Not Your Baby Boomers’ Cannabis
With widespread legalization of recreational cannabis, there is a common assumption that this defines it as safe, at least for adults. However the science of cannabis, including its many chemical components, and the dramatic increase of potency of its main psychoactive ingredient since the 1970’s, raise serious questions about its safety.
Recent studies of cannabis indicate that it can be more cognitively impairing, and for longer periods of time after use, than was previously appreciated. Other research from multiple contexts over many years shows that cannabis frequently activates and aggravates multiple mental illnesses, especially those on the spectrum of psychosis. This phenomenon has also become more frequent as the potency of THC in cannabis has increased. Perhaps most importantly, the possible or actual short- and long-term effects of most of the chemical components of the cannabis plant have never been specifically studied. Such research has only focused on about half a dozen such chemicals out of over a hundred.
This conversation will help the audience with a more well-informed perspective on risks of cannabis use, with an emphasis on risks to adolescents and young adults.
Dr. David Baron – Medical Director
David Baron, MD, was born and raised in part in New York City, and later in Livingston, New Jersey. He received his B.A. in Psychology (magna cum laude) and M.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Baron went on to complete his psychiatry residency at Tufts/New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dr. Baron is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Rosalind Franklin University/The Chicago Medical School. In that role, he supervised psychiatric residents in their community psychiatry rotation for 15 years. During that time he also served as Administrative Psychiatrist, and Interim Director of Mental Health Services, for the DuPage County Health Department, supervising 50 psychiatrists and over 200 other clinical staff.
Dr. Baron’s clinical and administrative experience and practice since completing his training in 1989 has been within a developmental neurobiological understanding of mental illness. Over the course of his career, he has worked to understand mind and brain as different languages for the same essential human experience, including the complexity of neuroscience, the evolutionary basis of the human brain and behavior, and the deeply personal subjective experience of every individual.
Dr. Baron is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He served on the Ethics Committee of the Illinois Psychiatric Society as a member from 2001 to 2006, and as Chairman from 2006 to 2011.
Dr. Baron resides in Evanston. He enjoys travel, golf and cooking. He is a father to one emerging adult son.
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Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.