Patterns and determinants of cannabis use in youth visiting

Patterns and determinants of cannabis use in youth visiting an urban emergency department in France

Rdah Touali, Mathieu Chappuy, Julia De Ternay, Aurélie Berger-Vergiat, Julie Haesebaert, Karim Tazarourte, Philippe Michel, Benjamin Rolland
Affiliations expand

Background: Cannabis use frequently starts during adolescence and young adulthood and can induce psychosocial and health consequences. Young people constitute hard-to-reach populations. Emergency departments could constitute a key care setting to identify cannabis use and its consequences among young people.

Objectives: To estimate the rate of cannabis use in the 16- to 25-year-old population visiting the emergency department for any reason and to assess the psychosocial factors associated with cannabis use.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study among young people who attended the emergency department, over 5-months. Data were sociodemographic characteristics, self-administered questionnaires for problematic substance use screening, and urine drug screening samples. They were classified in the cannabis use (CU) group if they had a positive urine screen or reported cannabis use in the previous month. Characteristics of individuals in the CU and non-CU groups were compared.

Results: A total of 460 participants were included, of whom 105 were in the CU group. Cannabis users were more likely to be male (aOR = 1.85; [1.18-2.90]), to be unemployed (aOR = 1.77; [1.03-3.04]), to have a lower mental health status score (aOR = 0. 82; [0.75-0.90]), to report a history of sexual abuse (aOR = 2.99; [1.70-5.25]), and to have a positive AUDIT screen (aOR = 4.23; [2.61-6.86]).

Conclusions: The emergency department is a primary care setting for young people, which is conducive to screening for substance use. Cannabis users can be assessed and referred to adapt their treatment, given their lack of adherence to the traditional addictology care system.
Keywords: Young adults; cannabis use; emergency department; screening.

PMID: 38048209
DOI: 10.1080/10550887.2023.2279474

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