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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – ‘Something You Cannot Ignore’: #Cannabis Use Linked To Increased Thoughts Of #Suicide In Young #Adults, Study Shows

shallow focus photography of cannabis plant
Photo by Michael Fischer on Pexels.com

Taylor Avery

Young #adults who use #cannabis are more likely to think about and make plans to kill themselves, a new national study shows.

About a third of severely depressed young people considered #suicide between 2009 and 2019, compared with more than half of those with #depression who also used #cannabis daily.

For those without #depression, 9% of daily #cannabis users and 7% of regular users reported #suicidalideation, or thoughts of #suicide, survey data from 281,000 people ages 18-31 showed.

“Consumption of #marijuana increases your risk of suicidal behaviors,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which led the study.

According to 2019 data from NIDA, 45 million #Americans used #cannabis and 9.8 million were daily or near daily users. In the same year, 4.7% of adults over the age of 18 reported feelings of #depression. There were more than 47,500 #suicide deaths in 2019, according to the #CDC.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

Am I okay? Here are steps on how to do a #mentalhealth check. 

#Suicides fell during the #pandemic. Deaths by #suicide fell 9% at the height of the #pandemic shutdown, surprising researchers. 

Women appeared to be more affected by #cannabis use than #men.

Volkow said it’s not known why #women were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts than #men, but said it may do with the way the brain processes stress.

Women might also have compounding psychiatric disorders, said Dr. Ziva Cooper, who directs the UCLA #Cannabis Research Initiative and was not involved in the study. 

The association between #suicide and #cannabis use isn’t definitive, Cooper said. Other factors could be at play, such as #mentalillnesses besides #depression.

While more research is needed to confirm the connection, Volkow says the study results are significant.

“That is something you cannot ignore,” she said. “When you have data like this, it documents potential danger.” 

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.

Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.

shallow focus photography of cannabis plant
Photo by Michael Fischer on Pexels.com

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