Psychotic Link to Cannabis

People with established psychotic illness are worsened or caused to relapse by the use of illicit drugs.

Heavy use of illicit drugs like cannabis and cocaine worsens psychotic symptoms.

A recent New Zealand study found that people that smoked cannabis daily are 2 to 3 times more likely to experience psychotic symptoms and were more likely to be hospitalised from those symptoms.

A Swedish study of conscripts aged about 17 years of age found that cannabis use was associated with a later increased risk of schizophrenia.

The link between cannabis and schizophrenia has recently been supported by further cohort studies from Israel, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

(Source: Australian Family Physician magazine, March 2006, P110-112)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Recent Australian medical publications are again highlighting the link between illicit drug use and psychosis.

Medical evidence from around the world is confirming the link between illicit drug use and mental illness.

Leading neuroscience journals indicate that illicit drugs adversely impact on both human brain structure and function particularly when drug use commences at a young age.

Psychotic symptoms include violence, depression, suicide, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Reducing the number of illicit drug users and drug demand need policies that divert users into detoxification and rehabilitation to get them free of illicit drugs.