Cannabis use in civilian college students and college student service members/veterans: the moderating effect of anxiety.

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2020 May 29;:1-7

Authors: Teeters JB, Woodward MJ, Meshesha LZ, Tripp JC

BACKGROUND: Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug on college campuses. Research suggests that Student Service Members/Veterans (SSM/V) may be more likely to use alcohol than civilian students, but little research has focused on cannabis use in these two samples.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the current study was to compare cannabis use frequency, cannabis use disorder (CUD) symptoms, and cannabis-related problems between civilian students and SSM/V. A second aim was to determine if group differences in these outcomes were moderated by symptoms of depression, stress, or anxiety.
METHODS: The sample included 164 college SSM/V (80.4% female, 19.6% male) and 456 civilian (78% female, 22% male) college students. Participants completed an online survey assessing demographics, number of days of past month cannabis use, cannabis-related problems, CUD symptoms, and a measure of anxiety, depression, and stress.
RESULTS: Negative binomial regressions indicated no significant differences in number of days of past-month cannabis use or past-year cannabis-related problems between civilian students and SSM/V, although SSM/V reported more past-year CUD symptoms. Moderation analyses revealed that at elevated levels of anxiety, SSM/V students used cannabis more frequently than civilian students.
CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that when experiencing elevated levels of anxiety, SSM/V use cannabis more frequently than civilian students, suggesting that anxiety may be a more prominent risk factor for frequency of cannabis use for SSM/V compared to civilian students. Education, prevention, and intervention efforts specifically addressing anxiety in this demographic are needed.

PMID: 32469609 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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