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Speaker 1:All right. Welcome everyone to the Family Conference 2020, presented by Rhombus University. The topic covered in this presentation is the new marijuana. And our speaker is licensed psychologist, Dr. Julie Hayden. Dr. Julie Hayden is a licensed psychologist with a bachelor’s in biblical studies, a master’s in religious studies, a master’s of arts in counseling psychology, and a doctorate of psychology. She has been a professor at several universities, a Dean at Southern California Seminary, and now chief academic officer of Rhombus University, training Christian professional therapists to effectively tackle difficulties people and families face. Dr. Julie is the clinical director at Rhombus Counseling and Genesis recovery, the co-chair of the San Diego MFT Consortium, and the former co-chair of the Treatment and Intervention Committee of San Diego Domestic Violence Council. She has 15 years of clinical experience, which includes working with chronic mental illness, substance and sexual addictions, adolescents, families, PTSD, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, and more. And now, I’m happy to welcome Dr. Julie Hayden.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Thank you very much. I’m going to get my screen ready here and we will get going. Before we get going, just a quick comment for anybody that struggles with Zoom, if your picture’s disappeared, look for the icon that looks like a webcam that’s blue, click on that, and it will reappear on your screen. Look on your computer for your icon and it should reappear. So, here we go everybody. I am excited. Some of you I recognize from the first presentation, so you’ll have a lot on addictions by the time you leave. And today, our topic’s going to be on the new marijuana. And we’ll talk about why I put that new in there. Further understanding of this type of drug in our society. It’s going to be fun. I do want to move relatively quickly to make sure we have time for question and answer, because I think that may be the most fun we’ll have, when you can ask me questions about how this relates to your sphere of the world.
Dr. Julie Hayden:So, as you had heard from the introduction, I work predominantly in addictions, have for many, many years. So, I have a very personal, from a clinician standpoint, experience in watching some changes that I’m about ready to describe to you. So before we can go forward, we need to go backwards. Especially if those on today may not have a full understanding of where we come from with this plant, this cannabis plant, that we’re talking about, marijuana. So we’re going to look at some history. I’m not going to read everything on the slide. You’ll have these slides later if you want to go back and look at some more of the history, but I am going to highlight some. But one thing I want you to know is it’s been around a very long time. As those who love this plant say, “It’s natural. It’s a plant. It grows. And so, how could it ever be harmful?”
Dr. Julie Hayden:So, as believers, I always laugh at that one, because I think, “Hmm, what comes natural to us is not always a great thing.” But that’s okay. We will see what comes of our study. So, in the history it’s been around for many years, often used for medicinal reasons. And at times used for recreation, for getting high, for pleasurable aspects to this plant. The plant has many aspects of it and each are used for different types of things. We won’t go too much into it, because there’s too much important aspects I want you to get out of it. But I want you to look here, as far as our history goes, at 1906, the timeframe early-1900s, where the FDA required that any product with cannabis in it would be labeled. So that’s one clue I want you to zone in on.
Dr. Julie Hayden:As we go through, we see it used for medication for pain. Actually, funny history of most drugs in our society is, “The most amazing thing ever, a miracle drug, you could use it for your headache or you stub your toe, it could help your wife, it could help everybody. It’s amazing, take this drug. Oh wait, you might die.” And so, a lot of times it’s something very exciting. And then, we backtrack realizing harms of it. That’s the history of many, many drugs in our society. I think of opium and the old fashioned commercials where they’d have the elixir and the miracle cure selling it out of a wagon and it’s opium. And, heroin and the dangers that come. So, that’s always our history, even psychotropic medication, we have some of that in our history, where we learn and we backtrack.
Dr. Julie Hayden:So here, we have a couple key dates I want you to remember also. By 1914 to 1925, we had a lot more laws prohibiting the use of marijuana. By the Great Depression, all states had some form of regulation. You had this movie come out, Reefer Madness, which portrayed marijuana leading to rape, and violence, suicide, psychosis, and just put fear in people. As we move on, we have the counterculture come. You have 60s into 70s of high use of marijuana, and peace, and love, and everybody just get high. And then, you get to the 1980s, I have that highlighted, we want to come back to that. Okay? So remember 1980s. But that’s the timeframe where you have, “Just say no.” You have, “DARE.” These proactive measures to stop drug use. You have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, starting progressing all the way to another important date, 2012, where Colorado and Washington legalized it for recreational use. Remember 2012.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Now, 11 states have marijuana legalized for recreational use, 33 states legalized for medicinal uses. So here we go. Before we get into some of the changes we have to ask this question. Now you might wonder why I’m asking you this, but it’s actually important. You can chat in your chat box if you want. What are the positives of marijuana? Why do people use this drug? What are the benefits? Why are young people attracted to it? Why is it one of the most common drugs used among adolescent and youth? One statistics, 2019, 22% of the U.S. used marijuana within a timeframe in a year. A high, high statistic of many people using this drug, why? What are the positives?
