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January 1974

Psychotic Reactions Following Cannabis Use in East Indians

Author Affiliations

From the Drug Addiction Clinic, Calcutta. Dr. Smith is currently at the Schick's Shadel Hospital, Seattle.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(1):24-27. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760070014002

In a descriptive report of observations carried out in an Indian drug addiction clinic, 200 patients with a characteristic, transient, and acute drug psychosis were observed following the use of cannabis preparations. Of the patients, 45% had no previous psychopathology. Most patients fully recovered. Among those with the most severe preexisting pathology some patients had a less favorable course; drug psychoses in this group occasionally were dominated by schizophrenic and paranoid symptoms.

Potency and dosage schedule of cannabis, as well as a younger age, were generally related to occurrence of a toxic psychosis. In 16%, and especially among the least stable patients, low potency drug produced symptoms. There were some relationships between purpose of drug consumption, emotional stability, and demographic variables; for the emotionally stable, "sociability" was a dominant motive. There was no direct association with criminal activity.