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Medicine Science

Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode 382

Posted by Soulskill
from the exceeding-expectations dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Reuters reports, 'In a study of adults who experienced psychosis for the first time, having smoked marijuana daily was linked to an earlier age of onset of the disorder.' ..."This is not a study about the association between cannabis and psychosis, but about the association between specific patterns of cannabis use ... and an earlier onset of psychotic disorders,' Dr. Marta Di Forti, who led the research at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, said in an email. Among more than 400 people in South London admitted to hospitals with a diagnosed psychotic episode, the study team found the heaviest smokers of high-potency cannabis averaged about six years younger than patients who had not been smoking pot. Psychosis is a general term for a loss of reality, and is associated with several psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. ... "The thorny question is whether they might otherwise have developed the disease or would have not had mental illness. It's a distinction we haven't figured out yet," Compton said. ... It is still unclear whether there are safe levels of use for cannabis, she added. '"
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Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

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  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:12PM (#45927335) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps these folks were smoking that much pot as a coping means ("self medicating") because of their troubles, rather than pot causing the troubles
  • This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:13PM (#45927351)

    People with addictive personalities more prone to mental problems. Who'd have thunk?

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:15PM (#45927359) Homepage Journal

    ..there probably isn't a "safe use level".

    however, and here is the big thing, the thing to test against should be daily alcohol use of comparable amount - or if possible, test against whichever it is the people choose if they have both options available.

    though, I'd reckon that if you're likely to have psychosis of some sort you're already more likely to be choosing to be a fucking _daily_ pot smoker for 20 years - if you get little crazy from being high 20 years that's not even news - but that is not the point, you go pretty fucked just from drinking 8 beers a day for 20 years too...

  • by dyingtolive (1393037) <brad,arnett&notforhire,org> on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:19PM (#45927383)
    I'm afraid that doesn't fit the narrative.
  • Reefer madness? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:23PM (#45927403)

    It's strange timing that this study is being released around the time Colorado has fully legalized pot, Washington is well on their way to doing so, and you can get "medical marijuana" in other states.

    I'm not sure what the motivation is. Personally, I don't see a very good future for the middle class (automation of pretty much every job is coming,) so it would seem that it would be in everyone's best interest to keep most of the unemployed population stoned every day to reduce petty crime. I guess I'm just a pessimist though.

    The whole war on drugs thing just needs to be dropped. Let everyone have whatever they want and plow the money you were putting into police and prisons into treatment programs for people who voluntarily want to stop.

    CAPTCHA: syringe. Holy coincidence!

  • adding up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by harvey the nerd (582806) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:26PM (#45927419)
    Figure adding oxidant stress and hallucinogens on top of self selection, combined with a reporting bias. Honest study would give us better information to choose exposures and risks as individuals. Drug prohibition was a failure, as is a welfare state.
  • Re:Reefer madness? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:33PM (#45927449) Journal

    The whole war on drugs thing just needs to be dropped.

    Why do you want to kill a golden goose? Join the dark side of prohibition and make billions.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:33PM (#45927457)
    How do you figure that? I'm pretty sure that these conditions exist in some state prior to one's first episode. There's also the fact that this particular pattern might select itself for certain demographics more than others, and the environment they are in might contain factors that do influence this.
  • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sg_oneill (159032) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:35PM (#45927467)

    People with addictive personalities more prone to mental problems. Who'd have thunk?

    Or , ya know, you could actually read the article. Its not about how prone someone is, its when the symptoms start. Schizophrenia shows early symptoms in childhood, and if you've got it, you will succumb to psychosis eventually. Whats happening here is the pot smokers are succumbing earlier. This wont affect most people, but those who are succeptible, perhaps pots a bad idea. The trick scientifically is identifying those in danger.

  • Re:Reefer madness? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Uberbah (647458) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @03:42PM (#45927507)

    Personally, I don't see a very good future for the middle class (automation of pretty much every job is coming,)

    Not so much automation as executive greed. The superrich have created a system where not only do they not have to worry about the state of the society in which they live, but where they profit in times of booms and busts. Reap the windfall of the housing boom, get bailed out when it tanks, and then snap up real estate to resell or rent.

  • Re:Reefer madness? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nutria (679911) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @04:26PM (#45927779)

    capitalism is inherently unfair

    Yes, capitalism is unfair. Sadly, all other economic systems -- when implemented in large scale, and in the real world -- are even less fair. Otherwise, the Soviet Union would have survived while the US collapsed.

  • by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @05:02PM (#45928041)
    Not necessarily. It could be that marijuana increase schizophrenia, and some other factor decreases schizophrenia fore than marijuana increases it. I'm not saying this is the case, but you can't just look at a period where schizophrenia decreased and say that everything that increased in that time period can't be increasing schizophrenia.
  • Re:Reefer madness? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @05:04PM (#45928051)

    Yes, capitalism is unfair. Sadly, all other economic systems -- when implemented in large scale, and in the real world -- are even less fair. Otherwise, the Soviet Union would have survived while the US collapsed.

    So maximum fairness is the same as maximum efficiency, the only difference between SU and US was the economic system, and there are only two possible economic systems?

    Nice logic.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday January 11, 2014 @06:02PM (#45928359) Homepage Journal

    I suspect there is another, much more insidious link, and it's along the lines of the withdrawal (period of increased likelihood of suicide) associated with the cold turkey withdrawal from multiple other prescription mood amplifiers.

    Dude, we're talking about POT, not heroin or cocaine or alcohol or tobacco. Pot is not addictive. One can of course be habituated; if I'm used to having a glass of orange juice every morning for five years and then there's none, I'm going to miss it. If I'm clinically depressed it may drive me to suicide, but that doesn't reflect on the orange juice, it reflects on a mental illness.

    I've been smoking pot for over 40 years. Sometimes none is available and sometimes I can't afford it. Yeah, I miss it when I can't afford it or there isn't any available, but if I can have my coffee or pot but not both, I need my coffee.

    This has nothing to do with addiction. It has to do with other mental illnesses.

  • by Curtman (556920) * on Saturday January 11, 2014 @07:30PM (#45928807)

    You do not understand what the person you replied to is saying.

    I do. I'm only suggesting that if marijuana use increases 1000% and there is no epidemic of schizophrenia afterward, there doesn't seem to be any reason to assume a causal link, or to fear one..

    There may be underlying factors influencing the decrease in schizophrenia, but there is absolutely no evidence that using cannabis will increase your likelihood of being diagnosed with it.

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