Co-Use of Alcohol and Cannabis: Longitudinal Associations with Mental Health Outcomes in Young Adulthood

Date

2021

Authors

Thompson, Kara
Holley, Maria
Sturgess, Clea
Leadbeater, Bonnie

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Abstract

Increases in cannabis use among young people has heightened concern about the potential interactive health effects of cannabis with other drugs. We examined the longitudinal association between concurrent and simultaneous (SAM) co-use of alcohol and cannabis in young adulthood on mental health symptoms, substance use behaviors, and substance-related harms two years later. Data were drawn from Time 5 (T5; n = 464; 46% male) and 6 (T6; n = 478; 45% male) of the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey. At T5, 42% of participants used alcohol-only, 13% used concurrently, 41% used SAM, 1% were cannabis only users, and 3% abstained from cannabis and alcohol. Boys were more likely to use SAM. Higher T5 SAM use frequency was associated with heavier use of substances, more substance-related harms, and symptoms of psychosis and externalizing problems at T6. T5 Concurrent use was associated with conduct symptoms, illicit drug use, and alcohol use disorders at T6 relative to alcohol-only use. Cannabis is commonly used with alcohol and the findings suggest that any co-use (concurrent or simultaneous) may be problematic in young adulthood. Public health messages need to explicitly inform consumers about the possible consequences of using both alcohol and marijuana and the addictive pharmacological impact of using them together.

Description

Keywords

SAM, alcohol, marijuana, mental health, concurrent use, simultaneous use, young adults

Citation

Thompson, K., Holley, M., Sturgess, C., & Leadbeater, B. (2021). Co-Use of Alcohol and Cannabisa: Longitudinal Associations with Mental Health Outcomes in Young Adulthood. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(7), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073652.