Prevalence of cannabis use disorder diagnoses among veterans in 2002, 2008, and 2009

Psychol Serv. 2012 Nov;9(4):404-416. doi: 10.1037/a0027622. Epub 2012 May 7.

Abstract

The present investigation sought to document current rates and trends of cannabis use disorder (CUD) diagnoses among patients of the Veterans Affairs Health Care System (VA) during fiscal years 2002, 2008, and 2009. Results indicated that the prevalence of CUD diagnoses within VA has increased more than 50% (from 0.66% to 1.05%) over the past 7 years. The prevalence of patients with a CUD diagnosis but no other illicit SUD diagnosis rose 115.41% (from 0.27% to 0.58%) during the same time period. States with laws allowing for the legal use of cannabis for medicinal purposes had significantly higher rates of Cannabis-Disorder diagnoses within VA in 2002, 2008, and 2009 (p < .01). Though rates of psychiatric diagnoses, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) specifically, were higher among patients with a Cannabis-Disorder diagnosis compared with other SUD groups (p < .001), rates of specialty SUD treatment utilization among those with a Cannabis-Disorder diagnosis have decreased within VA. Results indicate that interventions to motivate treatment engagement among patients with CUD, particularly among those with co-occurring psychological problems, are needed for Veterans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Combat Disorders / epidemiology
  • Combat Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug and Narcotic Control / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Drug and Narcotic Control / trends
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hospitals, Veterans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / diagnosis
  • Marijuana Abuse / epidemiology*
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • United States
  • Veterans / psychology
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*

Substances

  • Illicit Drugs