New Cannabis link to Schizophrenia

A new Australian study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal involving 20,000 patients and 80 international studies has confirmed the link of cannabis use and early onset psychosis.

The New South Wales study shows that early cannabis smoking brings on schizophrenia three years earlier than non smokers.

The earlier young people start smoking cannabis and the more frequent the use- the greater the risk.

For older people who use cannabis the risk of schizophrenia doubles from 1 per cent to 2 per cent.

For younger people with developing brains the risk of schizophrenia increases from 1 per cent to 5 per cent.

The conclusion is that cannabis is very bad for adolescents and plays a significant role in psychosis.

(Source: ABC Radio AM program 8 February 2011)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

This Australian scientific study confirms other international studies that expose the link between cannabis use and psychosis.

As cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia cannabis use prevention is the key illicit drug policy response.

Drug prevention programs to adolescents must now clearly focus on preventing ANY cannabis use.

Where adolescents have already commenced cannabis use, diversion into effective court supervised early intervention drug rehabilitation that leads to a drug free life must be used to eliminate the risks.