Thursday March 22, 2018

Using Marijuana can Help in the Treatment of Drug Addiction and Depression: Study

Cannabis use might not be recommended for conditions such as bipolar disorder and psychosis

Marijuana. Pixabay

Toronto, November 16, 2016: Using marijuana could help some alcoholics and people addicted to opioids kick the habit and may also help people suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety, says a study.

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“Research suggests that people may be using cannabis as an exit drug to reduce the use of substances that are potentially more harmful, such as opioid pain medication,” said the study’s lead investigator Zach Walsh, Associate Professor at University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Canada.

The study published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review is based on a systematic review of research on the medical cannabis use and mental health as well as reviews on non-medical cannabis use.

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However, the review concluded that cannabis use might not be recommended for conditions such as bipolar disorder and psychosis.

“In reviewing the limited evidence on medical cannabis, it appears that patients and others who have advocated for cannabis as a tool for harm reduction and mental health have some valid points,” Walsh said.

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It is important to identify ways to help mental health professional move beyond stigma to better understand the risk and benefits of cannabis, Walsh added.

“There is not currently a lot of clear guidance on how mental health professionals can best work with people who are using cannabis for medical purposes,” Walsh said. (IANS)

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Young Men More Vulnerable to Mental Illness Than Women

The researchers found that the incidence of first-episode psychosis is high among ethnic minorities and in areas with less owner-occupied housing

mental illness
For the study, the researchers estimated the incidence of first-episode psychosis in six countries -- England, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Brazil. Pixabay

Young men are more likely to experience first-episode psychosis, defined as the first manifestation of one or more severe mental disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, and depression, compared to women of the same age group, says a new study.

The findings published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry also showed that ethnic minorities and people living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas are also vulnerable to severe mental illness.

The study showed that the incidence of first-episode psychosis was higher among men aged 18 to 24 than among women in the same age group. Pixabay

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“The study confirmed that the incidence of first-episode psychosis varies considerably between major cities and rural areas. It also showed that environmental factors probably play a crucial role in this significant variation,” said one of the researchers Paulo Rossi Menezes, Professor at University of Sao Paulo Medical School (FM-USP) in Brazil.

“Until the end of the twentieth century, the etiology of psychotic disorders was believed to be mainly genetic, but the results of this study show that environmental factors are extremely important,” Menezes said.

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mental illness
Menezes said this finding confirms fairly consistent data in the literature. Pixabay

He noted that the incidence of first-episode psychosis among young adult males is higher than among young adult females according to previous research, which also shows that as men approach 35, it tends to converge with the incidence among women.

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In women aged 45-54, it is slightly higher than among men in the same age group.

“We don’t know exactly why there are these differences in incidence between sexes and age groups, but they may be linked to the process of cerebral maturation: the brain matures between the ages of 20 and 25, and during this period, men seem to be more vulnerable to mental disorders than women,” Menezes said.

The researchers also found that the incidence of first-episode psychosis is high among ethnic minorities and in areas with less owner-occupied housing. (IANS)