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Cannabis use linked to 40% rise in risk of schizophrenia

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  • Cannabis use linked to 40% rise in risk of schizophrenia

    July 27, 2007: Smoking cannabis increases the risk of schizophrenia by at least 40% according to research which indicates that there are at least 800 people suffering serious psychosis in the UK after smoking the drug.

    Mental health groups called on the government last night to issue fresh health warnings and launch an education campaign to advise teenagers that even light consumption of the drug could trigger long-term mental health problems. The findings came after a rush of ministers declared their cannabis-smoking pasts and an order from the prime minister for officials to consider whether the drug should be reclassified amid fears about its more potent "skunk" form. Last night the Home Office said the research would be considered in that review.

    The study, an analysis published in the Lancet medical journal of previous research into the effects of the drug on tens of thousands of people, provides the most persuasive evidence to date that smoking cannabis can cause mental illness years after people have stopped using it.

    The overall additional risk to cannabis smokers is small, but measurable. One in 100 of the general population have a chance of developing severe schizophrenia; that rises to 1.4 in 100 for people who have smoked cannabis.

    But the risk of developing other psychotic symptoms among people who smoke large quantities or are already prone to mental illness is significant, the researchers say.

    People who smoke cannabis daily have a 200% increased risk of psychosis. They estimate that 14% of 15- to 34-year-olds currently suffering schizophrenia are ill because they smoked cannabis, a figure previously thought to be between 8% and 10%. According to the current diagnosis rates about 800 people would have been spared schizophrenia if they had not smoked cannabis.

    The researchers said the evidence was the strongest yet to show that cannabis caused psychotic mental illnesses, and not just that people who were ill smoked more. Dr Stanley Zammit, of Cardiff University, said: "We think the evidence is such that we need a new official warning about the risk."

    Paul Corry, director of public affairs at the mental health charity Rethink, echoed calls for more warnings but said it was not evidence in itself that cannabis should be reclassified. "Rather than focusing its attention on the reclassification debate, the government would do well to crack on with the more important job of informing the public about the health implications," he said.


  • #2
    Samedi 28 Juillet 2007 -- La consommation de cannabis augmenterait de plus de 40% les risques de développer plus tard une maladie mentale, selon l'analyse de plus d'une trentaine d'études publiées dans le dernier numéro de la revue médicale britannique The Lancet. Le cannabis est la substance illégale la plus consommée dans la plupart des pays, relèvent les Dr Theresa Moore (Université de Bristol) et Stanley Zammit (Université de Cardiff). Plusieurs types d'études ont clairement démontré que l'intoxication au cannabis peut entraîner, lors de la consommation de cette substance, la survenue de symptômes psychotiques passagers et de troubles de l'humeur, rappellent-ils. Dans leur analyse de 35 études réalisées ces dernières années (jusqu'à 2006), Moore et Zammit se sont intéressés au lien entre cannabis et des troubles psychiatriques chroniques, indépendamment de l'épisode d'intoxication cannabique. En passant en revue les études à long terme sur la consommation du cannabis, “nous avons trouvé une augmentation importante des cas de psychose chez les personnes ayant fait usage de cette substance”, indiquent-ils. Les Dr Moore et Zammit estiment, en revanche, que le lien entre consommation de cannabis et troubles dépressifs et anxieux apparaît moins marqué. Selon leur analyse, les personnes qui ont consommé du cannabis dans le passé auraient 41% plus de risques de psychose que ceux qui n'ont jamais fait usage de cette drogue. Le risque augmenterait avec l'intensité de la consommation, les plus gros consommateurs ayant deux fois plus de risque d'un trouble psychotique. “Les gouvernements devraient investir dans des campagnes d'éducation prolongées et efficaces sur les risques du cannabis pour la santé”, conclut la revue.

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    • #3
      it is asking for problems for yourself. A wise person never starts with these drugs. And a 'becoming wise person' will always quit.

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