The Swiss Cheese Model of Drug Addiction

What causes one person to become addicted to marijuana while another does not depends on many factors—including their family history (genetics), the age they start using, if they also use other drugs, their family and friend relationships, and if they take part in positive activities like school, after school clubs or or sports. More research needs to be done to determine if people who use marijuana for medical reasons are at the same risk for addiction as those who use it just to get high.

Watch the Swiss Cheese Model of Drug Addiction and learn why some people who use drugs become addicted and others do not.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The Swiss Cheese Model of Drug Addiction” 12 September 2014. Web. 30 April 2019 


What We Learned in Our Early-Intervention Parent Focus Group

Have you ever wondered what struggles other parents or caregivers of teens encounter when dealing with drugs and alcohol today? With vaping on the rise, the legalization of marijuana spreading across the country, and the influence of social media, we were curious as to how parents deal with these new challenges facing their families.

To get a handle on what parents are facing and how they are responding, we recently conducted eight focus groups across the country with a diverse set of parents of 11- to 16-year-olds. Some were certain that their kids had never used substances, while others suspected that their kids might be drinking or using other drugs.


Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “What We Learned in Our Early-Intervention Parent Focus Group.” 13 March 2019. Web. 25 April 2019 

Cannabis Use in Teens Linked to Risk of Depression in Young Adults

Cannabis is the most commonly used recreational drug by teenagers worldwide. In Canada, among youth aged 15 to 19 years, the rate of past-year cannabis use is 20.6 percent, while in England, 4 percent of adolescents aged 11 to 15 years used cannabis in the last month.


Science News. “Cannabis Use in Teens Linked to Risk of Depression in Young Adults.” 13 February 2019. Web. 23 April 2019 

Dad Charged with Child Abuse for Smoking Marijuana in Front of his 6-Year-Old Son on Facebook Live

Two North Carolina men were arrested for allegedly smoking marijuana in front of a 6-year-old child on Facebook Live, the local broadcast station WRAL reports. The 20 and 23-year-olds were each charged with misdemeanor child abuse, according to court documents.

Arrest warrants show that Tyreek J. Carpenter and Donta Dewayne Blue were arrested on Sunday and released on bond. Blue is the child’s parent and Carpenter is Blue’s cousin.


Yahoo Lifestyle. “Dad charged with child abuse for smoking marijuana in front of his 6-year-old son on Facebook Live” 15 March 2019. Web. 18 April 2019 

Psychotic Symptoms in Marijuana Smokers

A small pilot study published September 17, 2017 in Psychiatry Research finds that marijuana can cause a temporary increase in psychotic-like states in people who are at high clinical risk for psychotic disorders. The preliminary study, which involved 12 young adults who reported weekly marijuana use, is the first to test the drug’s effects in people at high clinical risk for psychotic disorders under controlled laboratory conditions.
Marijuana is known to exacerbate psychotic symptoms in people with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. Some researchers think regular use of the drug at a young age increases the likelihood that those at high risk will develop one of these illnesses.

Psychology Today. “Psychotic Symptoms in Marijuana Smokers” 30 October 2017. Web. 11 April 2019 

Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence

Over the last 30 years, psychiatrists and epidemiologists have turned speculation about marijuana’s dangers into science. Yet over the same period, a shrewd and expensive lobbying campaign has pushed public attitudes about marijuana the other way. And the effects are now becoming apparent.

Almost everything you think you know about the health effects of cannabis, almost everything advocates and the media have told you for a generation, is wrong.

They’ve told you marijuana has many different medical uses. In reality marijuana and THC, its active ingredient, have been shown to work only in a few narrow conditions. They are most commonly prescribed for pain relief. But they are rarely tested against other pain relief drugs like ibuprofen—and in July, a large four-year study of patients with chronic pain in Australia showed cannabis use was associated with greater pain over time.


Hillsdale College. “Marijana, Mental Illness, and Violence” January 2019. Web. 9 April 2019 

Sheriff: Dakota Theriot case is ‘extremely horrific example’ of failed mental health system

With each spin through the revolving door that brings police and the mentally ill together, accused killer Dakota Theriot grew more unstable.

Law enforcement was aware of Theriot before he was accused of killing five people last month. Police and court records reflect relatively minor offenses, such as smoking weed with his parents, to horrifying violence that included beating his wife and threatening to kill his family. He never faced a lengthy prison term or longterm hospitalization. For many offenses, he was never arrested.


The Advocate. “Sheriff: Dakota Theriot case is ‘extremely horrific example’ of failed mental health system 3 February 2019. Web. 4 April 2019 

Cannabis and Mental Health: 2017 Report of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids.

Here we reproduce the key points of the mental health chapter. You can access the full publication here.

Psychosis and schizophrenia

  • Cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use the greater the risk.
  • In individuals with schizophrenia and other psychoses, a history of cannabis use may be linked to better performance on learning and memory tasks.

Bipolar disorder

  • For individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorders, near daily cannabis use may be linked to greater symptoms of bipolar disorder than non-users.

Other conclusions

  • Cannabis use does not appear to increase the likelihood of developing depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
  • Heavy cannabis users are more likely to report thoughts of suicide than non-users.
  • Regular cannabis use is likely to increase the risk for developing social anxiety disorder.


Psychopharmacology Institute. “Cannabis and Mental Health: 2017 Report of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine 9 February 2018. Web. 2 April 2019 

CPASA officials oppose marijuana legalization

It’s been about two months since Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker took office, and he can already put a check mark next to one of his top priorities: increasing minimum wage.

Now state legislators are turning their attention to his next priority — legalizing recreational marijuana.

One of the leading arguments given by proponents on this issue is that it has the potential to collect myriad tax dollars that could alleviate the state’s poor financial status.

But local drug prevention agencies, such as CPASA (Community Partners Against Substance Abuse), are not buying that argument.

Collectively, their stance is that the human and health risks far outweigh any monetary benefits reaped from legalizing marijuana as a recreational drug.

CPASA member Torri Reinbeck, who is also a public health educator with the Bureau Putnam Marshall County Health Department, said her biggest concern lies among young people. She said she fears that legalizing the drug will only make it easier to get into their hands.

She explained how there’s already an issue with electronic cigarettes and nicotine addiction in the area schools. She leads the Bureau Putnam Power youth coalition, which focuses on drug prevention among students. While schools are constantly battling the issue of keeping electronic cigarettes off school grounds, new cigarette models make it easier for kids to use the devices in school.


Putnam County Record. “CPASA officials oppose marijuana legalization 11 March 2019. Web. 28 March 2019