“We’re now counting 37 cannabis-related diagnoses a day,” Dr. Roneet Lev, an addiction medicine doctor at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, said about her emergency department. “It’s been steadily increasing over the years. When I started in the 1990s, there was no such thing. Now I see 1 to 2 cases per shift. The most common symptom is psychosis.”
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal to require fentanyl awareness education in the county's classrooms as well as distribute naloxone to parents and students and train them on how to use the medication.
There is an opioid epidemic in the United States that stretches into California and San Diego County. People who use drugs are dying from overdoses in record numbers, including 12 kids under the age of 18 who died in San Diego County from opioid overdoses in 2021. A proven strategy to address the rising opioid overdose deaths is through widespread naloxone distribution in our communities which should include local school campuses for grades 6-12. Even one child using drugs and putting their life in jeopardy is one too many.
September is Suicide Awareness Month, and San Diego health experts all came together Thursday at the City Heights Family Health Centers of San Diego to inform parents about the risks of marijuana use on youth mental health.
Experts have said they have seen a link to mental health and marijuana use.
“Every day I treat patients who suffer from cannabis use disorder,” said Dr. Joe Sepulveda, chief of psychiatry and medical director for substance use disorder services at Family Health Centers San Diego.
Prenatal cannabis exposure following the middle of the first trimester—generally after five to six weeks of fetal development—is associated with attention, social, and behavioral problems that persist as the affected children progress into early adolescence (11 and 12 years of age), according to new research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. These conditions may put these children at a greater risk of mental health disorders and substance use in late adolescence, when youth are typically most vulnerable to these disorders and behaviors.