Dr. Julie Hayden:So, I want you to think of that. You might have a stereotype in your mind of the feeling of being high, somebody wanting to relax. Somebody wanted to just chill. You have these things that come to mind. Those are going to be important as we get toward the end of our presentation, we’ll come back and remember what are the positives? I would just say, very specifically, if we’re ever looking at how we would want to prevent people from entering into drug use, it’s just as important to know the positives as the negatives, if you’re going to have any effectiveness keeping someone from a drug. So we’ll come back to that later. Here’s some appearance of what it would look like to be intoxicated by marijuana, sleepiness, red eyes, anxiety, paranoia, munchies, slow reaction time, changes in mood and personality, changes in sense of time, hallucinations or oddities, where things are adjusted in their surroundings away from reality. You might picture a person sitting on a couch, playing video games, eating tricks. This is what we picture when we think of marijuana.
Dr. Julie Hayden:So, really what’s the big deal? Let’s wonder, is it addictive? Well, as much as we know about addiction now, one question always to ask if something’s addictive is, how does it affect the dopamine reward center of the brain? So, dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which means a chemical that’s produced in the brain to communicate with the rest of her body. The message of dopamine is, my version, “Mm, yum. Do it again.” Okay? So if you get a flood of dopamine, your body says, “Mm, yum. Do it again.” So that’s dopamine. So, how a drug affects this part of the brain, this chemical of the brain, really has an impact on how addictive it is. If you get a flood of dopamine, you’re going to love that substance, not just for its own properties, but because of your natural body’s chemical, dopamine. And that’s also why we have behavioral addictions, because it gives you that dopamine and you can be just as addicted to your own chemical as the drug.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Here’s other questions to ask, how fast does it work? How well does it work? So, things that give you a higher high are more addictive. Things that work very quickly are more addictive. So, how fast does it work? How well does it work? Will tell you if something’s addictive. And how often do you use it? No matter what it is. If you use it enough, your body could become dependent on it.
Dr. Julie Hayden:And, even in the last presentation and in other scenarios, I joke about caffeine not counting, because I love my coffee. But it does count, as I said previously. And here’s the thing, if you drink enough caffeine, your body will stop producing the natural chemicals that wake you up and make you go to sleep. The energy levels throughout the day, the body produces chemicals that regulate that on a regular basis. If you have caffeine, go in and interfere with that on a regular basis, your body won’t produce those chemicals. If you all of a sudden went off caffeine, your body would react. You would feel it. You’d have physical consequences of that. And you would absolutely not be able to regulate when you’re awake or asleep. Your body stopped working in that area and you would feel it. So, even though caffeine is not very potent. There’s not a lot of negatives necessarily. You become addicted to it. You become dependent on it, because you use it often and your body becomes ready for that substance to be there. And it will react if it doesn’t have it.
Dr. Julie Hayden:So, is marijuana addictive. Absolutely. But we’ll look at how this has changed over the years. But you can always be addicted to almost anything if you do it enough. But definitely, if you want what it has, and it works fast, and it works well, you could be addicted to it. So that’s actually not new, that’s always been there, but there has been changes that affect this we’ll look at in a moment. Here’s my question. This is not necessarily out of research like all the rest. This is out of my experience.
