Teenagers More Vulnerable To Cannabis Addiction, But Not Other Mental Health Disorders

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Mental Health News

Researchers from UCL and King’s College London showed how adolescents are more vulnerable to cannabis addiction. The study is published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

The Study

The researchers surveyed 274 participants, including adults, adolescents, and adult controls. Apart from the adult controls, all other participants had a history of cannabis consumption for weeks.

They were asked to fill out questionnaires used to assess mental health risks and symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Factors like type and strength of cannabis, use duration, gender, and ethnicity were considered.

The Findings

The results revealed teenagers at higher risk of cannabis addiction. In fact, 50% of the teenage cannabis users had six or more cannabis use disorder symptoms.

It was also found that the impact of cannabis use (during adolescence) on cognitive performance or on depression and anxiety may be weaker than hypothesized. Instead, adolescents addicted to cannabis are more likely to develop poor verbal memory and risks of disorders like schizophrenia.

Elaborating on the need to teach adolescents about the severity of cannabis addiction, lead researcher, Professor Val Curran, remarked: “Our findings suggest that schools should be teaching pupils more about the risk of addiction to cannabis, which has been neglected in drugs education. [Cannabis addiction] is a serious problem in itself … teenagers should therefore be informed of their greater risk of addiction.

To Know More You May Refer To

Lawn, W., Mokrysz, C., Lees, R., Trinci, K., Petrilli, K., Skumlien, M., Borissova, A., Ofori, S., Bird, C., Jones, G., Bloomfield, M. A., Das, R. K., Wall, M. B., Freeman, T. P., & Curran, H. V. (2022). The CannTeen Study: Cannabis use disorder, depression, anxiety, and psychotic-like symptoms in adolescent and adult cannabis users and age-matched controls. Journal of Psychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1177/02698811221108956

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