Alcohol consumption moderates the link between cannabis use and cannabis dependence in an internet survey.
ABSTRACT The link between cannabis use and cannabis dependence remains poorly understood. Some people use cannabis regularly without signs of dependence; others show dependence despite using less. This study examined alcohol consumption as a moderator of this association. A sample of 476 people (primarily Caucasian men) who used cannabis at least once per week reported their alcohol consumption, cannabis use, and cannabis dependence symptoms in an Internet survey. Regressions revealed significant interactions between measures of cannabis use and alcohol consumption when predicting cannabis dependence. Cannabis use covaried with cannabis dependence, particularly in people who consumed alcohol frequently or in large amounts per week. Despite limitations, these data suggest that alcohol may decrease the safety of cannabis consumption.
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ABSTRACT: Cannabis is the most widely consumed illicit substance in America, with increasing rates of use. Some theorists tend to link frequency of use with cannabis dependence. Nevertheless, fewer than half of daily cannabis users meet DSM-IV-TR criteria for cannabis dependence. This study seeks to determine whether the negative aspects associated with cannabis use can be explained by a proxy measure of dependence instead of by frequency of use. Over 2500 adult daily cannabis users completed an Internet survey consisting of measures of cannabis and other drug use, in addition to measures of commonly reported negative problems resulting from cannabis use. We compared those who met a proxy measure of DSM-IV-TR criteria for cannabis dependence (N = 1111) to those who did not meet the criteria (N = 1770). Cannabis dependent subjects consumed greater amounts of cannabis, alcohol, and a variety of other drugs. They also had lower levels of motivation, happiness, and satisfaction with life, with higher levels of depression and respiratory symptoms. Although all of our subjects reported daily use, only those meeting proxy criteria for cannabis dependence reported significant associated problems. Our data suggest that dependence need not arise from daily use, but consuming larger amounts of cannabis and other drugs undoubtedly increases problems.Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy 02/2007; 2:3. · 1.16 Impact Factor