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Behaviour-based approaches to safety

Comments are closed. Behaviour-based approaches to safetyOn 1 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Many traditional approaches to health and safety management are available toorganisations wanting to improve their safety performance. Eventually, however,a plateau in accident reduction is reached beyond which it can be difficult toadvance. One way of addressing this difficulty is to adopt a Behavioural-Based SafetyApproach, a practice which examines the psychology of why people comply withrules or why they don’t. BBSA takes into account the individual, theenvironment and the individual’s behaviour in the workplace to get to the rootof the problem. It need not be reserved just for safety issues though. Abehavioural approach gives the ownership of health and safety to the people atrisk, rather than allowing them to be directed by those not at risk. It can beas relevant to locating the cause of occupational stress among a group ofemployees, as discovering why certain accidents are occurring on a productionline. A well-motivated and committed workforce that actively participates in themanagement of its own health and safety issues can bring considerable benefitsand BBSA can break down many of the traditional employee/manager barriers andfoster team spirit. Without full management commitment though there could beproblems which reduce the effectiveness of the approach. Organisations shouldbe aware that BBSA can amplify bad situations as well as highlight good ones. IOSH has produced a “technical info sheet” on BBSA and while theInstitution believes the concept can work very well, it is not a stand-aloneapproach and should be used in harmony with other safety management systems. The IOSH info sheets provide basic facts for an individual to interpret andimplement. They include references, contacts for further information and arefree to members and non-members. They can be downloaded at: www.iosh.co.uk/technical/infosheets.cfm Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. read more

IR equips staff for online learning push

first_imgIR equips staff for online learning pushOn 1 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. TheInland Revenue (IR) is implementing an online skills programme across all ofits grades. The courses, which will potentially be taken up by 70,000 membersof staff at various UK locations, are being provided by UK eUniversities(UKeU). This is the government-backed company specifically set up in 2001 to provideonline learning from UK universities to students and businesses. “Wesee this partnership with UKeU as a key part of our goal to make all of ourstaff e-learning enabled within the next few years,” said Lin Hinnigan,director of learning at the IR. “We firmly believe e-learning skills will helpus to become an even more responsive organisation.”Theprogramme will be based on existing student support materials developed forUKeU’s Learning Environment, created in partnership with Sun Microsystems. The moduleswill include ‘What is e-learning?’, ‘Drive your own learning’, and ‘Onlinediscussion’ – all designed to help staff learn the necessary skills forstudying online.Itis hoped that following completion of these courses, staff willhave acquired a positive attitude towards e-learning andshould learn quickly and confidently from an e-learning package.JohnBeaumont, chief executive officer at UKeU, described the programme as animportant milestone for UKeU. “Working closely with the IR to understand itsrequirements, we can develop a high-quality, bespoke programme to help peopleto achieve e-learning skills that can further their careers,” he said. “Theflexibility of online learning has enormous potential for such organisations.”–Recent online courses set up by UKeU include a BA Enterprise with theUniversity of Glamorgan, for those wanting to develop their entrepreneurialskills, and a new foundation degree in hospitality management with theUniversity of Derby. Thefoundation degree forms part of UKeU’s remit from the Government to widenaccess to higher education.www.ukeu.com Comments are closed. last_img read more

