The relationship between cannabis use and DSM-IV cannabis abuse and dependence: results from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey

B F Grant, R Pickering
Journal of Substance Abuse 1998, 10 (3): 255-64
The purpose of-this study was to determine the risk of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) cannabis abuse and dependence at different levels of cannabis use in a nationally representative sample of the U.S. general population. Two separate logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the association between cannabis use, and abuse and dependence. The risk of cannabis abuse and dependence was found to increase with the frequency of smoking occasions and slightly decreased with age. More severe comorbidity was associated with dependence compared to abuse, suggesting that cannabis might be used to self-medicate major depression. The strength of the association between cannabis use and abuse was also increased as a function of the number of joints smoked among females, but not males. These results were discussed in terms of differential societal reactions, the self-medication hypothesis, and gender biases in diagnosing cannabis abuse.


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