1 in 3 young people become addicted to cannabis if used weekly or more

Cannabis is the “gravest threat to the mental health of young people in Ireland today,” according to a new report.

The College of Psychiatrists in Ireland is urging the government to initiate a comprehensive campaign on the dangers of the drug.

It adds that potency in the drug has spiked in recent years, with hospital admissions for young people due to diagnoses related to cannabis quadrupled between 2005 and 2017.

Some children as young as 8 or 9 have experimented with cannabis, according to a consultant child psychiatrist.

The College of Psychiatrists in Ireland claims one in three young people become addicted to cannabis if it’s used weekly or more often.

Consultant child and adolescent addiction psychiatrist, Dr Gerry McCarney, says some children as young as 8 or 9 have experimented with cannabis.

“What happens in a situation like that is, they are hanging out with an older group who they know such as their peers, or friends around the corner.

“And they’ll smoke while the others are engaging in it more full-time but over time, that increases.

“But at the younger age the history would suggest that they start to experiment at this really young age.”

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