Opening the Weedgates: Youth at risk

By Sheela Clary, The Berkshire Edge, April 2, 2019

With comments from Nicholas Chadi

Despite the official prohibitions on studying cannabis as well as the resulting lack of scientific evidence, it is by now understood well enough that the human brain continues to develop until the age of 25, and cannabis can alter that development, resulting in adverse life outcomes. […]

For clarification on why it makes sense to discourage youth from using marijuana, I contacted Dr. Nicholas Chadi, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent and addiction medicine and a pediatric addiction medicine fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital. […]

Dr. Chadi offered that one of the biggest hurdles he faces in treating teenagers who present with marijuana dependence problems is the widespread perception that marijuana is either harmless or beneficial. Read more

States Raising Smoking Age to Combat Teen Vaping

By Jennifer Clopton, WebMD, March 15, 2019

With comments from Nicholas Chadi

Nicholas Chadi, MD, has had a front-row seat to the high-speed growth of vaping among teens. Chadi, a pediatrician who specializes in adolescent and addiction medicine, says he didn’t have any kids coming to Boston Children’s Hospital for e-cigarette use 2 years ago. Now, they see someone in their clinic as often as once a week.

“For a lot of teens, it’s the main concern they or their parents have. It is becoming pretty center-stage,” he says.

Some of the teens “are completely addicted, and it’s taken over their lives,” Chadi says. “Teens who come to see us couldn’t even sit in class for an hour. They had to leave because they felt they were having withdrawal symptoms, and we’ve seen teens dropping out of sports teams because they are so focused on their e-cigarette use.” Read more

Medical marijuana: What’s all the buzz?

By Nicholas Chadi, Thriving Blog, March 14, 2019

Is medical marijuana safe for children and teens? Depending on who you ask, you may get very different answers.

On one side, pro-marijuana websites, marijuana companies and dispensaries are keen to promote the numerous (often unproven) benefits of using marijuana for medical reasons. On the other side, many public health agencies, community organizations and pediatric providers warn about the risks of marijuana use during childhood and adolescence, making it quite challenging to form an unbiased opinion. Read more

Methadone matters

By Nicholas Chadi and Paxton Bach, Public Health Post – March 7, 2019

More than 80% of Americans who qualify for life-saving medication treatment for opioid addiction do not actually receive it. Methadone maintenance therapy—which involves the daily use of a liquid or pill—is the oldest, most researched form of medication treatment for opioid addiction, and has been used in the US for fifty years, yet it remains prohibitively difficult to access, especially for those living in rural areas.

Many other developed countries have allowed community clinics and pharmacies to dispense methadone, but this is not usually an option in the US. In a recent article, we wrote with a group of addiction medicine providers from Canada and the US, we argue that it is time for the US to follow suit. Read more

What’s in Store for ‘Nico-Teens’? Pediatricians weigh in on the potential long-term hazards of adolescent vaping

By Elizabeth Hlavinka, MedPage Today, January 4, 2019

With comments from Nicholas Chadi

Vaping is no longer a passing fad among teenagers, and has turned into a national epidemic, said experts contacted by MedPage Today.

growing body of literature confirms these fears. Most recently, the large Monitoring the Future survey in 2018 found “the largest single-year increase in use of a monitored substance ever recorded” among high school students in the program’s four-decade history. […]

“There’s definitely been a clear movement by the FDA to restrict the sale of e-cigarette products in many places such as corner stores and gas stations, so I do think e-cigarettes will become harder to purchase for younger people,” Chadi told MedPage Today. “But will that lead to decreased use? I’m not sure about that.”

“I would have a hard time imagining seeing such a large increase in 2019 as in 2018, but, if anything, I’m hoping rates will stabilize and eventually fall back down as there is more awareness about the issue,” he said. (Read more)

America’s leading food and drug regulator might ban online sales of e-cigs — a move that could threaten brands like Juul

By Erin Brodwin, Business Insider, September 25, 2018

With comments from Nicholas Chadi

At a breakfast meeting with journalists on Tuesday, Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency is considering a ban on online sales of e-cigs. The move would include barring popular e-cig startup Juul, recently valued at $15 billion, from selling its products over the internet.

Juul, which currently dominates the e-cig market, has faced a growing backlash from public health advocates and researchers over claims that it marketed to teens. […]

Nicholas Chadi, a clinical pediatrics fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital, spoke about the Juul at the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s annual conference in April.

“After only a few months of using nicotine, [these teens] describe cravings, sometimes intense ones. Sometimes they also lose their hopes of being able to quit,” Chadi said. (Read more)


An explainer of a new marijuana-based pharmaceutical drug approved by FDA

By Dr. Amitha Kalaichandran, ABC News, June 26, 2018
With comments from Nicholas Chadi

Epidiolex, a medication formulated from a cannabidiol (CBD) substance derived from the marijuana plant was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for children and adults over the age of 2. It treats Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), two rare epilepsy disorders that primarily affect children. […]

Dr. Nicholas Chadi, a pediatrician completing his fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital in pediatric and adolescent addictions, points to the limited research on CBD side effects in general.

“Only recently have we been able to separate CBD from THC, and to create substances with very high CBD content,” Chadi told ABC news. “So we don’t really know much about the effect of CBD on the developing brain or whether it could be addictive in the long run.” (Read more)

A pediatrician’s take on Mindfulness, Marijuana, and Music

The Happy Doc Podcast – Episode #57

June 24, 2018

Interview with Happy Doc host: Dr. Taylor Brana

This 57th episode of The Happy Doc Podcast features an interview by Dr. Taylor Brana with Dr. Nicholas Chadi M.D., who shares his medical journey. He talks about addiction medicine, his advice to teens about marijuana use, a mindfulness practice involving washing your hands, Why life doesn’t end with medical school, and what makes Nicholas Chadi feel fulfilled. Featuring music from The Eight Tracks a cappella. (Listen to the full episode of the Happy Doc here)

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