Use of Marijuana Increases Risk of Psychosis

People in their teens and early 20s who smoke pot are at a greater risk for psychosis such as schizophrenia and hallucinations.

Many proponents of marijuana use claim that the health risks associated with smoking pot are no worse than legal substances like tobacco. However, there is a mountain of evidence which suggests otherwise. On its own, marijuana is very addictive and can require treatment in a drug rehab center in order to kick the habit. In addition, pot has been shown to be a “gateway” drug which can lead people to hard drugs, increased alcohol use and prescription drug abuse.

Marijuana is an addictive drug which requires treatment in an addiction program. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, quitting marijuana can have short-term and long-term withdrawal symptoms which can last for days or even weeks.

New research from Australia gives even more indication about the potential harm caused by marijuana. A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests a link between teens and young adults with a drug addiction to marijuana and increased rates of psychosis. Researchers asked more than 3,000 people in their teens and early 20s about their marijuana use along with their history of psychosis such as schizophrenia and hallucinations.

Reviewing the research gave scientists a clear indication that marijuana use was linked to increased levels of psychosis. In addition, there appears to be a correlation between the amount of pot abuse and the potential risk of psychosis — people who smoked more marijuana for longer periods of time were most likely to have psychotic episodes. This signals a need for teens who smoke pot to get into drug treatment before long term effects can be seen.

The relationship between marijuana use and psychosis is complex, according to researchers. While a link can be seen between prolonged marijuana use left untreated by a drug and alcohol addiction program and psychosis, it also appears that people who have experienced psychotic episodes in the past are more likely to turn to marijuana abuse later in life than people who have not had prior mental illnesses.