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Pot Smokers Five Times as Likely to Abuse Alcohol, Columbia University Study Suggests

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Adults who use marijuana are five times more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD) --alcohol abuse or dependence-- compared with adults who do not use the drug. And adults who already have an alcohol use disorder and use marijuana are more likely to see the problem persist. Results of a study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York appear online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

    "Our results suggest that cannabis use appears to be associated with an increased vulnerability to developing an alcohol use disorder, even among those without any history of this," said Renee Goodwin, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. "Marijuana use also appears to increase the likelihood that an existing alcohol use disorder will continue over time."

    The researchers analyzed data from 27,461 adults enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions who first used marijuana at a time when they had no lifetime history of alcohol use disorders. The population was assessed at two time points. Adults who had used marijuana at the first assessment and again over the following three years (23 percent) were five times more likely to develop an alcohol use problem, compared with those who had not used marijuana (5 percent). Adult problem drinkers who did not use cannabis were significantly more likely to be in recovery from alcohol use disorders three years later.

    "From a public health standpoint we recommend that further research be conducted to understand the pathways underlying these relationships as well as the degree to which various potentially vulnerable population subgroups -- youth, for example -- are at increased risk," noted Goodwin. "If future research confirms these findings, investigating whether preventing or delaying first use of marijuana might reduce the risk of developing alcohol use disorders among some segments of the population may be worthwhile."

    ###

    Co-authors are Andrea Weinberger, Yeshiva University and Yale University School of Medicine; and Jonathan Platt, Mailman School of Public Health. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse (grant R01-DA20892). The authors report no conflicts of interest.




    Columbia University Mailman School/Feb. 17, 2016
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/cums-msf021616.php
    Photo: collective-evolution
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. Reclaimer
    Re: Pot Smokers Five Times as Likely to Abuse Alcohol, Columbia University Study Sugg

    another case of correlation = causation......
  2. takingacid
    Re: Pot Smokers Five Times as Likely to Abuse Alcohol, Columbia University Study Sugg

    The title attracted my attention. I agree with you.
  3. AKA_freckles
    Re: Pot Smokers Five Times as Likely to Abuse Alcohol, Columbia University Study Sugg

    This has to be garbage. I've been around bud my whole life and I know so few heavy smokers who drink too much I could count them on one hand. Almost any lifelong smoker I know barely - to -never drinks. This study is the opposite of what I experience.

    I live in northern California, have always been around green bud, I wonder if this is more of a brown weed thing?
  4. Beenthere2Hippie
    Re: Pot Smokers Five Times as Likely to Abuse Alcohol, Columbia University Study Sugg

    I'm afraid that as much as this might sound like "garbage" to some here, the study was performed by multiple, serious medical universities that are in no way lean right on the recreational drug issues, which may lead them to form false observations.

    I have to believe that their study only reflects what we here already all know, which is that many people suffer from addictive personality disorder, perhaps more than in previous generations, which means that any drug such an individual starts with will likely lead to the next, whatever it may be.
  5. Reclaimer
    Re: Pot Smokers Five Times as Likely to Abuse Alcohol, Columbia University Study Sugg

    What about Parents being alcoholics, What about social conditions..

    Theres so many factors that they just seem to be lumping all pot smokers in the same boat and saying there more likely vs non smokers.. Thats it..

    Lets not take into any other variables and just focus on weed smokers..
  6. ceedy
    Re: Pot Smokers Five Times as Likely to Abuse Alcohol, Columbia University Study Sugg

    The word 'Many' people is not definitive. You could say many people who eat at Mexican restaurants drink beer while there.
    People with a genetic predisposition to addiction will find something that they get addicted to. I don't drink or smoke but know that addiction runs in my family. I chose to not start anything but this study reminds me of a broad generalization starting from people partying on a Saturday nite who smoke pot and drink beer.
    You might say I'm sick to heck of studies done to show what pot does. The govt gives grants for these studies to find ways to stop Marijuana from being used instead of drugs the pharmaceutical companies spit out for millions of dollars. I've had it with the govt allowing me to be in pain by controlling my meds thru doctors but not diabetics, patients with hypercholestermia, cancer and so on. Why is it so important to defunct pot if it's natural and can help pain? It's because so much crap was put out by the govt and drug companies in the early years calling it the Devils drug. I remember well the movies they showed kids about how pot was a delusion causing drug. The people were led around by fear and stupidity cause we believed our govt. It seems we've wised up but the govt is still holding out.
  7. AKA_freckles
    Re: Pot Smokers Five Times as Likely to Abuse Alcohol, Columbia University Study Sugg

    I guess all I'm saying is that most people I know who smoke everyday are very light drinkers and I'm wondering if this is a regional thing. Green bud is a different animal than bammer (brown weed) and I can see drinking being more common with brown weed since its so much weaker.

    Garbage might be a strong term, but off the top of my head, I think it's not correct to group both kinds of weed together. Plus if weed is hard to come by in a certain area, I can see people substituting alcohol when they can't get it.

    Smoking bud is a lifestyle here, and it's plentiful. Most smokers I know really look down on drinking heavily. I've lived from Humboldt to the bay and that's been pretty consistent.

    I say this as someone who sometimes drinks too much, I'm always watching my intake and others, so I pay close attention to drinking habits.
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