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The Potential Impact of Recreational Cannabis Legalization on the Prevalence of Cannabis Use Disorder and Psychotic Disorders: A Retrospective Observational Study: L’effet potentiel de la légalisation du cannabis récréatif sur la prévalence du trouble d’utilisation du cannabis et des troubles psychotiques : une étude observationnelle rétrospective.

Can J Psychiatry. 2021 Feb 11;:706743720984684

Authors: Vignault C, Massé A, Gouron D, Quintin J, Asli KD, Semaan W

OBJECTIVES: The principal objective of our study was to document the short-term impact of the legalization of recreational cannabis on active cannabis use, cannabis use disorder, and various psychotic disorders.
METHODS: We carried out a retrospective observational study of patients who were at least 12 years old and who had visited a psychiatrist in the emergency unit of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS). We included all the consultations of this type over a 5-month period, immediately following the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada. We then divided our population into an adult (over 18) and teenager group (12 to 17) compared the data to the data from consultations made 2 years earlier, using a generalized linear mixed model.
RESULTS: We examined consultations in patients over 18 years old in prelegalization (n = 1,247) and postlegalization (n = 1,368) groups. We observed a statistically significant increase in the use of cannabis (28.0% to 37.1%; odds ratio [OR] = 1.81 [1.34 to 2.44], P = 0.00011) as well as an increase in diagnoses of active cannabis use disorder (17.7% to 24.3%; OR = 1.53 [1.13 to 2.08], P = 0.0064). The increase in cannabis use disorder was more prominent among patients between 18 and 24 years old (17.3% to 25.9%; OR = 2.27 [1.17 to 4.40], P = 0.015). We observed no statistically significant difference in terms of psychotic disorder diagnoses (27.4% to 29.2%; OR = 1.17 [0.84 to 1.63], P = 0.35)]. Conversely, we identified a greater proportion of patients who had a personality disorder diagnosis in the postlegalization period (39.6% to 44.9%; OR = 1.35 [1.02 to 1.80], P = 0.038). Examination of pediatric (under 18 years old) consultations revealed no statistically significant differences.
CONCLUSION: Although an affirmative conclusion is tentative, the current findings suggest a first link between the legalization of cannabis in Canada and increased diagnoses of cannabis use disorder, as well as cannabis use in general among patients in a university hospital psychiatric emergency department.

PMID: 33567893 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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