October | Center on Addiction


In the past few years, marijuana has become more widely available and its use more accepted. Twenty-five states and Washington D.C. have now legalized it in some form. Still, concerns remain about marijuana’s effects. One growing but not well-recognized health problem is that marijuana can induce psychosis – particularly when the marijuana ingested is highly potent or when the individual is susceptible to developing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

The U.S. now consumes about 80 percent of the world’s opioid pain medication, despite being 5 percent of the world’s population; and the number of opioid prescriptions nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2014. Painkillers remain the most prescribed class of drugs in America.

It’s no secret that drinking is a major issue on college campuses. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that alcohol consumption on campuses is so embedded in college culture that it is often considered a rite of passage. Yet drinking and particularly binge drinking in college remains a serious public health concern. 

As part of Center on Addiction's Speaker Series, in which leading experts present their research and insights, Herbert D. Kleber, MD, Founder and Director Emeritus of the Division on Substance Abuse at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, gave an in-depth presentation on marijuana and the effects of legalization. We spoke with Dr. Kleber to hear a little bit more about his take on marijuana legalization, edibles and how marijuana impacts the brain.

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