Smoking Pot May Instigate Mental Health Problems
Teens and young adults who smoke pot may be setting themselves up for future mental health problems, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal. Dutch researchers followed nearly 2,000 people ages 14 to 24 for a decade, and found that those whose marijuana use began during the study period were about two times more likely to develop psychotic symptoms—like hallucinations and delusions—than those who abstained. Of the pot-smokers, most reported lighting up approximately 130 times in nearly four years, though frequency ranged from 5 to 997 times. Those likeliest to develop symptoms were those with the longest history of pot use, the study authors said. Past research has linked marijuana to psychosis, but experts have long debated whether the relationship is causal, or whether people with mental illnesses smoke pot to self-medicate. The latest findings suggest a causal relationship, since there was no evidence of psychotic symptoms in participants prior to their drug use, the researchers say. "This cements much more firmly the reality that marijuana use in adolescence is a risk factor, along with the other genetic, environmental, and socioeconomic risk factors, for developing psychosis," Kathryn Kotrla, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Texas A&M University, told HealthDay.
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Talking to Teens About Marijuana—9 Do's and Don'ts
Mary Jane won the popularity contest at your kid's school last year. Students in a national survey said they strongly prefer marijuana to other drugs, and more junior high and high schoolers say they're toking up.
The rise in 2010 was small but stood out because it registered across all three age groups sampled in the 36th annual "Monitoring the Future" survey of 46,000 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders. It also turned up at every level of use—in the last day, month, year, or ever, U.S. News's Kurtis Hiatt reports. Seventeen percent of 8th graders, 33 percent of 10th graders, and 43 percent of 12th graders said they'd toked up at least once in their life, about one percentage point higher in all groups than in 2009. And one in 16 12th-graders got high 20 or more times in the previous month compared with about 1 in 20 last year, a jump of 25 percent. [Read more: Talking to Teens About Marijuana—9 Do's and Don'ts.]
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'The 4-Hour Body'—Does It Deliver Results?
We love quick fixes. When it comes to diet and exercise in particular, the faster we're promised we can drop 20 pounds and uncover that six pack, the better. Unfortunately, many of our efforts seem to fall short (at best, right?). Enter: Timothy Ferriss and his book, The 4-Hour Body.
Want to gain 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days for a Hulk-esque chiseled chest? Ferriss says he did it. How about dodging fat gain while bingeing on 6,000 delicious calories in 12 hours? Ferriss says it's possible, and he's eager to tell you how he did it. In a span of 10 years, this human guinea pig—who also wrote The 4-Hour Workweek—documented these and other seemingly impossible physiological feats. The result is a book that for months has dominated the Amazon and New York Times bestseller lists. Though much of Ferriss' evidence comes only from small studies, personal experiments, or isolated case reports, he says he knows the secrets to "rapid fat-loss, incredible sex, and becoming superhuman." Can he back up his claims? More importantly, will they work for you? Experts have their doubts, U.S. News reports.
Claim 1: You can lose 20 pounds in 30 days without exercise.
How? Ferriss forbids many of our favorite carbs, including all bread, rice (white or brown), cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading. Anything else white is also off limits. You can't drink any calories and must stay away from fruit. But you can eat as much protein, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables as you want. Ferriss advises finding a few acceptable meals and eating them over and over. Effectiveness—not fun—is the No. 1 priority here, he writes. You are allowed one cheat day each week, though. That's not just a snack or meal, but an entire day of cheating. Because you've denied your body lots of calories throughout the week, a binge day ensures your metabolic rate doesn't "downshift," Ferriss explains. (He's binged on 6,000 calories in 12 hours, while using a cocktail of obscure supplements and strategic muscle contractions to try to minimize fat gain.) [Read more: 'The 4-Hour Body'—Does It Deliver Results?]
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