The college, which represents 1,000 psychiatrists across the country, has launched two new information leaflets on cannabis to debunk the perception that the illegal substance is relatively harmless.
A public-facing leaflet, ‘Cannabis and your Mental Health’, examines cannabis use in Ireland, its general risks, and its effects on mental health and a leaflet is also being launched for medical professionals.
Cannabis use can lead to mental health issues, including psychosis, depression, anxiety disorders, and self-harm and suicidal behaviour.
Psychiatrists have warned that the number of psychiatric and general hospital admissions among young people with a cannabis-related diagnosis has increased sharply since more potent versions of the drug became available in recent years.
Cannabis-related psychiatric admissions across all age groups have increased by 250% since 2007, with the highest number of admissions — over 300 — being recorded in 2019.
Cannabis also accounted for the largest number of drug-related admissions to general hospitals among young people under the age of 25 in 2019.
In Ireland, cannabis is the most commonly used substance by young adults, aged 18-24 years, accessing addiction treatment, even more common than alcohol.
The report can be found here
Source: MARESA FAGAN, Irish Examiner, 4th May 2021