Training news

first_imgThisweek’s training newsCivil servants gain new blended learningsoftwareTheHome Office is introducing 15,000 civil servants to new software programmesusing a blended learning scheme which involves 300 instructor-led seminars,bespoke e-learning and live coaching. Designed by KnowledgePool, the training will aid the move toMicrosoft Windows XP and Office XP from older versions of the software. It willbe delivered through briefing seminars and an accompanying e-learning course,with the option of desk-side coaching as the software is installed at eachsite. KnowledgePool hasalso developed a 15-minute video of essential information for those unable toattend the course. The software roll-out should be completed by April 2005.  Development goes online for constructionindustryConstructionprofessionals will have online access to a new continuous professionaldevelopment (CPD) service from this week. Developed by CPD provider EinsteinNetworks and construction newspaper Contract Journal (a sister publication ofPersonnel Today), it provides multimedia online training by industry experts.The service includes online video, audio and script delivery; self-assessmentquizzes to ensure understanding; and learning diaries to track personal andemployees’ progress. Contract Journal’s editor Rob Willock said: “This is a ground-breakinginitiative that will allow construction professionals to keep their knowledgeup-to-date at a time, location and pace of their convenience.” Users cansign up for a free seven-day trial at www.cpdconstruction.com.More cash being spent on workplacedevelopmentEmployersare spending more on workplace learning and development -and the trend looksset to continue in the year ahead, according to new research by PersonnelToday’s sister publication IRS Employment Review. Nearly half the employers surveyed (43 per cent) said spending had risenin the past two years, and just one in five said it had fallen. Looking ahead,more than 50 per cent of employers predict that spending will go on risingwhile just one in 10 expects a fall. Employers typically report that pressureto increase their learning and development budgets comes from the introductionof new regulatory climates in their sector, a change in senior management, or arise in staff numbers. The median budget for learning and development at surveyorganisations in 2004-05 is £80,000.www.irsemploymentreview.comMoD offers IT qualifications to its Gurkha soldiersTheMinistry of Defence (MoD) is offering its Gurkha soldiers a range of IT qualifications to helpthem with their duties, and set them up for life after the Army. Withoutvocational qualifications, they may have to return to unemployment in Nepal.The training is part of the Army’s Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) scheme.Blackpool-based Evolution Technologies is offering the Royal Gurkha Rifles training towardsthe Certificate for IT Practitioners (ICT Systems Support). One soldier,Warrant Officer Thakali,said the course was preparing him for life after the forces. “The ELCgrant has enabled me to pursue this IT training and provide me with essentialskills and excellent employment opportunities when I leave the British armedforces,” he said. Training newsOn 14 Sep 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Physician-Maternal Fetal Medicine – Berkeley Medical Center – 133

first_imgWest Virginia University is seeking Assistant (or Associate)Professor(s) in Maternal Fetal Medicine. Position is primarilyclinical; hours vary and include call. Positions will be based inBerkeley county. Job duties include: clinical time in outpatientclinic; inpatient rounding, deliveries and surgery, teachingmedical students and residents; and scholarly activities are highlyencouraged. Must have MD or DO degree and successfully completed aOB/GYN residency program. WV Medical License and DEA certificateare required by start date. Candidates should be BC/BE inOB/GYN.Our Eastern Panhandle location is little more than an hour fromWashington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD. A rural atmosphere and a lowercost of living mixed with the easy accessibility to the WashingtonDC / Baltimore areas make the Eastern Panhandle an ideal place inwhich to live. While our Berkeley County is among the fastestgrowing counties in the state, there is little congestion andtraffic. In recent years, a steady influx of urban professionalsfrom nearby Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland – havecontributed to the growth of local telecommuting and high-techindustries.Academic rank will be commensurate with experience. The positionwill remain open until filled. WVU offers a high competitive andcomprehensive recruitment package which includes occurrence basedmalpractice.Interested Candidates should send CV to:Tina R. Stover, MS, FASPRSystem Director of Physician Recruitment2000 Foundation Way, Suite 2310Martinsburg, WV 25401Office: 304-260-1425Fax: 304-260-1480Email: [email protected] is an AA/EO employer – Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – andis the recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity.last_img read more

