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Marijuana use and mental illness
Nov 23, 2007

Dr. Bob, hi.

I have noted that on several occasions where marijuana use has been questioned in relation to HIV, meds, etc, none of your answers have addressed the proven link between heavy marijuana usage and mental illness, most notably depression. As most HIVers are already suffering greater stress due to having the illness and depression is one of the largest issues we HIVers face in general, I would think it necessary to point out this link and to caution people considering marijuana use as a way of combating stress, lack of appetite and so on, that they run the very real risk of exacerbating any underlying mental issues they already have by using marijuana on a daily or heavy basis. Is it possible in future for you to include any warnings about the mental health dangers associated with marijuana use as well as just purely the physical ones concerning lungs etc? Just in the interests of balance.

Thanks.

Lee

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Lee,

The questioners were not wondering about going through life with a bong strapped to the side of their head 24/7. They were referring primarily to sparking the occasional doobie.

I would also question the "proven link" you mention between heavy marijuana use and mental illness! Please note there is a significant difference between an "association" and a "cause-and-effect relationship." For instance, every year at this time birds in New England fly south. Also every year within several weeks of the birds' flying south the snow starts falling in New England. Using your "proven link" terminology, one could conclude that birds' flying south cause snowfall in New England. It's an observed association that occurs each and every year. Therefore there must be a "proven link" right? Wrong! This is a temporal association, not a cause and effect phenomena. See what I mean???

Stay well Lee.

Dr. Bob


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