Heavy cannabis use exacerbates problems of young
Heavy cannabis use can exacerbate existing social problems among vulnerable young people, according to a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The impact of heavy cannabis use on young people found that daily cannabis use among vulnerable 16 to 25-year-olds was seen to worsen problems such as unemployment, low educational achievement and homelessness, while others in the same age range - such as those in further education - reported few adverse effects. The report drew on interviews with 100 young people who had been using cannabis - mainly 'skunk' - on a daily basis for the last six months, and explored their attitudes to their drug use and its effect on their lives. Professionals such as youth workers were also interviewed, and in the main viewed cannabis as less harmful than the young people themselves. 'Young people might not be aware of the extent to which cannabis use might exacerbate their existing social problems, and professionals who have had experience of cannabis users in the past may assume the effects are relatively harmless if they take young people's assessment of the impact of cannabis use in their lives at face value,' said author of the report Dr Margaret Melrose. 'More probing may be required.' Report available at www.jrf.org.uk/bookshop/details.asp?pubID=926
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