Teenage Cannabis Use Linked to Depression

"Teen cannabis use is to blame for 60,000 people suffering depression in the UK," reports The Sun.

A review has found that teenagers aged under 18 who used cannabis were 37% more likely to get depression in early adulthood than teenagers who didn't.

Cannabis use among teenagers has been linked to poor mental health previously, with research finding a strong link between cannabis use and schizophrenia. About 4% of adolescents aged 11 to 15 in England are thought to use cannabis each month. That means a lot of people may be at increased risk of mental health problems.

This study cannot prove that cannabis use in teenagers caused depression in young adults. Depression is a complex disorder with many potential risk factors, including hereditary influence and life circumstances. Other, unmeasured factors may have contributed to the study results. For example, difficult childhood circumstances could increase both the chances of getting depression as a young adult, and of using cannabis as a teenager.

However, the study joins other research to suggest that cannabis use may be putting teenagers at risk of poor mental health.

Researchers make the point that as teenagers' brains are still developing up until adulthood, exposure to cannabis could impact on this development in a number of potentially harmful ways.

Taken from NHS website.

Prepared by Madeleine Cooper

Progress - National Consortium of Consultant Nurses in Dual Diagnosis & Substance Use