Dagga tied to psychosis recovery trouble

2012-03-01 20:01

Dordrecht - People who suffer an episode of psychotic symptoms may want to steer clear of marijuana afterwards, according to a study from the Netherlands.

Researchers, whose findings appeared in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, found that people who kept smoking cannabis after a psychotic break tended to have certain problems in recovery.

The effects were fairly small and seemed to be limited to social life and financial independence, rather than mental health symptoms. But the findings did support conventional wisdom that people who have ever suffered from psychosis should avoid smoking marijuana.

"I would advise patients who've suffered from a psychosis and still use cannabis to stop using it," said lead researcher Gunnar Faber, of Yulius Mental Health Institute in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

"The message is clear that marijuana is not helping people with a history of psychosis," he told Reuters Health by email.

Studies have linked heavy marijuana use to a higher-than-normal risk of having a first episode of psychosis, which usually features hallucinations and delusions, but it hasn't been clear whether people who continue using the drug after a psychotic break have a tougher time recovering.

For the new study, researchers looked at 124 people who had been part of a clinical trial testing the effects of longer-term treatment with antipsychotic medication. All had gone on treatment after a first-time episode of psychotic symptoms.

As part of that trial, the patients were asked about marijuana use. Overall, 21% continued smoking cannabis during the two-year study - and 35% had used the drug before.

By the end of the trial, 53% of study participants had seen their psychotic symptoms go away, with marijuana users just as likely as non-users to recover.

Scoring lower

They also had as good a chance of "clinical recovery," which meant their symptoms were gone and their daily functioning was back to normal, or close to it.

About one-fifth of all patients had a clinical recovery.

Still, cannabis users did show an increased risk of certain "social" problems, scoring lower on questionnaires gauging financial independence and social activities.

"In real life, this could mean that continuing cannabis use has a detrimental effect on social functioning," Faber said.

He noted, though, that any effects would vary from one user to another - and the findings don't necessarily mean that marijuana itself caused the social problems.

Few marijuana users in the study used it heavily, which may help explain why the habit did not seem to have strong effects on recovery, he said.

It's possible that continued marijuana smoking keeps some users from working or going out, though less work and less play might feed people's use, Faber said. Or perhaps some other factor altogether could explain the connection.

Still, the bottom line is that it's best for people being treated for psychosis to avoid, he said. 

Read more on:    netherlands  |  narcotics
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
29 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.