Cannabis is at the centre of ongoing controversial and often confused debate. Opinions on its potential impact on health are sharply divided: some argue that it poses serious risks to mental health and that adolescent use may lead to psychotic illness in young adulthood, or that it acts as a gateway to hard drugs such as cocaine or opiates. Conversely, others point to alcohol or tobacco being far more harmful yet entirely legal. Cannabis and Young People aims to shed light on the current debates by reviewing all the available evidence on a range of issues relating to the use of cannabis among children and adolescents and summarizing the main conclusions in clear, jargon-free language. Areas covered include: * Patterns of cannabis use * Changes in usage * Young people's views on cannabis * The potential harmful effects, including mental health problems, educational attainment, antisocial behaviour * The family and social factors that can initiate cannabis use * The progression to regular use * The effects of decriminalization This book will be an essential read for anyone needing informed, authoritative information about cannabis and its effects.
Richard Jenkins is a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He previously worked for FOCUS at the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Research Unit and as a systematic reviewer with the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health. His other research interests include occupational stress and burnout among healthcare professionals.