Medscape posted an article on May 8 about remarks made by Dr. Meesha Ahuja, MD,at a press briefing at the American Psychiatric Asociation’s 2014 Annual Meeting. She was the lead investigator of a study performed by researchers at Brown University that found that almost 25% of college students being treated there for a mental illness also abused cannabis, Dr. Ahuja observed that the combination of psychiatric illness and cannabis use by the college students “was linked to significant functional impairment and a greater likelihood of medical leave from school compared with their counterparts who used cannabis but did not have a mental illness”.
The researchers examined the charts of 113 young adults (79% white; 67% female; mean age, 21 years) whose primary diagnosis was not associated with substance abuse.
Dr. Ahuja also indicated in her remarks that use of cannabis and other substances by young adults with psychiatric disorders has been “linked to poor outcomes, including increased symptomatology and hospitalization, poor treatment adherence, and increased treatment resistance.” She suggested a treatment approach that provides attention to both substance use and co-occuring disorders as well as increased education to raise awareness about the association between cannabis use, decreased functioning and the risk of exacerbating psychiatric symptoms.
Read more here: