Cannabis link to Aboriginal depression

A study has found that aboriginal heavy cannabis users are four times more likely to suffer from depression as a result of the cannabis use.

The study of three communities in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory isolated the cannabis use from tobacco, alcohol and petrol sniffing activities to assess the impact of the cannabis.

The report highlighted research which showed that suicide rates were five times higher for females and three times higher for males than suicide rates for non aboriginals.

Cannabis use by the aboriginals is three times higher than non aboriginals, for example, 61 per cent of aboriginal males aged 13 to 36 use cannabis weekly compared to 24 per cent of non aboriginals.

(Source: Medical Journal of Australia, 19 May 2008)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

This study which reports high cannabis use and a high level of mental illness by aboriginal Australians is disturbing.

Aboriginal Australians deserve better and at least a substantial access to detoxification and drug rehabilitation.

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia so we NEED court supervised drug detoxification and rehabilitation.

In order to reduce the extensive aboriginal Australian cannabis using population we NEED a comprehensive and effective drug detoxification and rehabilitation system.

What works in cannabis rehabilitation is to get aboriginal Australians off cannabis use.

Cannabis rehabilitation can be linked with tobacco, alcohol and petrol sniffing rehabilitation so that the mental health outcomes are fully effective.