By Staff Writer
Using psycho-active drugs like marijuana may make individuals more susceptible to developing psychotic conditions like schizophrenia, according to a new study from a team of Australian researchers. The investigation underscores the importance of seeking substance abuse help for those who are addicted to the drug.
The researchers from the University of New South Wales said that there is a well-established connection between marijuana and psychotic illness. However, it was not known whether people with schizophrenia and other conditions are more likely to use the drug because of their mental state or whether psycho-active substances contribute to the development of mental illness.
After analyzing the results of 83 previously published studies involving participants who used marijuana, the researchers found that cannabis may be a contributing factor to the development of psychosis. Individuals who used the drug developed mental health problems an average of 2.5 years earlier than those who did not use it.
While drugs like marijuana may not be the only causes of psychotic conditions, the researchers said that it clearly hastens the onset of illness. They added that seeking treatment from drug rehab facilities to break the addiction may delay or even prevent some cases.