21 Oct Marijuana Use Doubles Over Decade
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Hasin: This study is based on data from two large-scale national surveys conducted over an eleven-year period that are designed to provide information on many health-related conditions in U.S. adults, including use of marijuana and other substances, changes over time in the prevalence of marijuana users, changes over time in the prevalence of disorders such as marijuana abuse and dependence, and the correlates and predictors of those disorders. The main findings of the study are that between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013, the prevalence of marijuana users in the United States adult general population more than doubled, from 4.1% to 9.5%, while the prevalence of adults with marijuana use disorder (abuse or dependence) also increased substantially, from 1.5% to 2.9% of American adults. About three in ten adult marijuana users met criteria for a marijuana use disorder. The findings are consistent with other studies showing increases in rates of marijuana-related harms over the same general time period. This may be to do with how accessible marijuana has become, for example you can even find a purple lotus menu on various websites. This is perfectly safe and fun, but can develop into an addiction later in life.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Hasin: U.S. attitudes towards marijuana are becoming more permissive and fewer Americans see marijuana use as harmful. However, marijuana use does involve some risk of adverse consequences. As an increasing number of Americans use marijuana over time, more will be exposed to these risks. While our study reports on the risk for abuse and dependence, our findings are consistent with other studies showing increases in marijuana-related vehicle crashes and emergency room visits over the same general time period.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Hasin: More research is needed on individual and societal factors that place individuals at risk for marijuana-related consequences, and how these can be prevented.
Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States Between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013 Deborah S. Hasin, PhD; Tulshi D. Saha, PhD; Bradley T. Kerridge, PhD; Risë B. Goldstein, PhD, MPH; S. Patricia Chou, PhD; Haitao Zhang, PhD; Jeesun Jung, PhD; Roger P. Pickering, MS; W. June Ruan, MA; Sharon M. Smith, PhD; Boji Huang, MD, PhD; Bridget F. Grant, PhD, PhD
Deborah S. Hasin, Ph.D (2015). Marijuana Use Almost Doubles Over Decade