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Womens Health Issues. 2014 Jan-Feb;24(1):e77-82. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2013.10.005.

Alcohol use potentiates marijuana problem severity in young adult women.

Author information

1
General Medicine Research Unit, Butler Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island; Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Electronic address: Michael_Stein@brown.edu.
2
General Medicine Research Unit, Butler Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Most young adult women who smoke marijuana also drink alcohol. Marijuana-related problems are associated with marijuana use frequency. We hypothesized that increased alcohol use frequency potentiates the association between frequency of marijuana use and marijuana-related problem severity.

METHODS:

We recruited women aged 18 to 24 who smoked marijuana at least monthly and were not treatment seeking. Marijuana and alcohol use were measured using the timeline follow-back method. Problems associated with marijuana use were assessed using the Marijuana Problems Scale.

FINDINGS:

Participants (n = 332) averaged 20.5 ± 1.8 years of age, were 66.7% non-Hispanic White, and reported using marijuana on 51.5 ± 30.6 and alcohol on 18.9 ± 16.8 of the 90 previous days. Controlling for education, ethnicity, years of marijuana use, and other drug use, frequency of marijuana use (b = .22; p < .01) and frequency of alcohol use (b = 0.13; p < .05) had significant, positive effects on marijuana problem severity. In a separate multivariate model, the linear by linear interaction of marijuana by alcohol use frequency was significant (b = 0.18; p < .01), consistent with the hypothesis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Concurrent alcohol use impacts the experience of negative consequences from marijuana use in a community sample of young women. Discussions of marijuana use in young adults should consider the possible potentiating effects of alcohol use.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00227864.

PMID:
24439950
PMCID:
PMC3896888
DOI:
10.1016/j.whi.2013.10.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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