit in." </p><p>Before and after the case studies are presented, Dr. Baum discusses the unique difficulties encountered in treating marijuana users. These include an especially strong sense of denial among addicts about the harmful nature of the drug. This phenomenon most likely emanates from its particular history, as well as the political, personal, and psychological associations it has within our culture. Marijuana is often treated as an "exception" drug: users fail to consider it harmful, addictive, or unlawful. They also tend to make excuses for its use. Society has done little to teach otherwise. Social norms, the positive images surrounding marijuana, and the failure of society to educate its citizens about the harmful effects, have all contributed to the unique problems surrounding the drug. </p><p>The book also investigates another factor in the arduous process of treating marijuana addicts: the dearth of </p><p>*Founder and Director, In-DEPTH Program. </p><p>Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 221 </p><p>Book Review </p><p>conclusive research. Marijuana research has been difficult, expensive, and often nonexistent. The lack of proven research increases the possibility that the user will be in denial; they might think that "the research is not proven," therefore the drug is not harmful. However, Baum points to research that links marijuana with adverse effects on the immune, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, and reproductive systems in the body. She also describes marijuana's association with respiratory illness, hormonal changes, prolonged depression, psychosis, impaired sensorimotor functioning, and memory loss. </p><p>In reviewing the current research, Baum describes a particularly intriguing 1 988 study conducted by Siegel, Garnier, Li ndley, and Siegel in which the connection between pot and mercury was investigated. The soil in which pot is grown (primarily in Mexico, California and Hawaii) contains mercury, plants absorb the mercury, and it is inhaled when the pot is smoked. The research postulates that many of the side effects of pot may actually be due to mercury, which has been known to cause memory loss, anxiety, loss of self-control, and nervousness. </p><p>Baurn explores the complex nature of the drug, and the empty promises it offers. As one testimony states, and the others summarily agree, a theme emerges about the broken promises of the drug. "There was so much socializing in the beginning-which only ended up in isolation and alienation." The narratives clearly show that most users think marijuana will make them feel good and socially included, when in the end the opposite is true. After a period of time, many users experience depression, which they do not at first connect with their marijuana intake. The chemistry of the drug supports their reported experiences; at low doses, marijuana can have mixed effects, whereas at high doses it is almost always a depressant. </p><p>A key obstacle to breaking down the user's denial about the harmful nature of marijuana is the amount of social and casual use that has taken place since the early 1 970's. In the 1 970's marijuana was only about 1 % THC (or 1 0 mg.), whereas today there is anywhere from 1 50 to 300 mg. of THC per joint. In the book, Dr. Mark Gold asserts that a daily dose of 1 80 mg. of THC used for 1 1 to 21 days can produce withdrawal symptoms. With the increasing sophistication of cultivation techniques, including a new method of lacing marijuana with formaldehyde, the drug will continue to appear in increasingly strong and therefore more addictive strains in the future. </p><p>Volume 30 (2), April - June 1998 </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>The</p><p> Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f M</p><p>anch</p><p>este</p><p>r L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 0</p><p>8:51</p><p> 09 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>Lafferty </p><p>The personal narratives describe considerable frustration with the long recovery time. When drugs have a short half-life, addicts start to feel good in a relatively short time (i.e. a month) after they cease to use. But with marijuana, users may not feel good for many, many months. This makes abstinence a hard sell, since amotivational syndrome can be a side effect of marijuana use. Baum does a wonderful job of describing the recovery process. She drives home the fact that that only after treatment are people able to recognize the insidious ways the drug can subtly blind the user to its worst effects, cause suicidal depression, and block emotional and spiritual growth. In the personal narratives, the former users describe their frustrations with relapse, and then the feelings of joy, happiness, growth, and freedom they experienced on the road to recovery. </p><p>Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 222 </p><p>Book Review </p><p>This book would be excellent for middle school, high school and college students, as well as patients who need to break down denial and get into marijuana abuse treatment. Counselors and healthcare professionals can use this as a tool with addiction-recovery clients and provide the personal testimonials of individuals who have conquered marijuana addiction. It is engaging, interesting, and clearly informative. The reader comes away with a better understanding of drug use and abuse, and most importantly, of the facts, myths, and addictive nature of marijuana. The case studies represent a genuine variety of users, from young to old, rural to urban, and various cultural backgrounds. And throughout, the tone is real, the struggles palpable, and the triumphs encouraging. </p><p>You me 30 (2), April - June 1 998 </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>The</p><p> Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f M</p><p>anch</p><p>este</p><p>r L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 0</p><p>8:51</p><p> 09 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li></ul>