Professor Christine Gerrard announced as LMH interim Principal

first_imgAs Principal of LHM, he implemented a fully-funded Foundation Year scheme aimed at supporting applicants from under-represented groups. He told Cherwell that its establishment was the part of his principalship he was most proud of. Professor Gerrard’s main area of research are political literature and women’s writing in the eighteenth century. She teaches period papers covering literature written between 1550-1830, and has a teaching interest in American literature from 1680-1900. “I will remain committed to ensuring that LMH pursues its goals of academic excellence, inclusion and diversity. We will be continuing LMH’s Foundation Year pioneered under Alan Rusbridger’s tenure.  “Prof Gerrard has spent most of her academic life at LMH and the College will be in very safe hands.  I hope that my successors, like my predecessors continue to stay true to the LMH ethos of righting wrongs and including the previously excluded.” Professor Gerrard told Cherwell: “My immediate priority is helping LMH students and staff to return to normality after a challenging and difficult year of Covid-19.  I’m looking forward to getting everyone back on site as soon as permitted, and enjoying all the brilliant teaching and the special social and physical facilities that LMH has to offer. Mr Rusbridger told Cherwell: “I hope LMH has a clearer identity as a welcoming and inclusive college. That was, of course, how it began – as a college to include people who had been excluded from an Oxford education. 140 years on, admitting women to Oxford no longer seems a very radical idea – but it was strongly resisted at the time. It feels as if we are now having the same argument over admitting candidates from under-represented backgrounds. Alan Rusbridger became Principal in 2015 after stepping down as Editor-in-Chief at The Guardian. Professor Christine Gerrard, current Vice-Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, will act as interim Principal once Alan Rusbridger steps down at the end of September 2021. In an email sent to LMH students, Rusbridger said “She [Professor Gerrard] embodies the values of the College and will continue to further establish LMH’s reputation for academic excellence, diversity and inclusion. She and I will be working closely to ensure a seamless transition when I leave.” Professor Gerrard will hold the position from October 1st 2021 until September 2022. Dr Fiona Spensley will act as Vice-Principal while the election for the next Principal is held. “LMH has been fortunate to enjoy a period of strong and visionary leadership and we will be looking to build upon Alan’s achievements.”last_img read more

Press release: More than half a billion for Wales in Chancellor’s Budget

first_imgThe Chancellor set out his Budget against a backdrop of positive economic news across Wales. Since 2010, 151,000 more people in Wales are in employment and in 2016 it had one of the highest productivity growth rates across the UK.The people of Wales will also benefit from measures to tackle the cost of living: More than £550 million of extra money for the Welsh Government, meaning its budget will have grown to over £16.1 billion by 2020. £120 million for a North Wales Growth Deal, generating investment, jobs and prosperity in the region. Continuing to support a Mid Wales Growth Deal, working with the Welsh Government, businesses and local councillors to agree a deal. Supporting the delivery of the M4 relief road by reviewing the Welsh Government’s borrowing powers. Giving Welsh councils the freedom to build more council homes by removing the borrowing cap on housing. Appointing a dedicated manager from the British Business Bank in Wales, for the first time, to help to reduce geographical imbalances in small businesses’ access to finance. Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: My Budget sends a clear message to the people of Wales – your hard work is paying off. Thanks to the UK government’s careful stewardship of the economy, the public finances are in a much stronger position and national debt is falling. This means we have more money to invest in Wales’s future – including £550m of extra funding for the Welsh Government and £120m for a North Wales Growth Deal. Wales will benefit from over half a billion pounds in additional funding for the Welsh Government, as well as £120 million for a North Wales Growth Deal, the Chancellor has announced in the Budget today.This year’s Budget is a result of the UK government’s balanced approach to the country’s finances, meaning the Welsh Government will have more spending power, while keeping taxes low and debt falling.Today’s announcements for Wales include:center_img The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said: Today’s budget shows the scale of ambition the UK Government has for Wales. From the clear support for a North Wales Growth Deal, reviewing borrowing capacity to deliver critical infrastructure projects, and the additional half a billion of spending power, this is a Budget that clearly backs Wales’s future prosperity. The wider package of announcements made today show that we are getting the important things right – backing hardworking people and unlocking key infrastructure. Taken together, these measures are proof positive of a UK Government that is building on a strong foundation for Wales’s economic prospects as part of a stronger United Kingdom. Fuel duty has been frozen for a ninth successive year. As a result of these nine years of freezes, by April 2020, the average car driver will have saved a cumulative £1,000 compared with the pre-2010 escalator. The National Living Wage will also rise next year to £8.21 per hour, with the current rate benefitting around 81,000 workers in Wales. An additional 20,000 people will also benefit from changes to the Minimum Wage, which will also increase to £7.70 per hour. The Personal Allowance will increase to £12,500 and the Higher Rate Threshold will also go up to £50,000, meaning people will keep more of what they earn.last_img read more

