Cannabis link to schizophrenia

Australian research has found similar brain patterns for cannabis users and for people with schizophrenia.

Cannabis use changes how the brain works and how it develops.

Cannabis use by adolescents is increasing with an estimated two thirds of adolescents having tried cannabis with serious future effects.

One cannabis user who smoked cannabis for only ten months in his late teens had schizophrenia by his early thirties.

Research by the Hunter Medical Research Institute shows adolescent cannabis use affects how the brain will be hard wired in later life.

The Institute believes adolescent cannabis use is particularly risky.

Cannabis predisposes users to mental illness.

Cannabis users with schizophrenia describe cannabis as "bad" and schizophrenia as "a living hell".

(Source: ABC TV Catalyst program 20/2/03, www.abc.net.au/catalyst)

Past medical research has shown that adolescent cannabis users are SIX times more likely to develop schizophrenia in later life.

Research by the University of Maastricht shows cannabis users are THREE times more likely to develop psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, manic depression and schizophrenia.