Dr. Julie Hayden:What I found is, why a person uses a certain substance will absolutely tell you how deep that addiction will go. And here’s one key red flag to watch for. If a person is using a substance because they cannot handle how they feel, their emotions that they’re dealing with, their physical sensations that they’re dealing with, if they find a drug or alcohol or whatever it else is to take that away, that’s going to be a powerful, addictive property to that substance. And that’s what you might find with weed. If they’re using it to make something disappear, it’s quite possible that could be addictive for them. And we’ll look at it further in a moment.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Here’s another interesting question to ask about marijuana. Where does it belong? In all the substances that we struggle with, heroin, and meth, and cocaine, and maybe tobacco, and various things that people are addicted to, we’re often looking at which category do they fit? Well, you have opiates, which would take away pain. They give you a very euphoric sense and that would be heroin as an example. You have depressants that would calm you down, relax you, your whole body system slow down, and they might give you a calmness or sleep effect. These types of things might be alcohol, they might be benzodiazepine, or anti-anxiety medication. You also have stimulants that wakes everything up. It’s just a fantastic high and you might have tons of energy. This type of drug, stimulant would increase arousal, and alertness, and give you euphoria. And then, you have psychedelics, which alter your perception of reality. You might have hallucinations, you might have a distortion in how you’re seen, or hearing, or what you believe, or around you your surroundings change. And there’s obviously all kinds of interesting stories of hallucinations people have with psychedelics.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Where does marijuana belong? A little bit of everywhere. Not necessarily in the opiate category, but actually how marijuana typically works, it’s easily put into a depressive category. A lot of times people use a substance because they want to relax and calm down. It’s also used as a stimulant. Many people experience it as a stimulant and they actually have a little bit different symptom as you would think, especially with the new marijuana, which we’ll talk about. So, it actually can increase alertness sometimes and give a certain euphoria that’s actually similar to meth. And we’ll talk about that in a little. And it’s a psychedelic. It does alter reality, not for everyone, but as we look at what the changes of marijuana have been, it’s absolutely in that category as well. So, marijuana’s a little distinct in that it can actually encompass three of these categories. Let’s keep going.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Now, these effects have actually always been there. So we’re going to look at the changes very shortly. But, marijuana in general, in our system, can impair our thinking and reasoning, reduced ability to plan and organize, alter decision-making, reduce impulse control, and impair memory, impair motivation, and you could have hallucinations. So even though these are all true, what it is focused on is actually your prefrontal cortex. That’s where a lot of these things are. Memory, decision-making, impulse control. That’s your prefrontal cortex. Interesting enough, that is what’s not fully developed in youth until actually about age 22, 23. That’s where we’re going to see a high risk in the future when we understand the changes of marijuana. So this has always been there, but maybe a little worse now, when we get into the changes.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Remember I told you to remember dates, 1980s, that was “stop” and the “DARE” program remember. “Warning. Warning, everybody. We can’t use drugs. It’ll fry your brain. This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.” That timeframe, THC levels in marijuana was about 3%. THC is the chemical or aspect of marijuana that has the euphoria, has the high feeling, might have the altered perception of reality. That’s the enjoyable part, what people love about marijuana is the THC in it, right? About 3% in 1980s. Okay. Let’s jump to 2012, 12%. What’s 2012? That’s when Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use, jumped to 12% THC. Now that is exponential. That is a high increase. And even when you think of the 3%, when you’re thinking 60s, 70s, where we might classically picture marijuana, people smoking weed, maybe parents in their history, their picture of marijuana, it was about 2% THC. Okay? Now, 2012, up to 12%.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Let’s keep going. High grade marijuana in 2018, 20% THC, significantly higher percentage THC. The psychiatric properties of that drug. But we’re not done. Now, smoking marijuana, you can get from 20 to 40, 44% pretty easily, THC in that drug, in that product that you can purchase and you can use. That changes so much of the risk factor, the high factor, the whole drug, but it’s not over. Here is the main point I want you to get out of today. Concentrated versions of marijuana in the form of oils, whether it’s just an oil and people vape it, people use it in edibles, they’re called dabs, 96% THC. Main point of all of this, this is not the same drug. Marijuana has changed. The risk levels have just skyrocketed. But remember my early statistics, about 22% of Americans in the United States have smoked marijuana in last year.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Now, I will zoom in this presentation with risk factors actually very much for young people, for youth, more than all the rest, although the risk factors have changed. Let me give you an example. I have worked with heroin and meth addicts for a number of years. And always, even in addiction, I don’t know if I’m supposed to say this, but there’s many a times I would say, “Well, it’s just weed.” It wasn’t weed that we were worried about or marijuana that we were worried about. It was because it would create a risk factor for them using harder drugs. Even parents, that may be a thought process. But somewhere along the way, that changed. And, I very much remember a gentleman that was… Well, actually I’ve had a number of heroin and meth addicts tell me, “I need some Xanax to handle that weed.” And Xanax would calm you down and relax you. It’s its own problem.