Transparency data: NHS Test and Trace (England) statistics: 18 February to 24 February 2021

first_img people tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) time taken for test results to become available people transferred to the contact tracing system and the time taken for them to be reached close contacts identified for cases managed and not managed by local health protection teams (HPTs), and time taken for them to be reached 2. Rapid asymptomatic testing statistics: number of lateral flow device (LFD) tests conducted by test result The data reflects the NHS Test and Trace operation in England since its launch on 28 May 2020.This includes 2 weekly reports:1. NHS Test and Trace statistics: There are 4 sets of data tables accompanying the reports.last_img read more

Building a Longwood bicycling community … one fair at a time

first_imgThe raffle winner of a helmet at the annual Longwood Bike Fair did not have a bike to use it with but says her new helmet provided the extra push she needed to buy the bicycle she’d been thinking about. It’s exactly what organizers of the fair, held on Tuesday September 25, hoped they’d hear.Now in its second year, the Longwood Bike Fair was expanded this year thanks to the involvement of all three Schools at Longwood who partnered with many outside organizations to make the day a success — more than 300 people attended.The new Harvard Longwood Bicyclists club signed up 200 new members and raffled off helmets and gift certificates to local bike shops while mechanics from Quad Bikes and the Boston Cyclists Union provided free safety tune-ups. HMS Commuter Services and Parking gave away reflectors and leg bands while MASCO Commute Works encouraged attendees to register for the Commute Fit Program and the Emergency Ride Home Program. Harvard University Police Department and HMS Security were on hand to register bikes. Read Full Storylast_img read more

John Kerry to deliver 2017 Commencement address at Harvard Kennedy School

first_imgFormer United States Secretary of State John Kerry will deliver the Graduation Address to the Harvard Kennedy School Class of 2017 at 2 p.m. on May 24 at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), HKS Dean Douglas Elmendorf announced today.Kerry is Yale University’s Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs, where he is leading the Kerry Initiative on public policy innovation from foreign policy to climate change, as well as serving as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished Statesman at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He served as the nation’s 68th Secretary of State, assuming office in February 2013.During his tenure at the State Department, Kerry was a respected global leader on a wide range of international issues, including nuclear proliferation, the battle against radical extremism, climate change, and humanitarian crises. Kerry negotiated a unity government in Afghanistan to help keep the country from splintering apart. He became the first Secretary of State to meet with Iran’s foreign minister since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and he was the State Department’s negotiator and architect of the landmark 2015 agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program. He also helped negotiate the 2016 Paris Agreement, an international climate change accord designed to significantly reduce global carbon emissions.The address will be live-streamed on the HKS website: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/live. Journalists interested in covering the address should contact the HKS Communications Office at 617-495-1115.last_img read more

