Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Amotivational Syndrome Cannabis

The term ‘amotivational syndrome’ was devised to describe a cluster of features associated with regular cannabis use, including:
• apathy
• loss of ambition
• impaired concentration
• deterioration in academic performance.
Together, these features present as personality change, but are more likely a result of chronic intoxication.
The relationship between cannabis and mental health relates to the strength of the drug, the frequency of use and the age at which people begin using it.

Cannabis is a drug of dependence and the risks associated with
mental illness are increased the earlier young people start using it. It has also been suggested that cannabis dependence has a role in predicting increased risk of using other illicit drugs. Research continues into the causal links between cannabis and
mental illness, and evidence is growing to support the belief that cannabis can be a contributory cause of psychotic symptoms. Studies that support links between cannabis use and developing schizophrenia acknowledge an existing predisposition to the latter .
The prevalence and nature of cannabis use amongst those with severe mental health problems in community-based services in an inner-city area of the UK was assessed; 43% of the clients were misusing cannabis .Within mental health services, cannabis, second to alcohol, was the substance most commonly used problematically. Problematic cannabis use was most frequently associated with
males and a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizotypal or delusional disorders. ‘Pleasure enhancement’ and ‘coping’ were most commonly given as the reasons for use.

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