Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I really hope not

I never got around to posting this unsettling article from TIME titled, The Link Between Marijuana and Schizophrenia. It's from back in July '10 but I only came upon it recently. But hey, better that information is delivered late than never.

Photo from here.
The article discusses research led by Dr. Serge Sevy, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. In short - I'm sure this is a very crude summary - the data suggest that people who smoke marijuana are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as nonsmokers. I know, Schizophrenia. That's no joke. And a pretty heavy faith in causation, no?

Well, TIME writer Maia Szalavitz quickly points out the problem with these research results. The number of people who smoke marijuana, or at least have tried smoking marijuana, has increased over the years; 70% of youth by the end of the 20th century. At the same time, rates of schizophrenia in the U.S. have basically declined. Since cases of schizophrenia began to be recorded it's been found to consistently affect roughly 1% of the population. Read the entire article here. Nothing is conclusive, but it's good to keep in mind. We gotta keep tabs on all sides of the conversation.

Best Line
However, discouraging marijuana use in patients who have schizophrenia or are at high risk of developing it is a complicated task, not least because the drug is extremely popular with this group.

No comments:

Post a Comment