Improper Labeling May Fuel Marijuana Addiction

The scourge of drug addiction in the United States has reached such an alarming rate that it calls for stringent reforms to curb the rising trend that has rendered people despondent and helpless. Substance abuse poses a heavy financial burden on the nation, costing more than $700 billion annually, in terms of crime, lost work productivity and health care, as per a 2015 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report.

Marijuana is one of the most abused addictive substance in the U.S. and its regular use leads to a series of health problems as well as various financial and legal issues. When it comes to adolescents, a heavy marijuana use can affect their personal life, leading to poor performance at school and work, inability to remember things, cognitive decline and reduced attention span, among others. It is important to determine what precisely leads to drug addiction so that people, especially children, can avoid such triggers and refrain from large doses of the drug.

A recent study, conducted at the nonprofit research institute RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, revealed that bad labeling on edible marijuana products, such as candies and brownies, could inadvertently lead to marijuana addiction, especially in case of children.

Children mistake such products for cookies or candies

For the study, scheduled to be published in the May 2017 issue of the International Journal of Drug Policy, the researchers reviewed 94 people living in Denver or Seattle, and questioned them about the pros and cos of the current labeling practices of marijuana edibles. The study participants primarily comprised 32 people who had taken marijuana edibles two months prior to the study, 30 people who had consumed the product six months before and 32 parents who had not used marijuana in the past five years or never used the drug ever in their lifetime.

As part of the study, the scientists showed each participant edible marijuana products that had been packaged for sale in the central locations in Denver or Seattle. While the participants in Colorado were shown a gummy candy packaged in a bottle that bore a colorful image of the candy, in Seattle, a chocolate bar covered in green paper with white lettering was shown to the participants. This was then followed up by discussions to understand the people’s opinions about the products’ packaging.

Too much information overwhelms opinion about a product

The results revealed that most of the participants were concerned about the labels containing too much information, saying that it discouraged people from reading the information in its entirety. The absence of clear indication about marijuana content was cited as another major concern.

It was also suggested by the participants in Denver that packaging the product like a prescription medication, instead of a candy, could help prevent the accidental ingestion of the product by people, especially children.

According to the participants in Seattle, consumption advice such as “Until you know the effects of this product, eat only half of a segment, and wait a minimum of 75 minutes before consuming another portion,” can be more useful in curbing the menace than the mandatory warning statement such as, “the intoxicating effects of this product may be delayed by 2 or more hours.”

Recovery road map

Mental health problems can be debilitating if not treated timely. If you or someone in the family is facing a mental health issue due to some kind of drug addiction, the Recover Mental Health can assist you.

Recover Mental Health is a resource dedicated to providing information on everything related to mental health and substance abuse. With over 21,000 listings in its directory, the center can provide a quick and easy access to treatment centers across the U.S. and its territories, as well as Canada. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866–593–2339 to know about some of the best drug treatment centers — both inpatient drug rehab centers and outpatient drug rehab centers — in your vicinity.