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Home > Association patterns of cannabis abuse and dependence with risk of problematic non-substance-related dysregulated and addictive behaviors.

Perales, José C and Maldonado, Antonio and López-Quirantes, Eva M and López-Torrecillas, Francisca (2021) Association patterns of cannabis abuse and dependence with risk of problematic non-substance-related dysregulated and addictive behaviors. PLoS ONE, 16, (8), e0255872. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0255872.

External website: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.13...

Co-occurrence of drug misuse with other dysregulated behaviors is common. This study was aimed at exploring the associations between the risk of presenting a clinically relevant condition involving non-substance-related addictive or dysregulated behaviors (as measured by the MultiCAGE CAD-4 screening), and cannabis abuse/dependence (CAST/SDS) scores, and the role of gender therein. Participants were recruited using stratified probabilistic sampling at the University of Granada. Mann-Whitney's U tests were used to compare male and female students in SDS and CAST scores. Associations between gender and MultiCAGE scores were estimated using the γ ordinal correlation index, and tested with χ2. For each MultiCAGE dimension, a Poisson-family mixed-effects model was built with either SDS or CAST as the main input variable, while controlling for nicotine and alcohol dependence, and relevant sociodemographic variables. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) were computed for SDS/CAST effects, and the significance threshold was family-wise Bonferroni-corrected.

Gender differences were significant for cannabis dependence/abuse and all MultiCAGE scores for non-substance-related conditions, with males showing higher risk scores for excessive gambling, excessive internet use, excessive video gaming, and hypersexuality, and females presenting higher scores in dysregulated eating and compulsive buying. Cannabis dependence and abuse were significantly associated with a higher risk of problematic video gaming. These associations were mostly driven by males. Importantly, although risk of problematic video gaming was specifically associated with cannabis abuse/dependence, there was only a weak non-significant association between problematic video gaming and alcohol use scores. Risk of alcohol use problems, in turn, was strongly associated with all other non-substance-related problems (problematic gambling, excessive Internet use, dysregulated eating, compulsive buying, and hypersexuality). These differential associations can cast light on the etiological similarities and dissimilarities between problematic substance use and putative addictive behaviors not involving drugs.


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