Nakhon Sawan –
The Nakhon Sawan Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital revealed on Friday, September 23rd, that an increasing number of psychiatric patients had been admitted due to recreational cannabis use after the plant was decriminalized in Thailand on June 9th.
Deputy Director Manthana Kittiphirachon told reporters that the hospital has mostly treated patients with mental illness. However, more and more patients who are addicted to drugs and substances are recently seeking treatment at the hospital.
Most of the drug-addicted patients are found with the use of cannabis. They have increased from only 122 cases in all of 2021 to 103 cases within eight months of January – August 2022.
“Of the 103 cases, 87 were outpatients who had been treated at the hospital for marijuana use for a total of 339 times. It is because once they were recovered, they’d use marijuana and get addicted again, so they constantly returned,” Dr. Manthana stated.
The doctor also estimated that a number of psychiatric patients with problems from marijuana use will continue to increase significantly as most of them use cannabis for recreational purposes which could result in them experiencing mental disorders directly caused and exacerbated by marijuana.
In terms of treatment, emotional and/or psychotic symptoms in psychotic patients, one must be treated first for psychiatric symptoms as well as using psychotherapy or psychosocial therapy to gradually stop the patients from using marijuana – similar to treatment with patients with chronic alcohol problems. However, due to cannabis legalization which makes the access of the plants easier, it was a struggle for the medical personnel to give practical consultation and treatment.
“Therefore, it is important to remind patients that those who are suffering with certain diseases, especially psychiatric disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, substance-related psychosis, and schizophrenia, that they are not suitable for cannabis use because it will affect their symptoms in the long run,” the doctor stressed.
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