Cannabis link to teen suicides

An article in the Western Australia Sunday Times on 7/10/01 has linked cannabis use with increasing teenage suicides

Main points of the article are -

  1. Smoking cannabis more than 50 times a year ie. once a week, could double the chances of youths committing suicide according to Prof. Silburn a member of the Youth Suicide Advisory Committee of W.A.
  2. Because cannabis is easily available and existing legislation offers little deterrence the present policies are NOT working.
  3. Of the 572 suicides of 15 to 24 year olds in W.A. illicit drugs were present in 1/3 of males and 1/4 of females.
  4. Prof. Silburn recommended prevention and early intervention to stop young people using cannabis and committing suicide.
  5. There needs to be more services for young people with clinically significant health and substance disorders.

Present policies are not working to deter young people from using cannabis and the increased risk of suicide.

Young people caught in possession of cannabis must be diverted into detoxification programs followed by comprehensive rehabilitation to get them drug free.

Cannabis detoxification and rehabilitation must be court ordered and supervised if necessary.

Existing cannabis cautioning programs should be scrapped.

Young people with mental illnesses must be specially targeted as being at risk.