Technorati href="http://www.technorProfile Thinking Nurse: "A Drug-Induced Mental Health Crisis" - Cannabis and Psychosis

Thinking Nurse

This blog will reflect my interests in learning disabilities, nursing, nursing theory, philosophy and politics and my general interests in the arts and literature. (Nursing is an art as well as a science!) Philosophy and nursing have been intrinsically linked since the days of Socrates, his mother was a midwife, and taught him everything he knew!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"A Drug-Induced Mental Health Crisis" - Cannabis and Psychosis

I posted in January about the rising awareness among mental health campaigners 'Rethink' of the link between cannabis and schizophrenia. Now another piece of research has been published, which suggests that the risk of a severe mental illness is actually doubled by the use of cannabis.

Read it here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4305783.stm



I know a lot of people on the left have a very relaxed 1960's attitude to cannabis, believing it to be less harmful than tobacco (an argument I have never been able to take seriously, as most cannabis users actually mix the cannabis in with tobacco, no doubt multiplying the harmful effects of both substances) and to generate less harm than alcohol, with it's multitude of harmful effects (although again, the same people tend to smoke their dope after a few drinks).



Modern cannabis is usually much more potent than what the hippies in the 1960's smoked.



Perhaps now that evidence is stacking up about it's harmful effects, perhaps those who previously had such a liberal attitude to it's use might at least start acknowledging some of the very serious risks now being shown to be associated with cannabis use.



I strongly suspect that the idea of a 'Soma' (the totally benign, mood-enhancing drug from Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World') is always going to be an illusion. Any drug that alters brain chemistry must have some adverse effects, at least with prolonged and heavy use. The drug culture that is so endemic in Western Society implies that there is 'a pill for every ill', sadly this is rarely the case.

Many people are using drugs to individually cope with socially generated problems, when perhaps society should be finding collective solutions to such problems

14 Comments:

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's an interesting bit of research. I'm wondering, though, if you have any research of your own to back up your claim that "most" users of cannabis mix the substance with tobacco? Have you read or done any research that has led you to also state that "the same people tend to smoke their dope after a few drinks?" Those claims do not correlate with my own experience as a thinking nurse and an occasional cannabis user, so I'd love to read any published pieces on the issue.

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger Comrade_Smirnoff said...

"Have you read or done any research that has led you to also state that "the same people tend to smoke their dope after a few drinks?"

Well I can say from experience that every time I've smoked hash I've been pissed.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Thinking Nurse said...

Hi anonymous, my evidence for my assertion that people tend to mix cannabis with tobacco, and alcohol, is that I have seen them doing it.

I accept that some users only use cannabis - but it is also possible that the use of bongs that deliver a purer and more intense version of the drug could also be more risky.

The reality is that there is NO evidence to show that cannabis is harmless, and a growing amount of evidence linking it to severe mental illness.

Cannabis, like any other drug, has benefits and risks. As a student nurse I feel drugs should only be advised when it can be shown that the benefits of using them outweigh the risks. - It may well be, for example, that cannabis is beneficial and life-enhancing to MS sufferers - though the risk of side effects still remains.

Those who in the past have argued that cannabis is 'less harmful than tobacco', and thus helped to promote it's use, have not done any favours to the users who have suffered mental illnesses, at least partly as a result of cannabis use.

 
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At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting piece.
As a long time cannabis user (since the mid '70s) I have to take issue with the "cannabis has become stronger since the '60s" idea.
In my experience, the average potency of herbal cannabis has remained around the same (it was always strong), and the potency of "hashish" has actually taken a dramatic plunge due to the increased addition of "filler" substances.

 
At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
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One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,
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At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
http://home-gardening.blogspot.com/
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,
Stan
http://yourebooksuperstore.com/vegetable/

 
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