Study finds marijuana users are at risk of psychotic disorders

By Staff Writer

Young adults who use drugs derived from cannabis plants are more likely to experience psychotic symptoms, which can progress into psychotic disorders with prolonged use, according to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal.

Over the course of 10 years, almost 2,000 young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 without underlying mental conditions were evaluated for cannabis-related psychotic issues.

The study results showed that the drug nearly doubled a participant's chances of suffering from psychotic experiences. Moreover, subjects who had a history of cannabis use prior to the onset of the study were found to suffer from more frequent bouts of psychosis.

According to a 2009 report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 16 million people over the age of 12 use marijuana, the most common cannabis product.

Study findings suggest that while many individuals with mental health conditions may abuse marijuana to relieve their symptoms, these people may actually be exacerbating their problems.

Although cannabis is not known to have the addictive qualities of most drugs, drug rehab programs can help individuals who deal with psychological troubles that may have led them to drug abuse.