Addiction

12 May 2008

Depro teens vulnerable to dagga

Teens who were depressed in the past year are more than twice as likely to have used marijuana than those who weren't depressed, according to a US report.

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Teens who've reported being depressed at some point in the past year are more than twice as likely (25 percent) to have used marijuana than those who weren't depressed (12 percent), according to a White House Office of National Drug Control Policy report.

The paper also said that marijuana use by teens increases their risk of developing a mental disorder by 40 percent, and that teens who use marijuana at least once a month for a year are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than those who don't use the drug, the Associated Press reported.

In addition, teens who smoke marijuana when feeling depressed are more than twice as likely as other teens - eight percent compared with three percent - to abuse or become addicted to marijuana, the report said.

Need to take marijuana use seriously
The report authors analysed data from about a dozen previous studies that examined marijuana use.

"Marijuana is a more consequential substance of abuse than our culture has treated it in the last 20 years. This is not just youthful experimentation that they'll get over as we used to think in the past," said John Walters, director of the drug control policy office.

Since 2001, marijuana use among American teens has decreased 25 percent. Currently, about 2.3 million children use marijuana at least once a month, according to the drug control office. – (HealthDay News)

May 2008

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