Increased cannabis use in individuals with depression

Summary: Cannabis use in those with depression has almost doubled since 2017, a new study reports.

Source: Wiley

The prevalence of cannabis, or marijuana, use in the United States increased from 2005 to 2017 among persons with and without depression and was approximately twice as common among those with depression in 2017. The findings, which are published in Addiction, come from a survey-based study of 728,691 persons aged 12 years or older.

“Perception of great risk associated with regular cannabis use was significantly lower among those with depression in 2017, compared with those without depression, and from 2005 to 2017 the perception of risk declined more rapidly among those with depression. At the same time, the rate of increase in cannabis use has increased more rapidly among those with depression,” said corresponding author Renee Goodwin, PhD, MPH, of Columbia University and The City University of New York.

The prevalence of past 30-day cannabis use among those with depression who perceived no risk associated with regular cannabis use was much higher than that among those who perceived significant risk associated with use (38.6% versus 1.6%, respectively).

Certain groups appeared more vulnerable to use. For instance, nearly one third of young adults (29.7%) aged 18-25 with depression reported past 30-day use.

This shows a depressed looking man
Certain groups appeared more vulnerable to use. For instance, nearly one third of young adults (29.7%) aged 18-25 with depression reported past 30-day use. The image is in the public domain.

In 2017, the prevalence of past month cannabis use was 18.9% among those with depression and 8.7% among those without depression. Daily cannabis use was common among 6.7% of those with depression and among 2.9% of those without.

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Source:
Wiley
Media Contacts:
Penny Smith – Wiley
Image Source:
The image is in the public domain.

Original Research: Closed access
“Rapid increase in the prevalence of cannabis use among persons with depression in the U.S., 2005‐2017: the role of differentially changing risk perceptions”. Lauren R. Pacek, Andrea H. Weinberger, Jiaqi Zhu, Renee D. Goodwin.
Addiction doi:10.1111/add.14883.

Abstract

Rapid increase in the prevalence of cannabis use among persons with depression in the U.S., 2005‐2017: the role of differentially changing risk perceptions

Aims

To estimate trends in the prevalence of cannabis use and risk perceptions of cannabis use from 2005‐2017 among United States (U.S.) persons with and without depression.

Design
Linear time trends of the prevalence of any, daily, and non‐daily past‐30‐day cannabis use and perceived great risk associated with regular cannabis use (outcome variables) among persons with and without past‐year depression were assessed using logistic regression with survey year as the predictor. All analyses were adjusted for gender, age, race/ethnicity, and income; models assessing time trends of cannabis use prevalence were also adjusted for perceived risk.

Setting
The United States: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual cross‐sectional survey, 2005‐2017 public use data files.

Participants
728,691 persons age ≥12 years.

Measurements
Self‐report of any, daily, and non‐daily past‐30‐day cannabis use and perceived great risk associated with regular cannabis use.

Findings
The prevalence of any, daily, and non‐daily cannabis use in the past month was higher among those with depression versus those without (e.g., 2017 for any use: 18.94% vs. 8.67%; adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=2.17 (95% confidence interval (CI)=1.92, 2.45)). Any, daily, and non‐daily cannabis use increased among persons with and without depression from 2005‐2017, yet the increase in any (aORs=1.06 vs. 1.05; p=0.008) and daily (aORs=1.10 vs. 1.07; p=0.021) cannabis use adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics was more rapid among those with depression. Perception of great risk associated with regular cannabis use was significantly lower among those with depression (p<0.001) and decreased significantly more rapidly over the study period among persons with depression, compared with those without (aORs=0.89 vs. 0.92; p<0.001).

Conclusions
The prevalence of cannabis use in the U.S. increased from 2005 to 2017 among persons with and without depression and was approximately twice as common among those with depression. Persons with depression experienced a more rapid decrease in perception of risk, which may be related to the more rapid increase in any and daily past‐month cannabis use in this group.

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