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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2018 Apr;48(2):140-148. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12345. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

The Impact of Cannabis Use Disorder on Suicidal and Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Iraq/Afghanistan-Era Veterans with and without Mental Health Disorders.

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Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans, Waco, TX, USA.
Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, USA.
Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station, TX, USA.
Warriors Research Institute, Baylor, Scott & White Healthcare System, Waco, TX, USA.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.


The objective of this study was to assess the association between cannabis use disorder (CUD) and self-injury among veterans. As expected, after adjusting for sex, age, sexual orientation, combat exposure, traumatic life events, traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, alcohol use disorder, and noncannabis drug use disorder, CUD was significantly associated with both suicidal (OR = 3.10, p = .045) and nonsuicidal (OR = 5.12, p = .009) self-injury. CUD was the only variable significantly associated with self-injury in all three models examined. These findings are consistent with prior research among civilians and suggest that CUD may also increase veterans' risk for self-injurious behavior.

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