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bipolar symptoms

Study Shows Link Between Marijuana Use in Teens and Bipolar Symptoms

While alcohol remains the most abused substance by teenagers, marijuana is climbing its way up fast. As this trend continues, the increased use is leading to more interest in the possible effects. A recent study revealed that marijuana use and bipolar symptoms in teens could be directly linked.

We already know teens smoking marijuana can lead to serious issues–but this is more alarming than most.

Marijuana use and bipolar symptoms later in life

Researchers from the University of Warwick Medical School have linked marijuana use in adolescents to bipolar symptoms later in life. The specific symptoms are related to hypomania, described as experiencing “periods of elated mood, over-active and excited behaviour, and reduced need for sleep.”

Bipolar disorder often includes hypomania in its symptoms. Hypomania can easily mess with someone’s daily life, making this new information even more important.

In the study, they found that use of marijuana at least 2 to 3 times a week increased an adolescent’s risk of developing hypomania in early adulthood.  

Dr. Steven Marwaha, leader of the study and clinical academic psychiatrist, explained their findings:

“Cannabis use in young people is common and associated with psychiatric disorders. However, the prospective link between cannabis use and bipolar disorder symptoms has rarely been investigated. Adolescent cannabis use may be an independent risk factor for future hypomania, and the nature of the association suggests a potential causal link. As such it might be a useful target for indicated prevention of hypomania.”

Not only could this new research help us further understand the effects of frequent marijuana use on the adolescent brain, but it also allows us to delve into new possible bipolar symptom prevention methods.

Overall, it is clear that adolescent marijuana use is more of an issue than we are currently treating it. Just like with cigarettes, we must step up and inform our youth about the dangerous outcomes that can come from using these substances early in life.

If you believe your son or daughter is struggling, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance. Waiting for things to improve by themselves often leads to the issue worsening.

Kokua Recovery is here for your family

Kokua Recovery is an adolescent recovery program for boys and girls between the ages of 13-17. Our program has a location in Colorado for boys and a location in Utah for girls.

At Kokua, we aim to heal the trauma that leads to teen addiction and help teens learn how to find sobriety in a safe and nurturing residential setting. We want to help lead teens and their families towards a healthy, happy future where they can thrive and grow. 

For more information about treating bipolar symptoms and drug use at Kokua Recovery, call us today at (877) 302-5022.

Ken Huey

Upon graduating from Purdue with a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, Dr. Huey worked as a therapist, Clinical Director, and Business Development Director in residential treatment. Dr. Huey was always drawn to the large population of adoptees in residential treatment (he is adopted himself). He ultimately became convinced that this population needed specialty care and in November of 2006, Dr. Huey founded Calo. Calo grew to a 200 plus employee organization with about the same numbers of teen clients served each year. He sold Calo and retired in June of 2015. He came out of retirement in 2017 and founded Kokua Recovery, trauma-informed residential drug and alcohol treatment with sites in Colorado.

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