Cannabis and depression

The US Office of National Drug Control Policy has warned that teenagers that use cannabis weekly are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-users.

The US study found that one in eight cannabis users aged 18 or older were classified as having a serious mental illness.

Teenage cannabis use can lead to depression, thoughts of suicide and schizophrenia according to the Office.

Adults that used cannabis before the age of 12 were twice as likely to have a serious mental health problem than those that were 18 before they first used cannabis.

The US Office confirmed that teenagers were trying cannabis at younger ages and were more likely to develop addiction and serious mental illness later in life.

US President Bush has set a target of reducing illicit drug use by 10 per cent in two years and 25 per cent in five years.

(Source: Daily Telegraph 4 May 2005)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Unlike the United States, Australia does not have any targets of reducing illicit drug use by set future dates.

Because of the known impact on mental illness of cannabis use Australia MUST set objectives to reduce illicit drug use to international best practice.

Mental illness including depression leading to suicide is confirmed by Australian statistics that one in four drug induced deaths of males in 2003 were because of suicide.

Cannabis users must be diverted into detoxification & rehabilitation to treat the addiction and also the depression caused by cannabis.