During the recent visit of overseas experts to the conference on schizophrenia held in Perth the clear link between cannabis use and schizophrenia was made.
The experts claimed that – the biggest predictor of whether someone would develop schizophrenia is whether they took cannabis or not.
(Source: ABC Radio National, Health Report, 28 August 2006).
However other illicit drugs identified with schizophrenia were amphetamines (SPEED), cocaine and methamphetamines (ICE).
These illicit drugs increase dopamine to the human brain.
SPEED, COCAINE and ICE use can cause paranoid schizophrenia, chronic depression, violence, aggression, irrational behavior, delirium, panic, hallucinations and paranoid psychosis.
When a long term user of these illicit drugs stops using, then the brain damage already done may be permanent with the evidence of brain damage not showing up for many years.
SPEED, COCAINE and ICE are the most popular drugs used in Australia by young people, most of whom do not understand the potential for brain damage and mental illness.
The MOST effective way to stop illicit drug users becoming psychotic is to divert users into detoxification and rehabilitation.
However, law enforcement authorities highlight that money paid for SPEED, COCAINE and ICE goes directly into the hands of organized criminals.
Using Australian courts to divert illicit drug users into detoxification and rehabilitation reduces the demand for illicit drugs and also cuts off funds to criminals.