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New Study Shows Marijuana Users Five Times More Likely to Develop Psychosis

marijuanaThe recently released results of a British study suggest that the risk of psychosis in those using cannabis on a regular daily basis is five times higher than for those who never use.  According to one British Home Office spokesman, drugs such as cannabis are illegal due to the fact that medical and scientific evidence shows them to be harmful.

Study Findings

The findings of the just released British study add to an increasing body of evidence which links drug use and mental health issues.

Involved in the six-year long study were 780 South Londoners.  Four-hundred and ten individuals in the group were under treatment for mental health issues, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Marta Di Forti of King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, lead author of the report, warned of the increasing use of a powerful type of cannabis known as “skunk.”

According to Di Forti, those who use the high potency cannabis like “skunk” increased their risk of psychosis by threefold. Furthermore, those using it every day were at even greater risk.  She cited a fivefold increase in the risk of psychosis in daily users compared to those who do not use cannabis at all.

Psychosis is identified as a mental health problem with symptoms which include delusions and hallucinations.   England currently diagnoses approximately one new case of psychosis annually for every 2,000 individuals.

King’s College London professor of psychiatric research, Robin Murray, notes that the recent research paper findings suggest that nearly one-fourth of the cases of psychosis could be prevented were no-one smoking high-potency cannabis.  He further notes that it could also save a lot of suffering endured by young patients, and save the British National Health Service (NHS) a lot of money.

Additional Data

Of the 780 individuals involved in the study, 410 were patients reporting psychosis during the time-period between 2005 and 2011.  For the purpose of comparison 370 study participants were healthy individuals from the same south London area.

Research showed-up the importance of doctors asking about frequency of drug use in addition to simply asking about drug use in order to more accurately assess risk.  According to Di Forti, the additional data provides more information as to the user’s potential risk of mental health problems.

There have been several major reports in recent years pointing to a link between the use of cannabis—and psychosis.

A 2010 survey in Australia of 3,800 young adults revealed a greater risk of psychosis in those who had been smoking cannabis for several years after having started at an early age.

According to a March, 2015 online Science 2.0 article, findings from a number of research studies done on a large scale, link cannabis use to significantly more episodes of mania and depression.

Common sense could dictate that a person learn the facts about cannabis and its use from a reliable and factual source before putting their mental well-being at risk by indulging in its use.  Mental well-being is a valuable asset, and definitely worth protecting from damage through drug use.

Sources:

 http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/marijuana-psychosis-cannabis-study/2015/02/16/id/624979/

http://www.science20.com/the_conversation/how_marijuana_use_affects_people_with_bipolar_disorder-153756