Lookout For Marijuana Dependency Leading to Suicide

Marijuana or Cannabis cause high suicide rate in young adults
Credit: arahantmentalwellness.com

The marijuana plant, like any other species, has its pros and cons that determine its use as medicine. Stimulants and depressants impact the mental-conditions of individuals and may lead to suicide. When psychostimulants are present in the body it causes stimulation of the brain-receptors. But in the presence of central-depressants, the functioning of the nervous system is reduced.

The chemicals and electrolytes in the brain and blood impact the mental and physical health of individuals. Moreover, the food individuals consume alters the concentration of electrolytes in blood and cerebrospinal fluid. CSF is a liquid responsible for providing nutrients to the nervous system and removing waste products from it. CSF has many other benefits as well. 

Some chemicals or drug substances pass through the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system. However, not all substance-molecules in the blood can pass this barrier as the barrier is to protect the brain from unnecessary chemical entry to CNS. 

According to Fontanella, using cannabis at an early age increases the onset of psychosis, mood disorders, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety disorders. According to Dr. Lucien Gonzalez, marijuana alters the ability of the brain to process emotions. 

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Marijuana: The Cure For Many Psychological Conditions

Marijuana is a psychostimulant and is effective in treating many mental conditions like epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Davet syndrome. Furthermore, FDA approves two man-made cannabinoid medicines, dronabinol (Marinol, Syndros) and nabilone (Cesamet) for treating nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.

It has multiple administrative routes and can also be self-administered. Marijuana, also known as cannabis, gives a relaxing feel and reduces pain. It can and may produce euphoria, this is also the reason because of which it causes addiction. 

It is possible to smoke it, inhale it through a vaporizer, eat it in a brownie or lollipop and you can also apply it as a lotion. Moreover, cannabis administration through a few drops under the tongue is also possible. 

The intensity of impact varies depending upon the administration routes. Marijuana is capable of reducing the severity and amount of seizures in children. According to studies, cannabis reduces from 300 seizers per month to 2 seizers per month. 

The plant has many compounds that work together to improve the condition of patients. Moreover, it is essential to utilize the whole plant to obtain its medicinal impact. 

Cannabis Driving Young Adults Closer To Suicide

According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, heavy users of marijuana by young adults with mood disorders experience more suicidal thoughts. And also, these people have a higher risk of self-harming and death. 

Study author Cynthia Fontanella suggests that although cannabis is FDA approved for treatment of certain mental conditions. But it is essential to educate people about its administration, benefits of use, and risk factors. 

Moreover, parents are to be extra cautious about the dose of cannabis which their children are taking. Multiple deaths occur due to unintentional overdoses of it, leading to suicide and homicide. 

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The addiction to cannabis makes it difficult for individuals to stop taking it even after recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals with dependency on marijuana experience loss of appetite, irritability, restlessness, mood-elevation, sleep irregularities, and anxiety. 

Individuals that use marijuana under the age of 18 are 4-to-7 times more likely to develop marijuana disorder. A study of adult same-sex twins suggests that individuals with dependency on cannabis attempt suicide nearly three times more often than their twins with no dependency issues. 

Another study of Danish participants indicates the risk of self-harm or suicide is higher in both genders with marijuana disorder. 

To overcome dependency issues and avoid withdrawal symptoms, individuals need to consider behavioral therapy and other such measures. Furthermore, young adults must not take marijuana in the absence of a healthcare professional or caretaker. It is essential to inform the patient of the possibility of addiction and other side-effects before initiating treatment with marijuana. 

Adeena Tariq Lari
The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.