Youngsters to be warned of cannabis mental health risk

Smoking cannabis could damage your mental health, a Government drugs website will tell young people.

The ‘FRANK’ website currently says, “If you’ve a history of mental health problems, depression or are experiencing paranoia, then taking this drug is not a good idea.”

But this information is well out of date. It is now widely accepted that cannabis can cause problems even in people with no history of mental illness.

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker has now indicated that the advice will be updated and broadened to warn all young people that cannabis could damage their mental health.

A study lasting 27 years involving 50,000 people showed that smoking cannabis trebles the risk of a young person developing schizophrenia.

Cannabis-related admissions to mental hospitals have risen by 85% since Labour came to power according to Government figures.

There are now more than 22,000 people a year, almost half under the age of 18, being treated for cannabis addiction. In 1997 the number was 1,600.

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