Sociodemographic factors impact the risk of cannabis use disorders among veterans



August 24, 2021

2 minutes to read

Source / Disclosures

Browne does not report any relevant financial disclosure. Please see the study for relevant financial information from all other authors.

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According to the results of a study published in American Journal of Psychiatry.

“With the increasing legalization and acceptability of cannabis use, nationally representative data is needed to understand cannabis use among veterans, including patterns of frequent use (for example, daily use) and cannabis use disorders, and to identify high-risk subgroups. ” Kendall C. Browne, Ph.D., from the Center of Excellence in Substance Addiction Treatment and Education of Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Pennsylvania, and colleagues wrote.

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“In civilian samples, frequent cannabis use and cannabis use disorders are associated with other psychiatric and substance disorders – for example, PTSD, and anxiety and mood disorders – and may worsen their results, “they continued. “Such disorders are overrepresented among veterans. “

The researchers aimed to assess the prevalence among veterans of cannabis use over the past year and throughout life of frequent use and cannabis use disorders; related demographic factors, substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders that influence these outcomes; and the role that state medical marijuana laws may play in the differences in cannabis use and the prevalence of use disorders. They analyzed data from 3,119 U.S. veterans who responded to the 2012-2013 National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. Browne and his colleagues calculated weighted prevalence estimates. In addition, they used logistic regression analyzes to test the correlations between non-medical cannabis use and cannabis use disorders with demographic and clinical factors and assessed whether the prevalence differed depending on the legalization status of. the state.

The results showed respective prevalence estimates for cannabis use in the previous year and cannabis use disorders of 7.3% and 1.8%, as well as respective prevalence estimates over the past year. life of 32.5% and 5.7%. Non-medical cannabis users had estimates of the prevalence of cannabis use disorders in the previous year and over the lifetime of 24.4% and 17.4%, respectively. Younger age, male gender, being single, lower income, and living in a state with medical marijuana laws have served as socio-demographic correlates of non-medical cannabis use. and drug-related disorders. Browne and his colleagues noted an association between non-medical cannabis use and most of the psychiatric and substance abuse disorders assessed.

“These findings underscore the importance of further research into the impact of changing marijuana laws on our country’s veterans,” the researchers wrote. “These findings are also important to communicate to policy makers, to healthcare professionals who may need to consider cannabis testing and intervention services when caring for veterans, and to veterans themselves. themselves so that they can be well informed about the potential risks and benefits of cannabis use. . “


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