The Providence Project has been treating people, particularly young people, for problems relating to cannabis addiction for over seventeen years and during that time we have seen both an increase in the number of people seeking help, and the severity of the side-effects of the addiction. We do not feel that it is for us to get involved in any debates on the legalisation or re-classification of cannabis but we can only pass on our experience in the matter.

Skunk is a word used to describe, something in the region of, about one hundred varieties of cannabis which were originally created by cross-breeding plants. What these varieties have in common is that they have significantly higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient of cannabis, than other varieties. Putting it quite simpler it is a far stronger drug than the cannabis that was being smoked twenty years ago, sometimes as much as six times as strong.

The Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College in London has recently completed a study of 410 people who were admitted to hospitals in South London suffering from their first psychotic episode. Dr. Marti Di Forti who led the study, wrote “Daily use, especially of high potency cannabis, drives the earlier onset of psychosis in cannabis users.” A particularly disturbing feature of the report, which mirrors our experience here at the Providence Project, is the way the problem is even more pronounced among young users, and teenage users were particularly vulnerable.

A young man or woman who is a regular user of cannabis often displays symptoms which many parents put down to the pressures of growing up; lethargy, mood swings, depression and isolating are just some of the most common of these symptoms. It is often difficult for the parents to think that their child may be an addict and the child himself often needs to be treated in a different manner to people of a different age with a different addiction. At The Providence Project we identified the need for a different approach within our treatment programme several years ago and while we have seen this problem grow we have been able to successfully deal with many young people before their situation becomes untreatable. We have experienced counsellors available, just a phone call away, at all times to discuss any fears that you may have about your own, or your children’s cannabis use.

Bradley Hill

Bradley Hill recommends Providence Projects
5 December 2018  

The Providence project was an amazing place and was a turning point in my life. I was a client for six months in 2011, successfully completing the primary and secondary stage. I had nearly no understanding of my illness or how to cope with life in life’s terms until I went there and with the support of all the staff, began to manage my feelings and emotions and gain coping mechanisms to live life clean and sober. Everything about the Provy is designed to give you the best therapeutic care possible, and at the core of this is all the staff, some of the most amazing peo... See more


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