Study: One in 4 Problematic Pot Users Have Anxiety

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pot usersMany young adults who smoke pot daily or who meet criteria for addiction have suffered from anxiety disorders, according to new data published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Using data from more than 1,200 people collected over the course of about 20 years, from childhood and into their 30s, researchers found that roughly a quarter of those labeled as having a marijuana use problem as young adults had anxiety disorders while they were growing up.

Those who used marijuana habitually also showed the highest risk for mental illnesses and experience with the criminal justice system, according to the research.

Sherika Hill, PhD, explains the motivation behind the new study: “A lot of current interventions and policies in the [United States] are aimed at early adolescent users,” Dr. Hill explains. “We have to start thinking about how we are going to address problematic use that may arise in a growing population of older users.”

Can You Spot the Warning Signs of an Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorder is diagnosed in adults when they experience at least three of the symptoms below on more days than not for at least six months; only one symptom is required in children, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or the feeling that your mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

Getting Help for Anxiety Disorders and Addiction
If left untreated, anxiety and substance use disorder can be a dangerous duo. Upon admission to NorthStar Transitions rehab programs, clients are evaluated for co-occurring mental illnesses that may contribute to dependency. To learn more about our dual-diagnosis treatment program, call us today: 303-625-6335.


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