Prevalence and Correlates of Cannabis Use and Cannabis Use Disorder Among U.S. Veterans: Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC-III)

Kendall C. Browne, Malki Stohl, Kipling M. Bohnert, Andrew J. Saxon, David S. Fink, Mark Olfson, Magdalena Cerda, Scott Sherman, Jaimie L. Gradus, Silvia S. Martins, Deborah S. Hasin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The authors sought to estimate the prevalence of past-12-month and lifetime cannabis use and cannabis use disorder among U.S. veterans; to describe demographic, substance use disorder, and psychiatric disorder correlates of nonmedical cannabis use and cannabis use disorder; and to explore differences in cannabis use and cannabis use disorder prevalence among veterans in states with and without medical marijuana laws. METHODS: Participants were 3,119 respondents in the 2012-2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III (NESARC-III) who identified as U.S. veterans. Weighted prevalences were calculated. Logistic regression analyses tested associations of nonmedical cannabis use and cannabis use disorder with demographic and clinical correlates and examined whether prevalence differed by state legalization status. RESULTS: The prevalences of any past-12-month cannabis use and cannabis use disorder were 7.3% and 1.8%, respectively. Lifetime prevalences were 32.5% and 5.7%, respectively. Past-12-month and lifetime cannabis use disorder prevalence estimates among nonmedical cannabis users were 24.4% and 17.4%, respectively. Sociodemographic correlates of nonmedical cannabis use and use disorder included younger age, male gender, being unmarried, lower income, and residing in a state with medical marijuana laws. Nonmedical cannabis use and use disorder were associated with most psychiatric and substance use disorders examined. CONCLUSIONS: Among veterans, the odds of nonmedical cannabis use and use disorder were elevated among vulnerable subgroups, including those with lower income or psychiatric disorders and among survey participants residing in states with medical marijuana laws. The study findings highlight the need for clinical attention (e.g., screening, assessment) and ongoing monitoring among veterans in the context of increasing legalization of cannabis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-35
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume179
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cannabis
  • Cannabis Use Disorder
  • NESARC-III
  • Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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