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Addict Behav. 2014 Apr;39(4):761-7. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.12.013. Epub 2013 Dec 25.

At high risk and want to quit: marijuana use among adults with depression or serious psychological distress.

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Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, USA. Electronic address:



This study compared marijuana use characteristics and quit behaviors between adults with and without depression or serious psychological distress (SPD).


Drawing data for 39,133 non-institutionalized adults from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, we assessed marijuana use status, frequent use, dependence or abuse, and quit behaviors in association with lifetime clinician-identified depression, lifetime and recent major depressive episode (MDE), and recent SPD.


Adults with depression or SPD were at a significantly higher risk of being lifetime ever users (OR=1.60-2.08), past year users (OR=1.67-1.86), frequent users (OR=1.40-1.62), and dependent or abusing users (OR=2.32-3.05) compared with adults without these symptoms. Adults with depression or SPD had a lower quit ratio overall, but were equally or even more likely to make quit or self-regulation attempts. Further analysis suggested that adults with recent MDE had the greatest level of quit attempts or self-regulation attempts compared with adults without MDE or with past MDE.


These findings highlight the need for tailored cessation programs to sustain quit attempts and promote successful quitting among adults with depression or SPD, especially those with recent symptoms.


Major depressive episode; Marijuana; Serious psychological distress

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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