Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Schizophrenia And Marijuana

Charles, a long-time friend of mine, has been worried about his son for years.

First it was drug use -- hard for Charles, a former pastor and pretty conservative guy, to deal with.

Then insolence. Then trouble in school and with the law. Then more and more bizarre behavior.

Then homelessness. Recovery programs. Relapses. Back home, back to using, back on the streets.

Then, a diagnosis: schizophrenia. More exactly schizoaffective disorder, one of the nastiest mental disorders you can ever get.

It gives you two choices: Don't medicate and become one of those people who wanders the streets, talking to the voices in his head, unable to work, often criminal. Or medicate and feel dull and lifeless, suffer greater risk of heart attack and drool a lot.

We're all so sad; we wonder why it happened, how it happened. And now, I think I might know:
Cannabis 'affecting young minds'

Half of young people using cannabis suffer side effects such as paranoia and blackouts, a UK survey suggests.

More than 80% of the 727 young people in their teens and early 20s polled by YoungMinds had tried the drug - the vast majority before they were 18. ...

Barbara Herts, YoungMinds chief executive, said: "Many young people are experimenting with cannabis from a young age.

"We are extremely concerned that there is still very little known about the effects of cannabis on the developing teenage brain and it is crucial that more studies are carried out in this area."

She said virtually all of the research on both short and longer-term cognitive effects has been conducted on adults.

This is a problem as the young, developing brain could be much more vulnerable to its effects, she explained.

Ms Herts said studies show young people who use cannabis regularly or heavily are at least twice as likely to develop a psychotic mental disorder by young adulthood than those who do not smoke.

Psychosis is a type of mental health problem, which includes conditions like schizophrenia, that can seriously affect the way you think, feel and behave.

She said: "Young people, their parents and the professionals working with them need to understand the issues surrounding cannabis use and the potential dangers to their mental health and wellbeing." (BBC)
Drug users deny all this. Marijuana can do no wrong in their book. I know. I've pretty much stopped posting at The Drug Report because I got so sick of the pro-drug harrassent that never ended.

The same happened at my wife's Voice of the Victims web site -- it got so bad she shut down the comment page.

I'm just posting this out of concern for all the kids, all the parents. Mess with brain chemistry at your own risk ... your own grave risk.

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