Cannabis and schizophrenia

Scientists at Yale School of Medicine have conducted research to clarify the long known association between cannabis and psychosis.

As a result of the research the scientists discovered that the THC in cannabis causes transient schizophrenia-like symptoms.

The patients developed suspiciousness, unusual thoughts, paranoia, thought disorder, delusions, blunted effect, reduced spontaneity, reduced interaction, memory and attention impairments.

The results confirm other scientific studies that cannabis contributes to abnormalities in the brain cannabinoid receptor system causing schizophrenia effects.

(Source: Science Daily Release 4 June 2004 www.sciencedaily.com)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

This study confirms details of an Australian study by the Hunter Medical Research Institute.

It also confirms research by the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health that cannabis doubles the risk of schizophrenia.

It also confirms research by the University of Maastricht that cannabis users are three times more likely to develop psychosis, hallucinations, manic depression and schizophrenia.

Paranoia and Schizophrenia are a major cause of suicide.

Australian authorities have international obligations to reduce cannabis use NOT to accept the current increase use of cannabis.

We need annual national surveys to ensure that no more than 3 per cent of Australian young people have used an illicit drug in the past year.

Cannabis users must be diverted into detoxification & rehabilitation to ensure that deaths, permanent injury and shortened lives are avoided.