Pro-marijuana ‘tweets’ are sky-high on Twitter

Pro-marijuana ‘tweets’ are sky-high on Twitter

Analyzing every marijuana-related Twitter message sent during a one-month period in early 2014, researchers at the School of Medicine have found that the “Twitterverse” is a pot-friendly place. In that time, more than 7 million tweets referenced marijuana, with 15 times as many pro-pot tweets sent as anti-pot tweets.

Youth regularly receive pro-marijuana tweets

Hundreds of thousands of American youth are following marijuana-related Twitter accounts and getting pro-pot messages several times each day, according to researchers at the School of Medicine. They said the tweets are cause for concern because young people are thought to be especially responsive to social media influences and because patterns of drug use tend to be established in a person’s late teens and early 20s.

Outlook optimistic for returning U.S. veterans

Two decades of research by Rumi Kato Price, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine, shows reason for optimism about the future of returning soldiers. “The notion that our soldiers deployed to conflict regions come back ‘broken’ is a one-sided story in the media,” says Price, whose research has explored trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and suicide among American military service members and veterans.

Avoid impulsive acts by imagining future benefits

Why is it so hard for some people to resist the least little temptation, while others seem to possess incredible patience, passing up immediate gratification for a greater long-term good? The answer, suggests a new study from Washington University in St. Louis, is that patient people focus on future rewards in a way that makes the waiting process seem much more pleasurable.

Early substance use linked to lower educational achievement

School of Medicine researchers have found evidence that early drug and alcohol use is associated with lower levels of educational achievement. They found that people who began drinking or using drugs as young teens or who became substance dependent were less likely to finish college.

Pregnancies more likely in teens who smoke, drink and use drugs

High school students who smoke, drink, use drugs or engage in other risky behaviors also are more likely to become pregnant or to impregnate a sexual partner, according to new research from psychiatry researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. And it wasn’t just one pregnancy. Those involved in risky activities had an even greater risk for multiple pregnancies. 

Cicero receives Eddy Award for drug abuse research

Theodore J. Cicero, PhD, has been honored by the College of Problems of Drug Dependence with the 2010 Nathan B. Eddy Award for his pioneering research efforts in the field of drug addiction, research and treatment.The Eddy Award is presented annually to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions in drug abuse research.

Traditional healers are legitimate resources for youth in American Indian communities, says mental health expert

According to numerous studies, American Indian youth experience disproportionate rates of mental health and behavioral problems, including substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts. To address this critical problem, an adolescent mental health expert at Washington University in St. Louis says that traditional healers in American Indian communities may be a valuable but under-recognized resource offering alternative and culturally relevant services that complement conventional medical treatment. More…

Washington University researchers assessing rates and risks of gambling

WUSM researchers have developed a diagnostic tool for identifying pathological gambling disorder.More than 80 percent of the U.S. population gambles at some time in their lives. It might be the lottery, bingo or poker. Most never need treatment for problem gambling, but others lose control and lose their houses or cars and damage family relationships as a result of compulsive gambling. Little is known about why people gamble and how to predict who is likely to become a pathological gambler, but Washington University researchers have developed a diagnostic tool for identifying pathological gambling disorder, and they’re beginning to learn who is at risk.
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