STUDY: Marijuana use in children, teens with mood disorders associated with higher risk death

STUDY: Marijuana use in children, teens with mood disorders associated with higher risk death
Stock photo of marijuana plants. (Michael Thomas/Getty Images/EyeEm)

COLUMBUS — A study led by researchers at Ohio State University found that young people and teens with mood disorders who use and abuse marijuana may have a higher risk death by self-harm, unintentional overdose, and homicide.

“These findings were pretty concerning and alarming to us,” said Cynthia Fontanella, Associate Professor at Ohio State University and the study’s lead author.

The study, published in the Medical Journal of Jama Pediatrics, found that marijuana use was documented in more than 10 percent of the over 204,000 young people and teens with mood disorders who were studied.

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The group consisted of people between ages 10 and 24.

Fontanella said the use was significantly higher among those who are older, male, black, those who have Bipolar Disorder, or have a prior history of hurting themselves, or have been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment.

While the study can’t say marijuana caused the higher risk of death, Fontanella said they are associated.

”The general perception is that marijuana use is okay and the attitude is that it’s not harmful,” she said.

”So that’s concerning.”

The researchers said marijuana use can also worsen symptoms and interfere with successful mood disorder treatment, but decreasing use could reduce the risk.