Problem alcohol use and healthcare utilization among persons with cannabis use disorder in the United States.
BACKGROUND: The emergency department (ED) and hospital settings represent crucial opportunities for engaging treatment for cannabis use disorder (CUD). Thus, there is a need to identify factors associated with healthcare utilization among persons with CUD to improve screening and intervention approaches. Problematic alcohol use may be a salient risk factor. METHODS: Using data from the 2005-2013 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, we determined factors, including different patterns of alcohol use, associated with past-year ED admission and inpatient hospitalization among persons aged 12 years or older meeting criteria for CUD in the past year (N=16,757). We also determined the prevalence and correlates of problem alcohol use among persons with CUD to further inform its association with healthcare utilization. RESULTS: Among persons with CUD, 40.15% and 10.04% reported past-year ED admission and inpatient hospitalization, respectively. Severe alcohol use disorder (AUD) (≥6 AUD symptoms), female sex, Black race, low income, major depressive episode (MDE), and other substance use disorders were associated with increased odds of healthcare utilization; current (i.e., last month) alcohol use patterns were not. Persons with CUD that were males, ages 18-25 (vs. ages 12-17), Hispanic (vs. White), and with low income, other drug use disorders, or MDE had increased odds of AUD. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that screening and intervention efforts for improving treatment initiation or engagement for CUD may target cannabis-using women, blacks, low-income adults or those with severe AUD in the past year, another substance use disorder, or MDE.
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