There are two medical articles to comment about today. The first is my favorite and it says that smoking marijuana may lead to a psychotic episode that could end in schizophrenia. An article posted in Medscape Family Medicine news this week (10/1/13) presented research that indicated that those who smoke pot had a little less than a 1% risk of developing a psychotic episode. But, of those nearly half would go on to develop Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder. Amphetamine users were also in the study and were found to have psychotic episodes. Of those in the study 4.5% had drug induced psychotic episodes with 30% going on to develop schizophrenia. 

Both marijuana and amphetamine derivative drugs have become widely used today in one form or another. Currently Marijuana is at the center of public attention with states such as Colorado and California legalizing use in different circumstances. As a result, I hear a rising tide of opinion among Christians that if the government makes Marijuana legal, then using it should be a matter of Christian liberty. Just like the Romans in chapter 14 could eat meat offered to idols without being judged or criticized by their vegetable eating brethren, we ought to be able to smoke pot. 
There many reasons why this kind of thinking borders on the ridiculous. First, we are spending millions of dollars
in health care and government programs to convince people to quit smoking. Smoking tobacco is a known risk to health. How smoking marijuana could be safe is hard to tell. Marijuana alters personality and over time lowers intelligence. And, we know that there is a risk for psychosis and schizophrenia. 
It is hard imagine how any believer can justify the recreational use of marijuana. Christians are the temple of the Holy
Spirit. It is our first duty to take care of these bodies so that we can serve God best. 

In the same Medscape Family Medicine issue another article was reviewed that concerned post partum depression in teenage first time mothers. The importance of the study is that 5 sessions of counseling conducted during the pregnancy resulted in cutting the incidence of depression after delivery in half from 25% to 12.5%. The article said nothing about the content of the counseling delivered.

Paul presented the idea when he wrote a letter to Titus. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior,
…teaching what is good,  so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their
children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.  (Tit 2:3-5 NASB) Paul wanted older women to teach younger women what to expect from
married life and how to prosper in it. 
Right now my wife spends 2 Wednesdays a month working with younger mothers in a MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) program. It is aimed at helping young mothers deal with the stresses of raising young children. Perhaps a similar program that reaches out to young women waiting for their first child could be just as effective in lower the rate of depression in women after the birth of their children.

 See Medscape Family Medicine at titled, “The Risk of Substance Induced Psychosis leading to
Schizophrenia varies with substance used and  Age.”

 “Can Post-Partum Depression Be Prevented?”  Also at Medscape Family Medicine. 

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