Dr. Julie Hayden:But, the point out of that is, marijuana to a heroin and meth addict was something different, was something potent, something very much not what it used to be because of the concentration levels, the THC level so high. And with it being legalized, I think one aspect out of it is it’s a product now, a product to be honed, and improved, and in their ability to give you the best drug possible for your money, the risk factors are exponential. But we’re going to look at a couple very specific risk factors. Look at some of the risk factors of current risk of marijuana use. I’ll let you look through some of these, but I will highlight. One thing to remember is a lot of what it targets and always has, but now at just a phenomenal exponential level is, your prefrontal cortex.
Dr. Julie Hayden:But, a kid does not have that developed until about age 23. Who’s using marijuana is a lot of times, and I’ll look at some statistics for you in a moment, 8th grade, 9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade. And my 21 year olds don’t have a fully functioning prefrontal cortex yet. So before it’s developed, it’s being altered. It’s changing their brain and their ability to make good decisions, their ability for motivation in a very different way. In general, people tend to have a diminished life satisfaction, because it’s actually messing with that dopamine part of the brain. And so, it’s giving them different types of pleasurable experiences and honestly harder drugs like heroin and meth can do this too. My point is, marijuana is right there with what we call harder drugs at this point and getting worse.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Here’s something that’s very different, cannabis induced psychosis. My experience in the treatment facility is matched with treatment facilities all over the place. We all have the same stories coming out. Our stories are coming before we can prove this in research. So we have a unique opportunity to get this information out to people now. It will follow with research I’m sure. But I can’t find a lot of studies. I found one recently, but there’s not a lot of studies, but our personal experiences over many treatment facilities, definitely ER visits does show that, is psychotic breaks from marijuana, a kid having complete loss of reality, very similar to what you would see with meth. You see things, you hear things, you are no longer in reality. Psychotic breaks from marijuana. That was unheard of previously, it’s very common now.
Dr. Julie Hayden:But, here’s the unfortunate part that we’ve seen. They’re not coming back. It has always been stuff like cocaine and meth. You would have times where you would lose reality, but you’d find it again. You’d have months that it would be out of your system and then your brain would start coming back, and you would get your senses back, and the brain repairs itself. What we’ve seen with a number of cases with young boys in particular that when they have psychotic breaks, they’re not coming back. Still to this day, I probably have six out of our treatment facility that have not 100% come back mentally from their psychotic break on marijuana. People need to know about this. I’ve seen it more and more in research and more and more you’re able to find it, but it’s still not all being discussed at the level it needs to be.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Those on marijuana, especially the high potency type, especially oils, they’re having paranoia, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, aggression. I taught this presentation. I’m sitting at my office, outside I have somebody screaming and yelling to nobody. And they’re, I later find out, on marijuana. What we would picture of meth, these are the types of things we’re seeing with people on certain potency versions of marijuana. So this is how it has changed, it is a different drug. I want everybody to know about this so that they can protect mostly our youth. Of course, I care about all adults. And, it’s different when it comes to addictions as well, even in treatment ,before you want to see people seeking treatment per se for marijuana use, now you do.
Dr. Julie Hayden:So, look real quick at our U.S. statistics 2019 at how many young people are smoking marijuana. And one of the reasons I like to do this presentation is I think a lot of parents are thinking, “Well, at least it’s just…” In that, that “just” is no longer allowed. It is a potent drug. It doesn’t mean every single strain of marijuana is. And it doesn’t mean there’s not great uses medicinally. If I’m talking to those in addiction, I’m not going to go there. It’s like, “Oh, is that the case? It’s because of your medical reason.”
Dr. Julie Hayden:But, there are legitimate positives out of marijuana. And it has been used for centuries for medicinal reasons. And that’s probably not the same thing we’re talking about with what people abuse, but there are other areas of viewing this drug, I’m not going there. I’m warning everybody about the risk specifically to our youth, but definitely even adults. This is a different drug and the risk factors for the psychosis I’m talking about, the earlier they use marijuana, it increases their risk, and early onset in general. Also, how young they were at their first psychotic break. Also, if they have any family history of psychosis, unmarried, and lower socioeconomic status, these are increased risk in research for the psychosis factor.
