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Young and stoned

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Young and stonedWhat cannabis can trigger

Cannabis is the most commonly consumed illegal substance in Switzerland. Young people get it through friends, on the street or order it from their phones. Most use it occasionally, and socially, for fun. But for some, who go beyond this type of use, the consequences can be serious. And boys are more likely to be affected than girls. 

Martin, Sven and Till all smoked their first joint when they were 14 or 15, like many other young people. 
For Sven, the initial high turned into a devastating low. Having lost desire and motivation to do anything except smoke pot, he ended up in an institution that specialises in cannabis withdrawal. He found his way back to a normal life, slowly and with a lot of professional help. Now 21, he's hoping to start an apprenticeship, and catch up on everything he missed.
Till started smoking pot with his friends at school, for a laugh. Then he began to suffer episodes of depersonalisation, triggered by intensive cannabis consumption – feeling as though he was outside his body, being remote-controlled. He needed psychiatric help to understand what had happened and why smoking cannabis is no longer an option for him.

Martin was hit hardest of the three. After years of intensive use, cannabis triggered psychosis. Suffering hallucinations and delusions, he had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Looking back he can see the warning signs were there, and he now knows he had a predisposition to psychosis, and that cannabis triggered it. Now he's starting afresh, looking for a new path in life.

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