Does substance abuse cause mental illness, or do the ill simply reach for anything to feel better? Click here to vote ( note – tongue firmly in cheek on this poll )
The UK has upgraded it’s rating for Cannabis so it’s classed as a jailable offence to have it, despite top medical advisors warning against the move see here for BBC story ( yeah good one Britain – who needs dope when you can kill yourself a lot quicker with cigarettes, booze and prescribed anti-depressant meds )
A few highly publicised bits of “research” in recent years have us believing that cannabis will make you schizophrenic and increase chances of paranoia, anxiety and depression. They are dangerous part-truths.
For men, about 1 in 5,000 develop psychoses according to another recent BBC report, but the greater reality is that people with mental illness will reach for any substance, legal or illegal, to ease their pain. We advocates deal daily with hurting folk who self-medicate.
What is REALLY crazy is that research also shows that adolescents smoking tobacco raise their risk of depression later in life, but ciggies are legal across the planet.
Meanwhile an important related issue is the deadly stigma attached to mental illness –
I addressed a meeting recently and suggested that
” no-one in their right mind abuses drugs ”
Imagine my surprise when a voice was raised in indignation along these lines;
” hey wait a minnit, I have friends who are junkies – how dare you say they are mentally ill.”
It’s enough to drive you nuts!
Meanwhile click here for a radio interview with a key australian advocate on “schizophrenia” as understanding grows that hearing voices and other psychotic episodes are not schizoid.
For help for those hearing voices and for info on debunking “schizophrenia” go to http://www.intervoiceonline.org/
Finally I never advocate illegal drug use, whether you’re sane or silly. ( I also don’t advise you to use anti-depressants, dexamphetamines,ritalin, SSRI’s, Alcohol or tobacco.)