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Positive posttraumatic stress disorder screens among first-time medical cannabis patients: prevalence and association with other substance use.
Bohnert KM, Perron BE, Ashrafioun L, Kleinberg F, Jannausch M, Ilgen MA. Positive posttraumatic stress disorder screens among first-time medical cannabis patients: prevalence and association with other substance use. Addictive Behaviors. 2014 Oct 1; 39(10):1414-7.
Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation allowing for the use of medical cannabis for those individuals with qualifying medical conditions, which include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for a growing number of states. Little information is available regarding PTSD among medical cannabis patients. This study seeks to provide initial data on this topic by examining the prevalence and correlates of positive PTSD screens among a sample of patients seeking medical cannabis certification for the first time (n = 186). Twenty-three percent (42/186; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 17%-29%) of the patients in the study sample screened positive for PTSD. Moreover, the group that screened positive for PTSD had higher percentages of lifetime prescription opioid, cocaine, prescription sedative, and street opioid use, as well as a higher percentage of recent prescription sedative use, than the group that screened negative for PTSD. These findings highlight the relatively common use of other substances among medical cannabis patients with significant PTSD symptoms, even when compared with other patients seeking medical cannabis for the first time. As a growing number of states include PTSD among the list of qualifying medical conditions for medical cannabis, additional research is needed to better characterize the longitudinal relationship between medical cannabis use and PTSD symptoms.