Study: Marijuana use can increase risk of psychosis

Some people use marijuana as a way to escape the everyday grind.

Yet a new study found teens and young adults who smoke marijuana may be at risk of developing a disabling brain disorder.

For some adolescents, it's a rite of passage. In fact, marijuana use is increasing among teens and young adults.

But a new study in the British Medical Journal gives another reason to just say no to drugs.

European researchers found that adolescents who regularly use marijuana increase their risk of developing psychosis, a pattern of hallucinogenic thoughts.

The study tracked more than 1,900 people age 14 to 24 over 10 years. Researchers weeded out participants who reported using marijuana and excluded those with psychotic symptoms.

They found those who started using marijuana during the follow-up period were nearly twice as likely to experience psychotic symptoms, compared to those who didn't use it.

And those who were using the drug at the start of the study and continued--increased their risk of persistent psychotic problems.

Scientists theorize that marijuana may disrupt brain development during adolescence and that it may remain permanent.

Yet questions remain. More research is needed to determine whether people with psychosis use marijuana to calm their symptoms or if the drug causes psychosis.

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