Americans don't seem to know that too much of a good thing can be bad. New reports published today show that more people in the U.S. are seeking help for marijuana related health problems as alcohol continues to take a great toll on the body politic.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released the 2014 edition of its World Drug Report, and guess what? More Americans are are smoking weed. You're shocked, we know. Between 2008 and 2012, the number of people older than 12 who have tried marijuana rose from 10.3 percent to 12.1 percent. That's enough of a increase that you can't just blame it on Colorado, which was not where the study occurred.
But not everything is coming up weed. More and more, medical professionals are noticing a rise in weed-related health care. Al Jazeera breaks down the study's numbers:
In the U.S. between 2006 and 2010, there was a 59 percent increase in cannabis-related hospital emergency room visits and a 14 percent increase in cannabis-related treatment admissions, the report said.
So that's concerning. And those numbers will undoubtedly increase once legalization is factored into the annual report's results. The U.N.'s researchers also noted that the amount of THC found in seized cannabis crops has increased over the years, from 8.7 percent in 2007 to 11.9 percent in 2011. This higher concentration can cause stronger adverse effects on adolescents than the weaker strains of previous years, which is when the drug earned its "harmless" reputation.
In related news — as in, news about substances — a new report tallied the cost alcohol takes on human life each year, and it is substantial. In the U.S., alcohol is in some way linked to the deaths of 87,798 people each year, according to a study published Thursday in Preventing Chronic Disease, a journal from the Centers for Disease Control. That number accounts for binge-drinking related deaths, alcohol poisoning, or different forms of cancer linked to alcohol consumption.
So, the lesson here: all things are good (and safe) in moderation. Emphasis on the moderation part.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.