What we know and don’t know about pot

first_imgGAZETTE: What constitutes heavy use?HILL: Cannabis is different than alcohol, because with alcohol, you can use once a week, three times a week, and it can be a problem. You can have eight drinks once a week and get into a whole bunch of trouble. Cannabis is a little different in the sense that the people who run into trouble are using it pretty much every day, multiple times a day for the most part. That’s how this less-harmful, less-addictive substance turns into something that’s very harmful for them.GAZETTE: Are the characteristics of cannabis addiction common to other types of addiction?HILL: They are. When someone’s sitting in my office, if you redacted some of the details of their story, it’d be hard to tell who’s got which problem: alcohol versus opioids versus cannabis. The onset — what will bring you into my office — is different. People who are using cannabis are not going to knock off a CVS to fuel their habit. If somebody’s using fentanyl, they may overdose and that could be potentially fatal. That’s not going to happen with cannabis. But when you talk to them, other details are often the same. “My wife said I gotta come talk to you or she’s gonna kick me out.” And that can happen to somebody who’s drinking, that could happen to somebody using opioids. It’s not as dramatic if cannabis is the drug of choice, but once somebody meets the criteria for a cannabis-use disorder or alcohol-use disorder or opioid-use disorder, there are a lot of similarities, more similarities than differences, frankly. One unique thing about cannabis is that on the same day, I may have somebody who is 26, smoking four times a day, graduated from a local elite university, and not making it like they want to be making it. Then, the next hour, I may see a 70-year-old woman who has chronic back issues and tried multiple medications, multiple injections, and wants to use cannabis for her pain. There aren’t a lot of doctors who see both of these patients and that is one of the reasons why people take really strong positions, when in fact many of the answers on cannabis are down the middle. There are a lot of things we don’t know, and a lot of answers we wouldn’t have expected. I’ve done studies myself where I hypothesized one thing, and something else comes out. Are you going to dismiss that or let that new information shape what you think about cannabis? You have to be open-minded in an area that is continuing to evolve. If you aren’t open-minded and willing to have a sensible conversation about cannabis, you won’t be able to reach your patients. A lot of times patients don’t tell their primary care doctor about their cannabis use, their use of CBD, because they think their physician won’t approve of their use. That’s another major problem. If you’re using CBD to treat a given medical condition and your doctor doesn’t know it and you’ve got six other medications, that could be a major issue. “When we talk about the harms of cannabis, young people using regularly can have cognitive problems, up to an eight-point loss of IQ over time. It can worsen depression. It can worsen anxiety. But all of those consequences depend upon the dose.” Research focused on adolescents and young adults GAZETTE: We’ve talked about negatives. What is the truth of the positive health benefits?HILL: We’re conditioned as physicians to believe that cannabis is bad for you, but there is data that it can be useful in certain cases. I would prefer that we use FDA-approved medications when possible. They are much safer, and you can be sure of the purity and potency. But there is evidence to support the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for a handful of medical conditions. That is dwarfed by the number of conditions for which people are actually using it, but the evidence of benefit is not zero. To a lot of doctors, it’d be convenient if it was zero so they could tell patients that this whole idea is a sham. Thus, there are physicians who aren’t willing to entertain data demonstrating therapeutic use of cannabis. I think that’s a missed opportunity because if a patient comes in and says, “I want to use cannabis to treat condition x,” cannabis might not be the best treatment for that condition, but just being willing to engage in a conversation about it, you may get them into treatment they might not otherwise get into. If they said, “Look, I want to use cannabis to treat my anxiety,” I’m not going to recommend using whole-plant cannabis to treat anxiety, but maybe they haven’t tried cognitive behavioral therapy. Just by having that conversation, you could do a lot of good.GAZETTE: Is pain one area that cannabis is proven for?HILL: In 2015, we had two FDA-approved cannabinoids, dronabinol and nabilone, for nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, and for appetite stimulation in wasting conditions. Last year they added cannabidiol — only one version is FDA-approved — and it is for a couple of pediatric epilepsy conditions. Beyond the FDA-approved indications, the best evidence is for three things: chronic pain, neuropathic pain — which is a burning sensation in your nerves — and muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. There are more than six randomized control trials for each of those three conditions. There are problems associated with some of those trials — sample sizes are small and the follow-up periods are not as long as we would like them to be. I wish there was better evidence for chronic pain, but as long as we have a clear conversation about what the risks may be, then to me, there’s enough evidence for those three things to think about cannabis or cannabinoids not as first-line or second-line treatments but as third-line treatments. HMS, MIT alum’s donations will fund independent research on the drug’s influence on brain health and behavior ‘Policy has outpaced science,’ says McLean Hospital researcher GAZETTE: The House Judiciary Committee recently approved a bill removing cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. There’s a long way to go with that legislation, but would that step make it easier to conduct the studies that will clear some of the confusion?HILL: Schedule 1 really means two things. Number one, does it have addictive potential? Cannabis does, clearly. But it also means that there is no medical value. I think you’re hard-pressed at this point to say that cannabis and cannabinoids have no medical value. So I don’t think it should be a Schedule 1 substance and changing that really would make it a lot easier to study. Funding is a bigger barrier. I’m sitting in a state right now that is profiting from cannabis. I’ve got a store a mile away from my hospital, and they’re printing money. It’s raining out, snowing, and there are people lined up outside of the store to buy cannabis. There are permanent crowd-control ropes in the parking lot and a police detail. A lot of people are profiting from cannabis while neglecting to contribute to the scientific evidence base. It shouldn’t be that way.GAZETTE: What is most important for the public to know about this?HILL: Over 22 million Americans used cannabis last year, and the literature says about 10 percent of those are using medicinally. If that’s true, a lot of those people are just talking to physicians who write certifications all day. That means there isn’t the level of follow-up that should be there; the standard of care is lower than it should be. I think patients who are interested in cannabinoids should be talking to their own doctors about it, because ideally, their physician should be the one helping them think through the risks and benefits.GAZETTE: With cannabis legalized recreationally, why shouldn’t people interested in it as a medicine just say, “Well, I’ll go buy some”?HILL: That question opens the door to the poor job we’ve done educating people about cannabis. A lot of people want to try it, but they’re not educated about how it works. They don’t know what the typical dose is or the onset of action with edibles. The number of ED visits has gone up. People may say, “Oh, there is a store on Route 9. I’m going to go. I never tried it before.” And, whether they’re in Las Vegas or Colorado or someplace else, they repeat the same mistakes. They’re not going to have a fatal overdose, but they can get very sick and that should never happen.GAZETTE: So, if you have a glass of alcohol, you know roughly what the effect might be on your body. But for a particular dose of pot, we have no clue?HILL: Less of a clue. A typical brownie has 100 milligrams of THC, but a typical serving size is 10 milligrams. I don’t know about you, but when I’m eating a brownie, I eat the whole brownie. So, it’s the idea that if you’re going to use an edible and you’re buying a brownie then you’re going to consume a tenth of it, or if you eat cannabis, it’s going to take longer than if you were to smoke it. Some people will take a bite of an edible and nothing happens, so they take another bite. A half-hour later, they’ve got four or five times the typical dose. So long as you know that, you’re not going to have an issue. But if you’re not aware of that and you have more, if you’ve never used it before, 40 to 50 milligrams of THC is going to knock you for a loop. So if you’re going to use recreationally or medically, you need to be educated about what you’re doing. Playing catch-up on marijuanacenter_img Related $9 million donation earmarked for cannabis research Cannabis abstinence for month aids memory, study says The legalization of marijuana has spread around the country in recent years. Currently 33 states allow it for medical use and 11 for recreational. Yet scientists and researchers say a paradox about it endures: There has been broad public experience with pot, but the medical community still doesn’t know enough about the health effects — and what it does know is often obscured by enduring myths. Kevin Hill, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has conducted marijuana-related research and is the author of the 2015 book “Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth about the World’s Most Popular Weed.” He is also co-chair of the National Football League’s Pain Management Committee, which is evaluating a possible role for cannabinoids in treatment. The Gazette spoke with