Marijuana users 5x more likely to develop alcohol addiction – study

MARIJUANA brain on drugsRT.com 18 February 2016
Family First Comment: “The study authors discovered that adults who had used marijuana at the first assessment and again over the following three years were five times more likely to develop an alcohol use problem, compared to those who had not used marijuana.”

People who smoke marijuana are five times more likely to develop an alcohol problem, according to a new study by two New York universities. The research also found that cannabis makes it more likely for existing alcohol use disorders to persist.

“Our results suggest that cannabis use appears to be associated with an increased vulnerability to developing an alcohol use disorder, even among those without any history of this,” Renee Goodwin, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said in a statement.

“Marijuana use also appears to increase the likelihood that an existing alcohol use disorder (AUD) will continue over time,” she added. Both alcohol abuse and dependence fall into the category of AUD.

The researchers analyzed data from 27,461 adults enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions who had first used marijuana at a time when they had no history of AUDs. Each person was assessed at two points in time.

The study authors discovered that adults who had used marijuana at the first assessment and again over the following three years were five times more likely to develop an alcohol use problem, compared to those who had not used marijuana.

Additionally, adult problem drinkers who did not use cannabis were significantly more likely to be in recovery three years later, compared to people with AUDs who used marijuana.

The researchers have called on additional studies to determine whether youths are affected in the same way as adults.

“If future research confirms these findings, investigating whether preventing or delaying first use of marijuana might reduce the risk of developing alcohol use disorders among some segments of the population may be worthwhile,” Goodwin said.

The study, conducted by researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York, was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The research is supported by a separate study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry on Wednesday, also affiliated with Columbia University. That study found that adult marijuana use was associated with a greater likelihood of developing alcohol and drug problems, including nicotine dependence, over three years of follow-up.
READ MORE: https://www.rt.com/usa/332874-marijuana-alcohol-addiction-study/

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