Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2005 Oct;15(5):742-50.

Assessing cannabis use in adolescents and young adults: what do urine screen and parental report tell you?

Author information

Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit of the Psychiatry Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.



Our analysis compares three approaches to detect the most common drug abused in early adulthood, cannabis: (1) report on direct structured interview; (2) indirect parental report; and (3) urine toxicology screen.


We examined data on 207 subjects (36% also met criteria for alcohol abuse; 9% for alcohol dependence) derived from two prospective and ongoing family studies of boys and girls with or without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Assessments relied on the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS-E; under 18 years of age) and on the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-IV; over 18 years of age). Urine samples were analyzed with Auccusign DOA5 (on-site screening assay).


Ninety-seven percent (97%) of individuals, who reported no use of cannabis within the past month, had a negative urine screening and 79% of individuals, who endorsed cannabis abuse/dependence, had a positive urine screening. The sensitivity of the direct structured interview report was 91%, the specificity 87%, the positive predicting value 67%, and the negative predictive value 97%. Indirect parental reports were found to be less informative on cannabis use than direct report.


Direct report of cannabis use, abuse, or dependence during the structured interview is both sensitive and specific when compared to urine toxicology screens and indirect parental reports.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Support Center