French study links juvenile cannabis use and unemployment

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A young French person who smokes cannabis before the age of 16 is twice as likely to be unemployed at least once in his career, compared to a young person who does not use it. He would even be three times more likely to be unemployed several times, compared to a person who has never smoked cannabis.

This is the conclusion of a French study, published by epidemiologist Maria Melchior, research director at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), one of the best research establishments in the world. about health.

“We had a hypothesis at the beginning: the consumption of cannabis in adolescence can have effects on professional trajectory. We know that young people are cerebrally vulnerable up to the age of 25, and that cannabis has effects on memory and concentration, so we wanted to check ”, explains Maria Melchior to Newsweed.

To achieve this result, the scientist drew from the TEMPO database, a file essentially made up of former employees of EDF-GDF and their children. His team sent them a questionnaire, often by mail, and they volunteered to answer it. This lasted for over nine years. A total of 1,500 people participated.

The scientist divided them into three groups: those who have never used cannabis (548 people), those who tried before 16 (332 people), those who tried after 16 (607 people). “Compared to those who have never used cannabis, the odds of being repeatedly unemployed are particularly high among those who used cannabis before age 16 (3x more risk) and those after 16 (2x more risk) “, notes the study.

“Workshops to express your emotions” to distract young people from cannabis

However, can we make a direct link between cannabis and unemployment? Do EDF-GDF employees, mainly made up of workers, represent France? As we know, it is easier to find yourself unemployed when you come from a modest background. Moreover, those who start smoking before the age of 16 are not always cut out for the school system; so they might have trouble finding a job afterwards.

“There are a lot of factors that explain why some people start smoking before the age of 16. These factors have been identified and corrected. In addition, theThe study is not representative of the French population, and is not intended to be, shade Maria Melchior. Corn The links between cannabis use and unemployment are thought to be valid in other populations as well. “

The research director assures us that she does not want “To blame or stigmatize” cannabis users, but rather inform them about the dangerousness. Several studies point to the danger of cannabis in young people, in particular because the brain is in full development until the age of 25.

The epidemiologist therefore calls on the public authorities to try to delay the consumption of cannabis as much as possible. But forget about prevention campaigns that aim directly at demonizing drugs: they are ineffective. “What works best to distract young people from cannabis are workshops to learn how to express emotions, build self-esteem, communicate in a non-violent way, manage relationships within the group. “

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