Dr. Julie Hayden:So, I know we’re coming to the end of our time and we’re going to open it up to discussion. But I want to just emphasize a little bit here. People smoke marijuana for a reason. They use substances for a reason. Traditionally, many, many times, youth, it’s either wanting to belong in a social way or they are dealing with a lot of stuff you might not know about. So, because of that, if you can build tools in that they can handle it without the use of marijuana, they might be fine. So, here’s a few things, acceptance of emotions. Traditionally, so many addicts that I deal with when I say something like, “The emotion can’t hurt you. And if you sat with it for a while, it probably would pass.” It’s worked for them.
Dr. Julie Hayden:And they’ve spent their whole life, as soon as they have that feeling, they use the substance to make it go away. And yet, all of a sudden they realize nothing bad happened. They felt the feeling and everything’s fine. And it just, first of all, blows their mind that it worked and then they have hope. Then they deal with the emotion in a healthy way, figuring out another alternative. So if you can help kids learn, and teens, and youth, and young people, how to accept emotions and adults, we need this. Our society says you deserve to be happy. So when terrible things happen, we don’t handle it well. But actually, we can presume suffering. We know this with a biblical worldview, how do we handle it well in other ways of managing it?
Dr. Julie Hayden:How do we manage thoughts and interpretations? So, remember some of you do in previous times, I talk about a lot of the history of addiction. People will have abuse, they’ll have their parents getting a divorce, they’ll have terrible experiences, and they draw conclusions that something’s wrong with them. That they’re not loved. They draw conclusions and off they go to the world. In those situations, if you can go back and help them see reality, how much they are loved by God, chosen, how there’s plenty of hope in the future. And, you can help them see life from a different perspective. A lot of times, the reason they want to zone out with a drug like marijuana can be diminished and there’s hope for the future.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Also, many people use substances because they can’t handle how their own body deals with life. They feel like they’re going to jump out of their skin. Their mind’s racing a 1000 miles an hour. There’s physical sensations of anxiety and everything else that’s overwhelming. And so, a drug works. There’s your positive. That’s why it’s so important to know the positive. If you don’t know why they’re using it in the first place and build in alternatives, then they don’t see a reason to stop. They need something that’s going to work.
Dr. Julie Hayden:So you need to know the positives, so you can counter with alternatives. And interpersonal skills, especially young people, are they using this to belong and they don’t know the risk and they don’t care about the risk? The risks are for you parents and church leaders. They’re not for the kids, because the kids don’t care, because they’re invincible and nothing’s going to hurt them. It’s good for them to know. So I want you to teach them, but that’s probably not going to deter them. If they feel like they can’t talk to somebody, or they’re uncomfortable, and they don’t belong, they need other ways to connect and feel like they have purpose in life, and relationships, and everything else, so they don’t need a substance to do it. That’s how you’re going to help.
Dr. Julie Hayden:I’ve got some resources there for you to go look later, if you get the presentation when we give it to you at a different time. So that is the big reveal, marijuana has changed. I’m glad all of you know now, and you can share it with others. What questions come from all of this? Yes. I think there’s a number of these videos that we’ll put out there. For sure. I agree. I see in research that people are finding the same things, but it’s not in mainstream media. And I just think of the opiate epidemic and what if we knew how bad it was going to be before and we could catch it. So I see an opportunity. So I am all for it to try to get the word out.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Well, adult use of marijuana is 22% of the United States. So, that’s crazy. And that’s just using it once or twice in a year. It’s about 33% use it regularly. This is something that’s common. And that’s why even you guys are great, I don’t know if all of you, but many times when I do this presentation, I am definitely an enemy, because half the people in my presentation, counselors, many other people will be casually smoking marijuana. It’s legal in California. So, it’s a little different. And so, they’re not seeing the negatives. And there’s not always negatives, I can’t pretend like there is. I’m sure there are those that can use this substance in a way that’s not tremendously damaging. There’s probably more negatives than they realize, but definitely the risk factors are there for certain populations. And, unfortunately with addiction, you never know. So, you can think, “Oh, I’ll just casually use marijuana.” And you have a psychotic break.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Yes. Well, to some extent. Most places where you’re purchasing it as a product, you can see the THC level. So that’s good. But, there are times that people will sell marijuana where you don’t know everything that’s in it. And, that’s a different problem too of marijuana being laced with other things that are more potent. So that’s also a problem is sometimes you don’t know what else is in the marijuana. So, I’m just talking about marijuana, but the risk factors goes up when it’s laced with fentanyl and people die. So that’s another risky factor depending on where you’re purchasing it. And that’s the thing, is the kid going to the store? Or are they getting it some other illegal way where they really don’t know what’s in it?
