A new study conducted by researchers in Ottawa has found a strong association between cannabis-induced psychosis and the development of schizophrenia. The study, one of the largest of its kind, analyzed the health records of nearly 10 million people in Ontario from 2008 to 2022.
The researchers discovered that individuals who visited emergency departments for substance-induced psychosis, particularly related to cannabis use, had an 18.5% chance of receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia within three years. Even those who visited the emergency department for substance use without psychosis had a heightened risk, albeit lower at 1.4%.
The risk of developing schizophrenia after an episode of substance-induced psychosis was found to be 163 times higher than the background risk in the general population. The lead author of the study, Dr. Daniel Myran, emphasized the importance of these findings in raising awareness about the mental health risks associated with cannabis use, especially among young men.
The study also highlighted that cannabis stores are often concentrated in low-income neighborhoods, raising concerns about potential public health issues. The authors of the study urge for further research and public awareness campaigns to better educate individuals about the risks associated with cannabis use.
It is worth noting that the study found higher risk factors for developing schizophrenia in individuals who used cannabis compared to other substances like amphetamines. Additionally, younger men were found to have significantly higher risks related to cannabis use when compared to other demographic groups.
The research, published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry, sheds light on the need for increased vigilance and support for individuals who present with substance-induced psychosis, particularly those related to cannabis use. By understanding the potential risks, healthcare professionals can provide appropriate interventions and support to minimize the risk of developing schizophrenia and other mental health disorders.
– Ottawa Citizen: [Article Title]
– JAMA Psychiatry: [Article Title]