Study Indicates Middle-Aged White Men Most Likely to Get Cross-Faded
The bottom line is that marijuana is becoming more acceptable and therefore in population groups like middle-aged white men, use is increasing because the social stigma is lessening.
Published on February 17, 2016

The art of cross-fading is an American tradition. It intensifies the high at an exponential rate. Cannabis use is on the rise and middle-aged white men are most likely to combine cannabis with alcohol and other drugs, according to a recent study. The study, conducted by RTI international and published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, compared data between 2003 and 2013.

"The key finding is that the increases we are seeing are being observed in groups traditionally at the lowest risk of illicit drug use," said Scott Novak, Ph.D., lead author on the study. "The bottom line is that marijuana is becoming more acceptable and therefore in population groups like middle-aged white men, use is increasing because the social stigma is lessening."

Marijuana use increased between 2003 and 2013, and white males over the age of 35 are the age group most responsible for combining cannabis with other drugs. The cross-sectional survey interviewed individuals over the age of twelve on computers each year. Over the course of the study, they examined respondents who had used prescription pain relievers.

Marijuana and opiate combinations have increased slightly over the research period. Pain reliever-only use decreased, but marijuana combinations increased. Researchers saw a 15 percent decrease in prescription pain reliever-only use and a 15 percent increase in marijuana use. "The message here is that we see declines in prescription pain reliever abuse in tandem with increases in cannabis use," Novak said. "Among those who are using both, the numbers haven't changed, but the frequency they use both has increased."

Combining cannabis and alcohol is usually not a great idea, especially not for novices. It's much more common to “green out” when marijuana is combined with alcohol. Marijuana is an antiemetic, which prevents vomiting, which is effective for people suffering from nausea. When you're over-drinking, however, you want to vomit to prevent alcohol poisoning. Having alcohol in your blood also increases your body's ability to absorb THC faster, which would explain why cross-fading is so effective.

Combining the two also increases the fatality rate in motor vehicle crashes, according to a recent study.

“Combining marijuana with alcohol eliminates the ability to use [dosing] strategies effectively, however, and results in impairment even at doses which would be insignificant were they of either drug alone. Epidemiological studies have been inconclusive regarding whether cannabis use causes an increased risk of accidents; in contrast, unanimity exists that alcohol use increases crash risk. Furthermore, the risk from driving under the influence of both alcohol and cannabis is greater than the risk of driving under the influence of either alone. Future research should focus on resolving contradictions posed by previous studies, and patients who smoke cannabis should be counseled to wait several hours before driving, and avoid combining the two drugs,” researchers wrote.

In any event, little is known about the effects of combining marijuana with alcohol, let alone combining it with other drugs. Effects vary significantly from person to person, so it's not recommended for beginners.

Benjamin M. Adams
Benjamin Adams is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a slew of publications including CULTURE, Cannabis Now Magazine, and Vice. Follow Ben on Twitter @BenBot11
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