Mental health admissions resulting from cannabis use increase

The number of admissions to hospital on mental health grounds resulting from the use of cannabis has almost doubled since 1997, according to figures released to parliament this week.

The Department of Health figures, published in response to a parliamentary question, show the number of admissions in England with a primary diagnosis of a mental or behavioural disorder due to the use of cannabis rose from 510 in 1996-7 to 946 in 2005-6.

The figures relate to the number of admissions and do not necessarily mean there were more patients, as some patients may have had multiple admissions.

And the number of treated cases of anorexia among children has increased by almost 50% since 1997, from 419 to 620, the DH has revealed to parliament.  The number of admissions for bulimia fell over the same period from 49 to 23.

The figures relate to treatment episodes rather than the number of patients and charity Young Minds said it was difficult to say whether the rise in anorexia admissions was explained by more services being available, GPs being better able to spot the symptoms or more cases coming to light.

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