HealthDay News — Contrary to expectations, the prevalence of cannabis use disorder (CUD) decreased significantly among individuals reporting daily/almost daily cannabis use between 2002 and 2016, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Julian Santaella-Tenorio, Dr.P.H., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2002 to 2016) to identify 22,651 individuals using cannabis ≥300 days in the past year. Trends in CUD were identified by age group (ages 12 to 17 years, 18 to 25 years, and ≥26 years).
The researchers found that the prevalence of CUD among individuals reporting daily/almost daily cannabis use decreased by 26.8 percent in adolescents, by 29.7 percent in those ages 18 to 25 years, and by 37.5 percent in participants ≥26 years. The prevalence of cannabis dependence (defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition [DSM-IV]) decreased significantly among adolescents (−43.9 percent) and young adults (−26.8 percent), but it remained stable in adults ≥26 years. Among young adults, there were reductions in most dependence items, but patterns were less consistent in adolescents and adults ≥26 years. Across all age groups, the prevalence of DSM-IV cannabis abuse decreased both overall and for each abuse item.
“The findings contradict the predominating hypothesis that the prevalence of DSM-IV CUD would be stable, or increase, among those using with this regularity,” a coauthor said in a statement.