Marijuana Use Linked with Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression and Suicide
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Marijuana use is closely linked with higher risk of schizophrenia. For a large percentage of the population, who are predisposed to depression, marijuana use contributes to an increased risk of depression. According to a Netherlands study (2011), it is not simply a case of self-medicating. Anxiety and even higher suicidality are attributed to heavy marijuana use.

See also:

The History of Opium

Selecting the Right Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Making a Success of Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts: A Review Of The Scientific Evidence,
by Lynn Zimmer, John P. Morgan

Reviews: "A very well written book on a topic heatedly (or so it seems) debated about today." "...a refreshing, insightful look at the truth about marijuana usage." "Every statement made is supported by documented scientific evidence."

Wellness Recovery Action Plan® (WRAP®), by Mary Ellen Copeland

Do something about mental health other than take medicine. Mary Ellen Copeland's books and program help the reader to develop an action plan towards recovery. Take the horse by the reigns, take action. And if you have been diagnosed with, or have symptoms of schizophrenia, by all means find a way to quit smoking marijuana, if that is the case, and if possible, to quit smoking.

Photo: Cannabis sativa L. hemp. Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. US Fish and Wildlife Services.

Page updated: September 16, 2012

Marijuana Use Linked with Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression and Suicide

While use of marijuana is permitted in some states for medical use in certain situations, studies indicate that use of marijuana is strongly linked with an increased rate of schizophrenia, as well as major depression. Dr. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D., of Mayo Clinic states, “Marijuana use may trigger schizophrenia or detachment from reality (psychosis) in certain people. There is also some evidence that adolescents who attempt suicide may be more likely to use marijuana than those who don't.”

Mental effects of heavy marijuana use include conginitive impairment, memory loss, inability to correct mistakes, loss of inhibition. Heavy users and early onset users (teenagers younger than 16 years old) are most affected.

Marijuana is an addictive drug, states the U.S. Government agency NIDA, and about 9 percent of users become addicted. For those who start using at a young age, that rate increases to 17 percent. Withdrawal symptoms from marijuana include, “irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving”. This can make abstinence difficult. High doses of marijuana use can trigger psychoses in some individuals, as well as trigger relapses in schizophrenic persons.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that about 7.3 percent of Americans, 12 years old or older, used marijuana at least once, in the month preceding a survey.

in an article in Addiction Biology entitled Puberty as a highly vulnerable developmental period for the consequences of cannabis exposure, puberty is identified as an especially vulnerable time for marijuana users, when marijuana use can have lasting consequences both mental and physical. Adolescents, then can run a higher risk of adverse consequences from marijuana use than adult users.

A Netherlands study (2011) by Roy Otten at the Behavioural Science Institute of Radboud University Nijmegen, indicates that for about two-thirds of the population, genetic vulnerability to depression can be triggered through marijuana use. The study concludes that marijuana use is not merely a form of self-medication. Additionally, the authors of the study conclude, “Although the immediate effect of cannabis may be pleasant and cause a feeling of euphoria, in the longer term we observe that cannabis use leads to an increase in depressive symptoms in young people with this specific genotype.” Marijuana use can lead to psychosis, schizophrenia and depression for those genetically predisposed. Marijuana use is also related to decreased academic performance.

References for Marijuana Use Linked with Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression and Suicide

1. Depression (major depression), (2011). Mayo Clinic Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.

2. NIDA InfoFacts: Marijuana, (November 2010). National Institute on Drug Abuse

3. Dutch Study Shows Cannabis Tied to Risk of Depression in Youth, (October 17, 2011). David McCracken, MA, LPC . Psych Central.

4.Schneider, M. (2008), REVIEW FOR SPECIAL ISSUES ON CANNABINOIDS: Puberty as a highly vulnerable developmental period for the consequences of cannabis exposure. Addiction Biology, 13: 253-263. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2008.001110.x

5. Smoking Cannabis Increases Risk of Depression in the Case of Genetic Vulnerability, Study Finds, (Oct 10, 2011). Science Daily.

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