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Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.read biographyclose window
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, board certified in general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, is a St. Louis native looking to the Internet as a way to help people improve their health and be more active participants in their own health care by learning from Mayo Clinic's experts.
Dr. Hall-Flavin served on the faculties of Cornell University Medical College, New York Medical College and The George Washington University Medical School before joining the Mayo Clinic staff in 1996. He has special interests in adult psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine. He served as medical director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence from 1986 to 1999, and is currently involved in translational medicine research involving the introduction of pharmacogenetic technology into the daily practice of community psychiatry.
"With the advent of pharmacogenetics and related fields and the advances in translational medicine, informed collaborative relationships between knowledgeable, capable health professionals and informed, proactive individuals and their families are more vital than ever," he said.
"I'm optimistic that our Internet health education activities will contribute to ever-improving health outcomes for all who participate and apply what is learned."
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- Marijuana and depression: What's the link?
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Marijuana and depression: What's the link?
I'm curious about marijuana and depression. Can marijuana cause depression?
from Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
Some research suggests that marijuana smokers are diagnosed with depression more often than nonsmokers are — particularly regular or heavy marijuana users. However, it doesn't appear that marijuana directly causes depression.
It's likely that the genetic, environmental or other factors that trigger depression also lead to marijuana use. For example, some people may use marijuana as a way to cope with depression symptoms. Heavy users may also appear depressed as a result of the dulling effects of the drug on feelings and emotions.
There are also links between marijuana and other mental health conditions. Marijuana use may trigger schizophrenia or detachment from reality (psychosis) in people who are at higher risk of psychosis. The symptoms of diagnosed psychotic illness and its course may be aggravated if marijuana use continues. There is also some evidence that teenagers who attempt suicide may be more likely to have used marijuana than those who have not made an attempt. As with marijuana use and depression, more research is needed to better understand these associations.
The bottom line: Marijuana use and depression accompany each other more often than you might expect by chance, but there's no clear evidence that marijuana directly causes depression.Next question
Caffeine and depression: Is there a link?
- Hall W, et al. Adverse health effects of non-medical cannabis use. Lancet. 2009;374:1383.
- Rasic D, et al. Longitudinal associations of cannabis and illicit drug use with depression, suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts among Nova Scotia high school students. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. In press. Accessed Oct. 14, 2012.
- Mannique-Garcia E, et al. Cannabis use and depression: A longitudinal study of a national cohort of Swedish conscripts. BMC Psychiatry. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/12/112. Accessed Oct. 14, 2012.
- Medical marijuana for treatment of depression: An evidence review. The Arizona Department of Health Services. http://www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/documents/debilitating/Debilitating-Conditions-Depression.pdf. Accessed Oct. 14, 2012.
- Bostwick JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 31, 2012.
- Bostwick JM. Blurred boundaries: The therapeutics and politics of medical marijuana. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87:172.