Dr. Julie Hayden:Exactly. That’s a very good point. That brings up a whole another can that we can’t open here of, it also affects everybody different. So when you talk about driving, there’s awkward things with marijuana, if somebody was pulled over under the influence, a breathalyzer is not going to do anything, because the level of marijuana in their system means nothing, that’s subjective. So, in order to know what it meant, you’d have to have them tested on a regular basis and see is it going up or down? But, the level of marijuana in the system is not going to tell you anything about how high they are, or how it’s affecting anything about their body. So, there’s just not a lot of regulation on it anywhere. And so, there’s these other side factors that come in that are a problem. You’re right.
Dr. Julie Hayden:It’s hilarious. I don’t even know how they come up with, and why for goodness sakes. So, for a number of years, it’s been right around 22, 23 and always increasing. So if it’s higher than that now, I would not be surprised. But I do think in understanding how the brain develops, there were times in our history where 14 year olds were doing manual labor like a man in a farm somewhere. And so, how our kids handle life is different, I imagine that has something to do with how quickly their development comes. So, there’s other factors. But yeah, definitely at least, you’re not going to have it until about 22, 23. But if it’s even increased, I imagine that fits how our brain has been going along the years. And we didn’t even talk fully about things like impotence, erectile dysfunction, cancer, there’s other health problems that are not discussed as much. And definitely kids aren’t caring in their youth that absolutely would affect their future.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Sure. Because we have a counseling center that a lot of times works closely with churches. And I know a good number of counseling centers that do the same thing. They connect with churches. So they’re side by side. That may be one thing, is see what’s in your area, who are people you trust, so you can call on them. So, if it’s all the way on the church, it might be difficult because these are unique situations. But I think education always helps. Sometimes it’s educating the parents, but I think educating kids too. There’s always going to be a portion of children that don’t listen to anything you say, and they’re going to have to learn the hard way. But many will listen. And if they understand the risks that may impact.
Dr. Julie Hayden:But also, one thing I say often is, the opposite of addiction is not recovery, it’s connection. And I think, you could be proactive. If kids have healthy relationships, if they communicate really well with their parents, if they have that, it does make a difference. And so, even open communication, building a culture of communication in families, so that parents aren’t surprised by something, they know what’s happening in their kids’ lives and catching things early. And, I would say this, I don’t know how to say this fully, but not overreacting. There are many people that don’t consider the risks. And so, that gets their kid into trouble, but there are some that overreact and create that distance. And that can be a negative as well. So, some boundaries, taking it serious, but love also, and strong relationship can really be important. So, possibly trainings, presenting information to the church, so everybody knows more and everybody can team it and come alongside our youth.
Dr. Julie Hayden:I’ll just open it up for questions on any other topic that has come along, addiction in general, since we do have a couple minutes use me however you’d like. That’s a very good point. Let me give you this. This is maybe not marijuana, but those that just whatever they’re addicted to is, it has to involve adrenaline and excitement. And then you rotate. So, it could be surfing. I mean, you could debate on this because it’s dangerous, but riding a motorcycle. It could be running, exercise, working too much, whatever it is that produces that high in a relatively healthy way is fine. But you rotate, because an addict will take everything as far as they possibly can. So, before they do that, they get into it, it’s fun, it’s exciting, they take it, and then they need to stop and turn to something else. So, those that are really struggling. I found that if they get something like that, but they rotate to something else before they go too far, that seems to help in the long run for long-term recovery.
