A brand new study has found that the number of teenagers and young adults smoking cannabis is almost at the same level of those who smoke cigarettes.
The research also revealed that in the 1990s it was typically regular smokers who went on to start using cannabis whereas today, it tends to be the other way around with marijuana smokers moving on to regular cigarettes.
Professor Wayne Hall from the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London confirmed that over the past 20 years, there has been a large increase in the number of people smoking cannabis.
Although the study also showed that cannabis is less addictive than nicotine, Professor Hall pointed out that when users smoke the drug regularly and from a young age, it can have a detrimental impact on their mental health. Furthermore, the risk of addiction has been found to be higher amongst teenagers with one in six who use it regularly becoming addicted compared to one in ten adults.
Those who smoke cannabis on a daily basis double their risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms and disorders - especially if they have a personal or family history of this or start using at a young age. Additionally, teenagers who smoke marijuana are found to be more likely to go on to use other illegal drugs.
Highlighting the seriousness of the problem, Hall continued:
“It is now difficult to argue that cannabis dependence does not require professional attention. Whilst the mental and physical impact of cannabis dependence is less severe than alcohol or heroin dependence, the number of people who are able to stop smoking cannabis completely following treatment is still very low.”
For more information about marijuana addiction, its signs and symptoms, please visit our Cannabis Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page. You can also learn more about drug addiction at the Life Works Knowledge Centre.