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Marijuana and Depression

May 9, 2008
by Gary Enos
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This week's federal report analyzing linkages between teen marijuana use and symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses certainly illustrates some of the challenges inherent in adolescent treatment. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) report is gaining attention as a call for parents to be more vigilant about signs of depression that could be associated with illicit drug use. But it also is noteworthy to see this comment about treatment needs in the text of the ONDCP paper: "Alarmingly, the majority of teens who report feeling depressed aren't getting professional help. They have not seen or spoken to a medical doctor or other professional about their feelings." Whether a substance use or mental health problem exists in tandem with or in the absence of another concern, access to youth treatment remains shockingly limited for many—or obtained only after painstaking efforts by the family. It is good not to see this point lost behind the attention-getting headline "Teen Marijuana Use Worsens Depression."

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Gary Enos

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Gary Enos

@apeditor

www.addictionpro.com

Gary A. Enos has been the editor of Addiction Professional since its inception. He...