Cannabis use in US doubles

Cannabis use in US doubles
Photo by VOISIN/PHANIE/REX/Shutterstock (4752170ab)

If you’re planning a trip to the States soon, be wary of what to expect.

It’s been found that between 2002 and 2013 the amount of Americans using cannabis has doubled, while nearly six million US citizens were treated for marijuana addiction in 2015. That counted 2.5 per cent of US adults, while 6.3 per cent have suffered from the problem at one point in their own lives.

Marijuana use disorder diagnosis needs to meet two of 11 symptoms that look at withdrawal, cravings and negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities. The disorder is rated on severity, from mild to severe, with disability levels and frequency of cannabis use increasing with the seriousness of the health issue.

Scientists who conducted the research discovered it’s almost twice more common among men than women, and that young people with low incomes are most likely to be diagnosed.

While many may suffer over the course of their lifetime, it was noted that a mere 14 per cent of individuals actually receive treatment.

“An increasing number of American adults do not perceive marijuana use as harmful,” lead study author Dr Deborah Hasin, of Columbia University, revealed.

“While some can use marijuana without harms, other users do experience negative consequences, which can include mental and physical problems, and impaired functioning.”

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders provided the criteria for the research, combining old categories of marijuana abuse and dependence into a single problem. Data from the 2012-2013 sector of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions was analysed, with over 36,000 adults interviews.

It was also noted that marijuana use is linked to various other problems, like behavioural problems, which often go untreated. The study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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