Cannabis and Psychosis

marijuanaIn raising 10 teenagers, caring for thousands of patients and running an addiction opiate detox clinic, I have certainly heard my fair share of comments like; marijuana is natural, its harmless, everyone does it, all my friends smoke pot, THC is not addicting, cannabis should be legalized like alcohol, it’s less harmful than alcohol, my doctor prescribed cannabis for my ….

The study (link below):

 ” Effect of reclassification of cannabis on hospital admissions for cannabis psychosis: A time series analysis.”

shows a probable association between increased cannabis use and hospital admissions for psychosis.

While traditional past studies have tended to state the addiction rate for cannabis at 10%, my experience would place that rate at a much higher percentage.  Nearly all regular cannabis users have sleep problems that they use the THC for without realizing that it actually makes their sleep problems more difficult were they to try and stop the regular use of cannabis. While claims can be said for it being herbal or “natural” so are arsenic, lead and toxic plants.  It is certainly not harmless, just as alcohol is not harmless.  The legalization of marijuana in many states has resulted in those wanting to use or abuse this substance to get a medical justification for it. Clinics that are just fronts for selling and promoting its use crop up instantly in states that legalize it, and the “doctors” will write prescriptions for most any condition, regardless of clinical studies to show benefit.

My experience has been that those teenagers who either drink or use cannabis, or other drugs of abuse on a regular basis, are almost universally going to have trouble as adults.  Most do not go to college or drop out of college, most have trouble getting and keeping jobs, and as this article suggests, some struggle with mental health issues.

All have sleep problems, and many become addicted to other substances. Many have mental health issues, and as this article alludes to, psychosis or even more severe mental health issues can be triggered. 

If you are reading this and are a regular user of cannabis, this may not be music to your ears.  If you are a parent, consider these facts as you think about what you want for your children.  It is extremely hard to say, “Do as I say not as I do”.  That just doesn’t work – EVER.

http://www.ijdp.org/article/S0955-3959(13)00090-X/abstract

 

Dr. Paul

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