In the wake of the tragic death of 31-year-old “Glee” star Cory Monteith, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly reached out to Dr. David Sack, CEO of Promises Treatment Centers, to talk about what O’Reilly called the widespread acceptance in society of alcohol and marijuana. Monteith, who was found dead July 13 in his hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia, died as a result of “mixed drug toxicity,” according to the B.C. coroner’s office. Monteith had struggled with addiction since he was a young teenager.
“The attitude toward marijuana changed,” Dr. Sack said, “when we started to get legalization. There’s a perception that marijuana is safe, if not helpful, but the evidence is to the contrary. Marijuana, especially when used by adolescents and young adults, affects future development and thinking.”
Dr. Sack went on to say that over time, the daily use of conscious-altering substances catches up with people. They start to miss work and have problems in their relationships.
“Marijuana is a very insidious drug,” Dr. Sack said. “People don’t know how it’s affecting them. They’re not aware of how it causes them to be more irritable, more paranoid, more oppositional. It’s a particularly difficult drug that way.
“The other thing that’s different about marijuana than other drugs is that it stays in your body for a very long time. People will say, ‘I stopped smoking and I didn’t notice any change,’ but, in fact, they could be high on marijuana for the next 30 days.”
While O’Reilly blamed the media for making drug and alcohol use look “cool” to teens and young adults, Dr. Sack said interest in countercultural lifestyles is nothing new.
“People have always glamorized drugs and the Bohemian countercultural lifestyle,” Dr. Sack said. “It didn’t start in 2010. Back in the 1920s, that was really about boozing and drugging. When we look at things today, we have to ask what can we do as a society to offer some protection from the risk of drug abuse? Parents who are involved in their kids’ activities, who know what their kids are doing, whose kids are engaged in school and sports, [these kids] are going to be much less likely to be susceptible to drugs.”