Cannabis Users On The Rise
Staff Reporter / 2007-04-09 14:26:03
The number of teenagers in the province of Alicante who smoke cannabis is rising, as is the frequency with which they smoke the drug. More and more teenagers take the substance daily and, according to experts, that abuse will show in the next few years. The latest study showed that 40% of schoolchildren aged between 12 and 17 smoke 'spliffs' and 2% smoke them every day.
Bartolomé Pérez Gálvez, the head of the Addictive Conduct Unit at Hospital San Juan, speaking at the III Infant and Juvenile Psychiatry Conference last Friday, revealed the new statistics, adding that "the cannabis problem is more serious than that of any other drug, such as cocaine or other designer drugs."
At the same conference, the psychiatrist Lorena García Fernández warned that the increase in the use of this drug could cause many new cases of schizophrenia to appear in the next few years, saying that "between 40% and 60% of schizophrenics regularly smoke cannabis."
She also warned that the way that young people are using cannabis is not only for leisure, rather it is becoming more and more continuous, more like an addiction. The use is not the same as it was two decades ago, as the motives for taking the drug have changed, and it is now a more aggressive drug than what it was. The average age for kids to start taking cannabis is lowering, according to García Fernández, and is currently at around 14 years of age.
She reminded those present that levels for consuming cannabis are highest in Spain and in the UK and that the only reason that more cases of schizophrenia haven't appeared yet is because of greater control from birth, but that sooner of later the consequences are going to catch up, saying that in the next decade the number of cases of the mental illness are expected to rise considerably.