Family alcoholism tends to run in families and has a devastating impact:
· 55% of all family violence occurs in alcoholic homes.
· Incest is twice as likely among daughters of alcoholics.
· Children of alcoholics are three to four times more likely to become alcoholic than the general population.
· 70% of COA children develop patterns of compulsive behavior including alcoholism, drug abuse or overeating.
The Delaware General Assembly passed a bill legalizing cannabis (marijuana) in April 2023. The Governor's office has established an agency and procedures to regulate the sale of cannabis in the State.
Please read DACOA's response below.
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In April 2023, the Delaware General Assembly passed House Bill 1 and House Bill 2 legalizing cannabis (marijuana). Governor Carney allowed Bills 1 & 2 to be enacted into Delaware law without his signature. The Governor’s office has established an agency and procedures to regulate the sale of marijuana in Delaware.
However, there are some important considerations regarding the legalization of marijuana and its impact on individuals and families in Delaware. Practitioners, including counselors, teachers, clergy, and others, had noticed, in recent years, an increase in the (then illegal) use of marijuana by children, youth and young adults, often in communities that had experienced serious economic downturns due to plant closures or other crises that resulted in job losses.
Less socially and more clinically, it is generally agreed that the abuse of marijuana can lead to anxiety disorders, panic attacks, memory loss, a risk of psychotic episodes and even cognitive impairment. Younger users are at higher degrees of risk than are older adolescents and adults. There is also some indication that the heavy use/abuse of marijuana can cause cardiovascular damage, with younger users bearing more risk.
DACOA, like many entities in the addictions field, regards marijuana as a potentially dangerous drug and had opposed its legalization in our State. The addictive potential of marijuana has been debated for years. However, it ought to be noted that the authoritative Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) indicated in both DSM-IV (1994) and DSM-V (current) that there was a nine (9) percent dependency outcome among marijuana users. This is relatively low when compared to a twenty (20) percent dependency outcome among opioid users, but it is still unacceptable when the risks associated with abuse are considered.
The new Delaware legislation, like that recently adopted in several other States, effectively moves marijuana from the category of illicit drugs, like opioids, to that of legal drugs, similar to alcohol. Marijuana, like alcohol will be able to be purchased with relative ease, although its sale will be regulated and, as is the case with alcohol, requires a minimum age. However, their legal availability does not mean that either marijuana or alcohol are totally safe. Their abuse can lead to serious problems especially among younger persons. And some of these problems can cause fatalities and some of these fatalities, such as highway fatalities, often impact others who are not themselves users.
DACOA, which has developed or adapted a variety of educational, preventive and even interventionary programs to address the impact of alcohol abuse, has prepared similar programs to help Delaware individuals, families and helping professionals to address the adverse impact of marijuana.
These include professional training programs for helping professionals including teachers, counselors, clergy and others in contact with families; prevention education programs for children, youth and parents; and resource identification and referral services for anyone needing further help to cope with marijuana abuse. All DACOA’s program services are evidence-based. They will be delivered at local sites (e.g., schools, community centers, faith communities, etc.) or through online media.