A new study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) points out that marijuana smokers are five times more likely to have thoughts of suicide than the general population.
According to the British newspaper “Mirror” reported that the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse recently surveyed 280,000 people between the ages of 18 and 35, and found that there is a link between marijuana smokers and increased risk of suicide. About 3% of people who did not smoke marijuana had light thoughts, 7% of non-daily marijuana smokers, and up to 9% of daily marijuana smokers. Women were at a much higher risk of having light thoughts, plans and attempts to die than men.
The risk of light thoughts reportedly occurs regardless of whether or not one suffers from depression. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said that while there is no direct correlation between marijuana use and the increased rates of suicide in this study, the data will warrant further study.
Volkow also mentioned that a more detailed understanding of the relationship between marijuana use, depression and suicide would also allow clinicians to provide better guidance and care for patients. Beth Han, the study’s lead author, said she hopes the study will provide prevention and intervention programs for people considered to be at high risk for light-heartedness.