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Mental Health Problems and Cannabis

by Sophie

I am not suggesting that people use cannabis, personally I think there is a lot to be said for sobriety, but the way mental health practitioners are using the issue of cannabis use as a stick to beat people with mental health problems is wrong.

They (the practitioners) don't seem to realise that people who use a mind altering drug such as cannabis know and understand that they are experiencing increased levels of emotional things, like anxiety. However, they might actually feel that they are enjoying their altered state of mind even if its bad. Exactly the same goes for alcohol.

One of the major problems of cannabis is not necessarily the mind altering qualities, but the illegality of it. Some studies have shown that it is widely used and by people who have some mental problems to begin with. It is probably unlikely that they cause them in the first place. But problems with cannabis are definitely increased by the criminal circles that surround its supply. This can lead to absolutely tragic outcomes for some people with them being sucked into either harder drugs and /or prostitution.

It would be better to put resources into the community such as social projects involving sport, art and craft for example than the situation that exists now of threatening to withdraw services and resources in the community for people with mental health problems. People who take cannabis currently face discrimination from mental health services with an emphasis on provision rather than punishment the future could be brighter for both service users and professional alike.