Dr. Julie Hayden:I have watched out. Being at Genesis, we get to integrate faith, and so sometimes people come to the Lord. And so, you can’t beat that. But also, I have seen those that nobody had hope for, and they came out, and it’s been five, six years, and they have their family, and there just really is hope. And so, I have hope, that’s just a real thing because I’ve watched it. I know how God works, but I would say connections and having people in their life that care about them, that makes a big impact. That lets them keep having hope for themselves.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Yes, it can increase the risk for cancer. Yes. Found it, there really is hope. And, when you can capture and remember the whole person, not just this aspect of him that will help him. And so, I think that’s a great way to view it. It could be, yes. Sometimes the things used in edibles are higher potency than anything else. So absolutely, there’s some risk factor there. But it’s not a guarantee, it’s too hard because it’s not regulated. I couldn’t tell you on a particular product. I can only tell you the risk is there. It may be a very relatively safe product that they’re selling, but I will say the oils have the higher concentration and a lot of times they’re used in the edibles. So it can be a very potent.
Dr. Julie Hayden:So, when it comes to an addiction, because I think one of the highest risks are a risk of psychosis, when you didn’t realize that was going to happen and that only takes one version of using marijuana, but to be addicted a lot of times that has more things in play, there is a little bit of a wiring to a person that would create a vulnerability to be more addicted than the average person. They could be addicted very quickly to anything. So you probably already know if you have that tendency.
Dr. Julie Hayden:But also, there’s an aspect to why you’re using it and if you keep using it. So, if you had anxiety and you used marijuana for that, it might work. If you kept using it, if you ever wanted to go off, your body would have a fit, and that’s dependency. It would revolt, so you’d have withdrawals and that’s a sign of addiction. Now, whether that would be terrible or whether that would be worth it for you, each person would have to decide. But technically, you could build an addiction to it just by continuing to use it for something.
Dr. Julie Hayden:So, if you used it though on a very seldom occasion and you didn’t have any addictive properties to your biology, it might be fine. The risk factor is what I’m always curious about. So, fingers crossed. I don’t know if some of the risk is worth it for an average person when there are alternatives. There are plenty of ways to deal with anxiety and how our bodies work that don’t have to involve substances. So, whether you go to a therapist for those, or you go to a church for those, finding ways to manage life without an outside substance, that’s a more protective way. But also, people do it all the time without tremendous damage. So, I want to recognize both sides out of it.
Dr. Julie Hayden:A long time. So again, that’s a hard question to answer, it depends on many factors. But marijuana does say in your system much longer than other substances. So, people can test high for marijuana months after they have used anything. So, it doesn’t mean it’s having the effect on your body that whole time, but it is something that stays in your system for quite a long time.
Dr. Julie Hayden:Again, it would depend on many factors, including the potency, and including their biology, and how they metabolize things. But, marijuana does slow your reactions down. So people using marijuana and driving is very similar to the risk factor of driving drunk. And so, that is there. How long would it take for them not to have a slowed reaction time? That would be very individualized on the potency of the drug and the person and their metabolism. That’s one of the complications of marijuana is it’s almost impossible for cops to do anything about it. They might see a person swerve, you might not know you have slow reaction times until you get in an accident. So, there’s some complication to, you can’t just test for marijuana like you can for alcohol. The level of it means nothing, unless you knew that person and their history. So, that’s hard. So for parents or anybody else, you are not going to know until there’s some problem with it.
Dr. Julie Hayden:It is possible. There are so many creative ways to get out of drug test. So, for a parent, it would be a different time that we could talk about this. But, for a parent, it is good to know all the ways that people get out of drug tests. So, yeah, it’s quite possible they could have showed nothing in their system on the drug test and yet they are still using, that is possible. For time sake, we’ll go ahead and wrap it up. But, I want everybody to know I’m available, all the speakers are available. We will respond to emails. You could email me and I email everybody else all throughout this day, whatever you had presented, if you had further information you wanted, we would be available. So, keep us in mind if you have questions later on, don’t feel like this is the only time you could reach out to get more information, but I’m proud of everybody. I hope this information permeates to all your places that you have, people you could share it with.
Speaker 1:And I’d like to thank our licensed psychologist, Dr. Julie Hayden for the wonderful presentation. Thank you for joining us for the Family Conference 2020. We hope you have gained new insights and tools you can use. We will keep you informed of upcoming events with Rhombus. And, you can check our website, www.gorhombus.com for more information. For those interested in seeing a counselor for a consultation, please click the link in your email for that opportunity. Again, thank you for being part of Family Conference 2020. And we look forward to seeing you again at Family Conference 2021. Thank you.
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