Addressing the Surge in Misdiagnosed Health Issues

By Thailand THC

thailandTHC > News > Addressing the Surge in Misdiagnosed Health Issues

  • Why It Matters: Increasing reports of health issues attributed to cannabis and kratom misuse underscore the need for precise medical inquiry and public education.
  • The Big Picture: Amidst Thailand’s progressive stance on cannabis, emerging health concerns highlight the importance of informed usage and the dangers of misinformation.
  • What To Watch: The medical community’s response and the government’s regulatory adjustments could shape the future of cannabis and kratom use in Thailand.

As Thailand embraces the legalization of cannabis and the decriminalization of kratom, a recent report highlights an uptick in patients experiencing health complications allegedly linked to these substances. Medical professionals have raised concerns over cases such as young individuals with unexpectedly high kidney function values, purportedly due to daily consumption of kratom juice.

This phenomenon has sparked a dialogue within the medical community about the necessity for healthcare providers, especially those new to the field, to inquire specifically about cannabis and kratom use when taking patient histories. The current legal status of these plants as non-narcotic substances in Thailand may lead to underreporting or misattribution of related health issues.

One notable case involved a young adult patient presenting with deteriorated kidney function, initially baffling doctors. It wasn’t until further investigation that daily kratom juice consumption was identified as a potential factor. This case and others like it underscore the complex relationship between substance use and health, challenging the healthcare system to adapt to the evolving legal landscape surrounding these plants.

Similarly, media outlets, police, and politicians, with no medical training, should not be diagnosing subjects of criminal investigations. Not only is it potentially harmful if the wrong condition is treated, but it stands out like a huge beacon, that the person making such reckless claims has no expertise.

For instance, it’s not uncommon for some Thai media outlets to declare that “Ganja Addicted Teen Goes on Rampage” only for the story to later mention that the person was under multiple drugs, some of which are far more likely to produce the behavior.

As even most laymen know, cannabis is predominatley known for it’s sedative effects. Yet, the behavior being described in the media reports, violence, hallucinations, inability to sleep for multiple days, sound much more like someone under the influence of stimulants.

The very few cases where people do act out violently while on cannabis are usually related to pre-existing mental health issues that the person was using cannabis to self-medicate with.

Then one has to ask if the cannabis was holding the mental illness at bay until it worsened to the point of psychosis or did the cannabis trigger the psychosis. Doctors are split on that topic, yet the media seems to feel fully qualified to issue a diagnoses.

Similarly, the media is often quick to label people as “Ganja Addicted” when the area of addiction in relation to cannabis is still fuzzy. For instance, researchers have noted that Cannabis Use Disorder exists but there is disagreement as to whether it qualifies as an addiction.

Nonetheless, the average time that one takes to become addicted to cannabis, is around 10-years of heavy use. Given that cannabis has only been legal in Thailand for less than 2-years, it sounds highly improbable that teenagers in Thailand have suddenly become addicted to cannabis.

But, yet again, the media, police, and locals confidently issue a medical diagnosis without medical or psychological training.

If legal drugs are covered in the media with negativity, people will be less likely to admit use to doctors which could exacerbate a medical condition or lead to doctors prescribing medications that react negatively with these drugs.

The increasing prevalence of such health issues calls for a dual approach: enhancing the medical community’s awareness and diagnostic tools regarding the effects of cannabis and kratom and embarking on public education campaigns to inform about responsible use. As Thailand navigates this new era, the balance between embracing the benefits of these substances and mitigating potential health risks remains a paramount concern.

Contributing Sources: Ch7 News

Here is a video about concerns doctors have about cannabis use prior to surgery that presents some tips on why doctors need to know about any drugs that may interfere with drugs used during surgical procedures.