Depression, psychosis strike dope smokers The Australian September 2008 CANNABIS smokers are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety and psychosis than those people who take stimulants, according to Australian statistics suggesting the drug's toll on mental health has been underestimated. The impact of amphetamines on mental state is well known but a new national report shows dope smokers display higher rates of several psychological symptoms when visiting their doctor. Of patients who mentioned cannabis use to their GP, 48 per cent had a psychological problem, including 19 per cent with depression and 9 per cent with psychosis. Six per cent had anxiety. Only 31 per cent of stimulant users reported similar problems, with significantly lower rates of all conditions, according to the latest bulletin released by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre in Sydney. Centre director Jan Copeland said the results confirmed the dangers of the drug, especially for the reported 300,000 Australians who smoked it daily. "It was unexpected, given what we hear about amphetamine-related psychotic symptoms, but it goes to show what a terrible impact cannabis is having on users," Professor Copeland said. "The delusions, hallucinations and paranoia can be very distressing and people are feeling it." The results, in data collected from 1000 randomly selected GPs, also revealed that mentioning cannabis use to a doctor was very rare, with the drug named in just 19,000 consultations nationwide each year. Users were more likely to be male, young, unemployed or on a low income and indigenous.Reread the last paragraph:
The results, in data collected from 1000 randomly selected GPs, also revealed that mentioning cannabis use to a doctor was very rare, with the drug named in just 19,000 consultations nationwide each year. Users were more likely to be male, young, unemployed or on a low income and indigenous.Have they even considered that patients don’t mention cannabis to their doctors because it isn’t a problem for them? Those that do mention cannabis probably do have a problem and require help but this just reinforces what many experts have been saying for years ... recreational cannabis use is relatively harmless. Even the director of NCPIC agrees:
As with most drugs, most people do not experience major problems with occasional cannabis use. But for those that use regularly or heavily, problems can be major and have a significant negative impact on their lives. -Professor Jan Copeland - National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC)And this from their website:
There are a range of health and social harms associated with cannabis use. Not everyone who uses the drug will experience great problems, but for those that do, cannabis can affect their life in a very negative way. -NCPIC websiteI wonder why this quote isn’t a headline in the Murdoch papers? One of the great equalisers is the question:
Where are the bodies? -Michael Gormly - Kings Cross Times.Yes, if cannabis is so dangerous and so many people smoke it world wide, why are the institutions not full of cannabis inflicted patients? There is a simple answer to this and one that is avoided at all costs by the anti-cannabis zealots. Answer: Recreational cannabis use is not harmful. The objectivity of research from NCPIC and co. needs to be examined for practicality in the real world. it seems there are daily reports coming out about the harms of cannabis but still that question cannot be answered ... where are the bodies? Norman Swan, host of The Health Report on the ABC probed into this issue indirectly and interviewed Professor John Ioannidis from Tufts University in Boston about his paper, 'Why Most Published Research Findings Are False'. One of the interesting conclusion was that if you have an agenda in mind, you can produce a lot of supporting statistics but when applied to the real world, they have no effect. The other interesting conclusion was that new, breakthrough research with no supporting history (i.e. most cannabis users get psychosis) is usually dismissed fairly quickly and cannot be proved in a clinical environment. On the other hand, research based on many prior reports (i.e. cannabis is fairly safe), has much more legitimacy because it has been proven in the physical world previously. We will continue to be bombarded with alarming new research from those with an agenda and media outlets like The Australian will continue to print them. In the end though, the truth always wins out. So once again, where are the bodies?