Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
Researchers exploring the link, if any, between cannabis use and the length of involuntary care for a number of mental health conditions found weed consumers had a higher risk of readmissions.
“Cannabis is associated with an increased risk of mental disorders, including the onset or adverse evolution of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression,” note findings published online last week in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
“Cannabis users seem to have a particular profile in secure units, and are associated with specific diagnoses and treatments, and a higher risk of readmissions,” study authors write.
Investigators out of France and Spain looked at 370 patients admitted to one secure adult psychiatry unit in France in 2016. Urine tests determined if THC was present (130 patients) and outcomes, such as length of stay and readmissions, were compared to the group of patients without a THC reading (240 patients).
As a group, the THC-positive patients were often young men, the study notes. The group was “significantly associated with one-year readmissions” and, at discharge, more benzodiazepines prescriptions, but not antipsychotics.
The study authors suggests that “adapted management strategies might be warranted for these patients.”
A small Norwegian study published in 2008 considered the rate of substance use disorders in a group of psychotic inpatients. Investigators found the lifetime rate was 70 per cent when all psychotic disorders were included and 62.5 per cent when substance-induced psychotic disorders were excluded.