Psychosis and drug links

Learn about: Psychosis and drug links from Kenneth Duckworth, MD,...
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Psychosis and drug links

Drug use is a key component to the onset of psychosis in teenagers. Most teenagers don't recognize this fact. It isn't possible to actually determine the precise amount of risk that the use of marijuana or other hallucinogenic substances have. If you think about it, these substances are designed to make you hallucinate. In many people who do them for recreational or because of peer pressure, the have a transient experience, and then return to normal reality. I take care of young people that have psychotic illnesses, and some people feel that if they use these substances, their capacity to discern reality, stops. They continue to have hallucinations that they can't get rid of. I would really ask people to consider delaying the use of substances as long as they can. As your brain matures, it seems less vulnerable to this particular risk that marijuana and other hallucinogens give, to some small, but real percentage, of teenagers.

Learn about: Psychosis and drug links from Kenneth Duckworth, MD,...


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Kenneth Duckworth, MD

Psychiatrist, Harvard Professor & Medical Director for NAMI

Ken Duckworth, MD, serves as the medical director for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He is triple board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult, Child and Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry and has extensive experience in the public health arena.

Dr. Duckworth is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard University Medical School, and has served as a board member of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. Dr. Duckworth has held clinical and leadership positions in community mental health, school psychiatry and now also works as Associate Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Prior to joining NAMI in 2003, Dr. Duckworth served as Acting Commissioner of Mental Health and the Medical Director for Department of Mental Health of Massachusetts, as a psychiatrist on a Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) team, and Medical Director of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Dr. Duckworth attended the University of Michigan where he graduated with honors and Temple University School of Medicine where he was named to the medical honor society, AOA. While at Temple, he won awards for his work in psychiatry and neurology. He also has a family member living with mental illness.

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