Hill about where we are now in understanding the drug’s pluses and minuses.Q&AKevin HillGAZETTE: Marijuana legalization has swept the country over the last couple of years. What do we know now about its health effects that we didn’t know before?HILL: We know a lot more about both the benefits and the risks of cannabis use, although I would say that the rate and scale of research has not kept pace with the interest. There is a growing body of literature on the therapeutic use of cannabis and, similarly, we’re learning bits and pieces about the problems associated with cannabis use. But our increased knowledge pales in comparison to the intense public interest, so one of the issues we often encounter is a growing divide between what the science says and what public perception is.,GAZETTE: Is it that there are myths that haven’t been dispelled yet, either by widespread experience or by scientific findings?HILL: The myths have been disproven. Unfortunately, the loudest voices in the cannabis debate often are people who have political or financial skin in the game, and the two sides are entrenched. Pro-cannabis people will say that cannabis is the greatest medication ever, and harmless. Others — often in the same field that I’m in, people who treat patients, people who do research with cannabis — will at times misrepresent the facts as well. They will go into a room of 100 or 200 high schoolers and relay the message that cannabis is as dangerous as fentanyl. That’s not true either. These camps seem to feel that even a single shred of evidence that runs counter to their narrative hurts them. So at the end of the day, a lot of what people hear about cannabis is either incomplete or flat-out wrong because both sides are promoting polar opposite views of cannabis.GAZETTE: What is an example of these myths?HILL: I think the greatest example is when you talk about the addictive nature of cannabis. You can become addicted to cannabis, though most people don’t. Yet invariably, when people hear about what I do, they say, “Oh, you’re an addiction psychiatrist? Well, cannabis is not physically addictive; it’s psychological.” So there are fallacies about cannabis. And they continue because people are invested in trying to get people to vote one way or another on issues like medical cannabis or legalization of recreational cannabis. That is a major problem. Every single day we have patients come in who are interested in using cannabis as a medication or they’re using it recreationally or are interested in cannabidiol, and they have beliefs about cannabis that they’ve held for years that aren’t true. And that becomes a major barrier. It’s hard to dispel those beliefs in the office.GAZETTE: What is cannabis addiction like?HILL: It’s less addictive than alcohol, less addictive than opioids, but just because it’s less addictive doesn’t mean that it’s not addictive. There’s a subset of people — whom I treat frequently — who are using cannabis to the detriment of work, school, and relationships. It’s hard for the majority of people — who may use once a month or once every six months, or they tried it in Vegas because it’s legal there — to recognize the reality that there are many people who are using and losing in key areas of their lives. I’ve had patients who have lost multimillion-dollar careers. It’s hard for people to understand that that can happen. I often compare cannabis to alcohol. They’re very similar in that most people who use never need to see somebody like me. But the difference is that we all recognize the dangers of alcohol. If you go into a room of 200 high school kids, they know it’s dangerous and binge drinking among high schoolers is way down. But if you ask that same group about cannabis, you’re going to get all different answers. Data that suggests that although cannabis use among young people is flat — that’s another misrepresentation, that it’s going up — the perception of risk among those young people is going down. So, while everyone’s talking about it, and stores are opening in Brookline, in Leicester, and all over the state, adults and young people are not clear about the risks.GAZETTE: What about the other side, myths about cannabis’ harms?HILL: How are things misrepresented by anti-cannabis crusaders? They tend to ignore the idea that dose matters. When we talk about the harms of cannabis, young people using regularly can have cognitive problems, up to an eight-point loss of IQ over time. It can worsen depression. It can worsen anxiety. But all of those consequences depend upon the dose. The data that shows those impacts look at young people who are using pretty much every day. They’re heavy users who usually meet criteria for cannabis-use disorder. So when people who are opposed to cannabis talk about those harms, they don’t mention that they’re talking about heavy users. The 16-year-old kid who uses once or twice a week, I’d still be worried about it, but that use has not been correlated to these harms. “It’s less addictive than alcohol, less addictive than opioids, but just because it’s less addictive doesn’t mean that it’s not addictive.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more