Mental health clinics swamped with cannabis users

Hundreds of patients are being turned away as Victorian psychiatric units are swamped with hordes of young people suffering from cannabis induced psychosis.

Realisation that cannabis is NOT a soft drug but is a real factor in many cases of mental illness.

Realisation that cannabis use doubles the risk of schizophrenia and increases risk in proportion to the amount of cannabis used.

Children that use cannabis daily before the age of 15 years are subject to depression and anxiety.

Young women are 4 times more likely to develop disorders that need treatment if using cannabis daily and twice as likely if using weekly.

Abstaining from cannabis reduces the incidence of psychosis needing treatment by 50 per cent.

(Source: Melbourne Herald Sun 1 August 2005)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia.

As a result the increase in mental illness from cannabis use will increase the demand for mental health facilities swamping the ability to treat other conditions such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

The THC in cannabis today is substantially stronger than in past years.

The Victorian experience of swamped mental health services mirrors that of overseas mental health agencies.

Australia can successfully reduced illicit drug use and therefore the health risks by copying illicit drug policies from overseas where detoxification and rehabilitation are provided to get users drug free.