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Posts Tagged ‘ASAM’

Basis for Cannabinoid Therapeutics

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Below are the excerpts of the 2010 American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) white paper republished by The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice about The Basis For Cannabinoid Therapeutics:

Momentum for developing cannabinoid medications gained force only after the discovery of endocannabinoid receptors and the brain’s endogenous cannabinoid ligands in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These monumental discoveries, parallel in their basic framework to the discovery of the brain’s endogenous morphine-like neural system (the endorphins), transformed the focus of research from marijuana to the brain itself. These discoveries marked the dawn of cannabinoid neuroscience.

We now understand that an extensive system of the nerves within the brain communicate with each other using the same basic chemistry found in marijuana. While we are only beginning to unravel the role the endocannabinoid system plays in overall brain function, Raphael Mechoulam has declared that “The cannabinoid receptors are found in higher concentrations than any other receptor in the brain.”

Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors are distributed throughout the brain, where they are concentrated in the hippocampus, amygdala, basal ganglia, cerebellum, nucleus accumbens, and cortex (anterior > posterior). Cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors are generally located peripherally. Tonic activity within the endocannabinoid system is continuously modulating a huge variety of physiological and brain functions, including short-term memory, learning, appetite, anxiety/fear, pain, and spontaneous motor activity.

THC and similar molecules in marijuana are able to affect the brain only because they mimic our natural neurotransmitters, flooding receptor sites with stimulation. All the cannabinoid-based areas of the brain are subsequently activated beyond normal physiological levels. This is generally enjoyable for most people, but not without consequences for many. Smoking marijuana essentially reaches into the brain and increases the activity of the one specific subset of neuronal activity – like turning up a rheostat that controls the brain’s endocannabinoid activity.

The question of whether there is medicinal value in stimulating, or reducing activity in cannabinoid-based portions of the brain depends on three things:

1.)  Specific areas of the brain where cannabinoid chemistry is concentrated and the functions served by these areas;

2.)  The specific disease and symptoms being treated; and

3.)  Side effects produced by the treatment – essentially a “medical cost/benefit analysis.”

In addition, there are also CB2 found throughout the body, on nerves, blood cells, on organs, and throughout all stages of embryonic development. The potential for cannabinoid therapeutics must also look at the direct impact of stimulating or antagonizing these receptors as well.

The potential value of any cannabinoid medication depends on modifying physiologic functions that are naturally controlled by our body’s internal cannabinoid system. Given all the functions that are modulated by endocannabinoid chemistry, it is likely that either stimulating or blocking portions of this ubiquitous neuronal subsystem has the potential for relieving the suffering caused by the disease. The basic neuroscience of our endocannabinoid system thus provides the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (ASAM) perspective on the most effective framework for medicalizing cannabinoid therapeutics.

Source:  http://www.globaldrugpolicy.org/Issues/Vol%205%20Issue%204/ASAM%20with%20front%20page.pdf

Workplace Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Related Organizations

Monday, May 24th, 2010

There are plenty of people who use drugs and come to the workplace. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA under the US Department of Labor, these people come to work and do not merely leave their problems at the workplace’s doorstep. In fact, OSHA recorded that in 2005, around 75% or an equivalent number of 12.9 million out of the 17.2 million illegal drug users within the age brackets of 18 years old and above were employed. This record includes both full and part time workers and plenty of them come from construction, wholesale, mining and manufacturing industries.

Before OSHA even recorded these statistics on illicit drug abuse within the United States, many business owners have already implemented their respective drug testing as well as alcohol testing practices – both for existing and newly hired employees of the company. You may wonder whether these workplace drug testing efforts are supported by various organizations. Yes, there are workplace substance abuse and drug testing related organizations in the country whose primary aim is to make sure that the drug tests are implemented properly in these companies. Here are some examples of such organizations:

1. SAPAA or Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association. This organization aims to promote the integrity and quality of administering workplace drug abuse prevention programs. It provides training courses, the latest of which are Substance Abuse Expert course and exam as well as Supervisor DOT and DFWP Suspicion Courses.

Read More About SAPAA…

2. DATIA or Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association. This organization represents the alcohol and drug testing industry for Washington, DC. It oversees both regulatory and legislative issues for these undertakings and wishes to get more people involved in workplace drug and alcohol testing. It also provides the most recent information to its members especially those that are crucial to their existing operations. It was founded in 1995 and was called the National Association of Collection Sites. Now, it represents over 1300 members.

Read More About DATIA…

3. EAPA or Employee Assistance Professionals Association. This is the oldest organization that oversees the employee assistance industry. Established in 1971, EAPA sees to it that its members are professional at all times. It conducts annual conferences, trainings and workshops that will meet this main goal. Aside from the US, this international organization covers 34 other countries worldwide.

Read More About EAPA…

4. NAADAC or National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. This organization for addiction-focused professionals focuses mainly on helping families, communities and individuals recover from their drug or alcohol abuse problems. The company’s mission is to empower these individuals through education, professional development, advocacy, standards of practice and research.

Read More About NAADAC…

5. ASAM or American Society of Addiction Medicine. This organization sees to it that medical practitioners treat drug and alcohol abuse individuals fairly. They educate physicians with what to do in dealing with such cases. It also provides support to drug addiction prevention programs while it endeavors to establish addiction medicine as a specialty recognized not only by the government and professionals but the general public as well.

Read More About ASAM…

6. MROCC or Medical Review Officer Certification Council. This non-profit board provides certification to physicians who have undergone medical training to become professional MROs. It offers both initial and recertification exams through their website.

Read More About MROCC..

7. AAMRO or American Association of Medical Review Officers. Created in the year 1991, this organization sees to it that drug and alcohol testing medical practitioners have been provided with certification according to national standards. The certification provided by AAMRO gives the public an assurance that they will receive quality services from professionals who conduct both alcohol and drug testing services.

Read More About AAMRO…

These workplace substance abuse and drug testing organizations work hand-in-hand together to make sure that tests pertaining to drug and alcohol abuse within the workplace is being conducted according to standards. With these organizations present in US, you can be assured that individuals and companies providing professional drug testing have met ethical standards as well.

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