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Monday, March 1, 2010

The Longer People Use Cannabis or Marijuana the More Mental Problems

Marijuana is a topic on the minds of many people around the world. More studies involving the drug are taking place than ever have before. With medical marijuana sweeping across the United States and whispers of legalization in the streets, people want to know the facts about this drug/medicine. Marijuana is not just a topic for a America, it is a topic that the entire world is dealing with; the Unites States has been the spearhead in the creation of no tolerance drug policies that have traveled half-way around the world. The University of Queensland in Australia (a country that has modeled America's zero-tolerance policies) recently conducted a study regarding the long term effects of marijuana use. The results of this recent study are shocking as much as they are surprising, and as most studies do, will leave you with more questions than answers.

The new study indicates that the longer people use cannabis or marijuana the more mental problems they may encounter, including hallucinations, delusions, and can even suffer from psychosis. The study, lead by John McGrath, observed that individuals age 15 or younger that used marijuana had were twice as likely to develop a "non-affective psychosis", such as schizophrenia than individuals who refrained from using the drug. "Among all the participants, a longer duration since the first time they used cannabis was associated with multiple psychosis-related outcomes," the study said.

According to General Psychiatry, the study which is not the first of its kind, included 3,801 twenty-year old individuals; 17.7 percent of the test group said they had been using marijuana for three or fewer years, 16.2 percent for four to five years, and 14.3 percent for six or more. The study asserts that sixty-five individuals were diagnosed with "non-affective psychosis", i.e. schizophrenia and another 233 people had in their life experienced at least one hallucination. Past studies had come up with similar results, but, concerns were raised about the research not properly accounting for particular variables. One interesting point, according to the study: people who were more likely to have a psychotic episode, were more likely to use more marijuana, thus increasing one's chances of developing a full blown psychotic disorder.

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