Cigarette Smoking and Cannabis Equally Associated With ‘Psychotic-Like’ Experiences


Research from the Netherlands finds, in a nationwide survey of 1929 young adults, that cigarette smoking and cannabis were equally strongly associated with the frequency of psychotic-like experiences (PLEs).  Further, though cannabis use was associated with distress from PLEs when cigarette smoking was eliminated as a confound, the inclusion of cigarette smoking rendered the statistical effect of cannabis on distress  insignificant.

Abstract →
van Gustal, W., MacCabe, J., Schubart, C., Vreeker, A., et al.; Cigarette smoking and cannabis use are equally strongly associated with psychotic-like experiences: a cross-sectional study in 1929 young adults. Psychological Medicine. November, 2013 43(11):2393-401. doi: 10.1017/S0033291713000202. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Of further interest:
Cigarette Smoking ‘Could Make You Psychotic’ (Huffington Post)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


    • PeatHean,

      Great post. Talk about being two faced or talking on both sides of one’s mouth in the so called mental health profession. As I say below, smoking pot or using any nonpsychiatric drug not approved by biopsychiatry is grounds for a bipolar stigma including psychosis, delusions and paranoia. Of course, if one is going to disease monger just about everyone on the planet to take toxic psych drugs, one must keep expanding the latest fad fraud bipolar stigma to the most absurd and ludicrous symptoms one can use to snow everyone into accepting this intraspecies predation on normal humans.

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  1. What a farce! What used to be a rite of passage for youth like trying alcohol, pot or cigarettes is now considered one of the “symptoms” of the predatory bipolar stigma applied to any unfortunate youth who have a crisis like a parent’s divorce, school bullying and other typical problems of growing up. In fact, the author of the discipline book 1-2-3 Magic said that kids trying these substances was quite normal and showed a more independent teen more likely to succeed than the little fearful shrinking violet terrified about coming out of their safe little cocoons.

    Dr. Jill Littrell has shown in many articles on MIA that any teen or adult being outed as having any alcohol or drug problem is now automatically stigmatized as bipolar. She was appalled to find how many in her classes had become victims of this latest bipolar expansionism. But, so called dual diagnoses are so much more profitable and better able to milk the victims’ health insurance forever after making them permanent patients for a temporary crisis or mistake.

    Also, as Bruce Levine and others expose, biopsychiatry is just an agent for pernicious social control, so as they have expanded their deadly poison tentacles to include our youth, any behavior that used to be the norm for children and teens struggling through normal life challenges and rites passages are immediately vilified and stigmatized by their schools, community and sometimes even parents. And of course, schools get more money for every child they can get stigmatized and drugs while teachers prefer little quiet robots in chemical straight jackets so they can exert as little effort as possible while coasting to retirement.

    Again, I feel nothing but contempt for biopsychiatry’s predation on normal behavior in our youth or exploiting real suffering and trauma caused by family dysfunction, domestic/work/school bullying/mobbing/violence and other severe social stressors.

    So, I suggest that since biopsychiatry has now added cigarette or pot smoking to alcohol or any non psychiatric drugs (See Dr. Loren Mosher’s resignation letter from the APA exposing this disgusting hypocrisy) as symptoms of delusions and psychosis for bipolar and schizophrenia stigmas, I’d take any of their claims for such delusions and psychosis with a grain of salt since it is also a convenient ploy to try to terrorize new patients into taking deadly neuroleptics rather than helping them with the real crisis or trauma in their lives. Some evil psychiatrists actually scream at new patients that they are delusional or paranoid when they try to get help for domestic/work/school and other bullying/violence leading to the very suicides they pretend to help avoid. Others are happy to just gas light and deceive their victims until it is too late to escape once one catches on to this horror show and destruction of their lives or those of their children.

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  2. So true, Donna. The etiology of my “bipolar” was misdiagnosis of adverse reactions to a “safe smoking cessation med” / actual dangerous an ineffective “antidepressant.” Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, according to psychiatry.

    God save the “bipolar” children from the antipsychotics. I’m sickened by any doctor who forces any child to take neuroleptics.

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