Journal Article

    Assessing the Risk of Marijuana Use Disorder Among Adolescents and Adults Who Use Marijuana

    The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

    Published: May 2017


    The changing political and social climate surrounding marijuana use, coupled with the fact that available estimates of marijuana use disorder prevalence are outdated and do not adequately represent adolescents, underscore the need for up-to-date and comprehensive prevalence estimates of marijuana use disorder.

    To provide recent national estimates of marijuana use disorder as a function of usage patterns, age, and other sociodemographic, substance use, and mental health variables.

    Analyses of data from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health examined the prevalence of marijuana use disorder among respondents (N = 55,271) with various sociodemographic, substance use, and mental health characteristics. Logistic and multinomial regression analyses examined the correlates of marijuana use disorder as a function of these variables, with a special focus on age.

    In 2014, 3.49% of lifetime, 11.62% of past-year, and 15.32% of past-30-day marijuana users met DSM-IV criteria for a marijuana use disorder; rates among youth generally were at least double those of adults across reported time frame and intensity of use. Regression analyses indicated that young age, black race/ethnicity, greater intensity of use, current tobacco/nicotine use, and alcohol and other drug use disorders were associated with increased odds of a marijuana use disorder.

    A significant proportion of marijuana users, especially youth, are at risk for having a marijuana use disorder, even at relatively low levels of use.

    Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2017 May. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2016.1164711.