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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 34 (1992) 10

New research

Cannabis and schizophrenia

H. Heller, P. Dingemans, D. Linszen

In the research literature of the last two decades it is agreed that psychotic symptoms which are caused by cannabis abuse mimic those of schizophrenia. Different opinions exist about the relationship between cannabis abuse and schizophrenia. Four points of view can be distinguished. The first group of researchers states the relatively new opinion that cannabis abuse is a problem which especially occurs among youth in distressing circumstances. Inefficient coping strategies ultimately lead to psychopathology.

The second group holds the view that cannabis abuse directly leads to schizophrenia. A third group holds that the course of schizophrenia is negatively affected by the abuse of the drug. The fourth group reverses the point of view of the third group: negative symptoms of schizophrenia lead to cannabis abuse. In this article these four opinions are reviewed.