FLASH: Cannabis Linked to Depression and Suicide in Young Adults
Teens and young adults who use marijuana/cannabis are at increased risk of depression and suicidal behavior, according to a new study released by a team of researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.
The study is part of an awareness campaign started by the Quebec government to observe the effects and risks of smoking pot among young people.
The campaign asked researchers to observe how the brain, which continues to develop until 25 anni, is affected by using the drug. The results indicated smoking marijuana use in adolescence could harmfully alter mental health.
The McGill study concluded smoking marijuana can be linked to depression in about 7% of Canadians and Americans between the ages of 18 and 32, according to an article published in the Montreal Gazette.
That works out to about 25,000 young Canadians and 400,000 young Americans who suffer from depression because of earlier daily or even occasional use of the drug
Even more telling is the increased risk of suicide among marijuana users.
The authors stated if the individual has a predisposition toward suicide or has suicidal thoughts, the increased risk of actually attempting to commit suicide rises to 50%.
“Preadolescents and adolescents should avoid using cannabis as it is associated with a significant increased risk of developing depression or suicidality in your adulthood,” the study concluded. “These findings should inform public health policy and governments to apply preventative strategies to reduce the use of cannabis among the youth.”
The results were published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry and are based on a review of many international studies comprising more than 23,000 individuals.
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