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Statistics on cannabis users skew perceptions of cannabis use.

Burns RM, Caulkins JP, Everingham SS, Kilmer B - Front Psychiatry (2013)

Bottom Line: Collecting information about the prevalence of cannabis use is necessary but not sufficient for understanding the size, dynamics, and outcomes associated with cannabis markets.Relatively more rapid growth in use days also occurred among the college-educated and Hispanics.Further, data from a survey conducted in seven European countries show a strong positive correlation between frequency of use and quantity consumed per day of use, suggesting consumption is even more skewed toward the minority of heavy users than is suggested by days-of-use calculations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: RAND Corporation, Drug Policy Research Center , Pittsburgh, PA , USA.

ABSTRACT

Unlabelled: Collecting information about the prevalence of cannabis use is necessary but not sufficient for understanding the size, dynamics, and outcomes associated with cannabis markets. This paper uses two data sets describing cannabis consumption in the United States and Europe to highlight (1) differences in inferences about sub-populations based on the measure used to quantify cannabis-related activity; (2) how different measures of cannabis-related activity can be used to more accurately describe trends in cannabis usage over time; and (3) the correlation between frequency of use in the past-month and average grams consumed per use-day.

Key findings: focusing on days of use instead of prevalence shows substantially greater increases in U.S. cannabis use in recent years; however, the recent increase is mostly among adults, not youth. Relatively more rapid growth in use days also occurred among the college-educated and Hispanics. Further, data from a survey conducted in seven European countries show a strong positive correlation between frequency of use and quantity consumed per day of use, suggesting consumption is even more skewed toward the minority of heavy users than is suggested by days-of-use calculations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The reported number of purchases per day of use varies dramatically with age in U.S. household survey data, 2011 NSDUH.
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Figure 1: The reported number of purchases per day of use varies dramatically with age in U.S. household survey data, 2011 NSDUH.

Mentions: To give one example, consider the distinction between using and purchasing. Possession and use per se carry relatively little risk of arrest. As Nguyen and Reuter (10) show, the probability of arrest per episode of cannabis use in the United States is only about 1 in 3,000. Purchasing by contrast may carry a greater risk of arrest, although there is some question about the proportion of drug arrests attributable to purchase transactions (12). If the number of purchases per day of use were the same across all groups, this would be a distinction without a difference. However, as Figure 1 shows, young people collectively report making more purchases per day of reported use than do older users. For example, 12–17-year-olds report fewer past-month days of use than do 50–64-year-olds (21 vs. 33 million), but many more past-month purchases (7.6 vs. 3.2 million).


Statistics on cannabis users skew perceptions of cannabis use.

Burns RM, Caulkins JP, Everingham SS, Kilmer B - Front Psychiatry (2013)

The reported number of purchases per day of use varies dramatically with age in U.S. household survey data, 2011 NSDUH.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3818642&req=5

Figure 1: The reported number of purchases per day of use varies dramatically with age in U.S. household survey data, 2011 NSDUH.
Mentions: To give one example, consider the distinction between using and purchasing. Possession and use per se carry relatively little risk of arrest. As Nguyen and Reuter (10) show, the probability of arrest per episode of cannabis use in the United States is only about 1 in 3,000. Purchasing by contrast may carry a greater risk of arrest, although there is some question about the proportion of drug arrests attributable to purchase transactions (12). If the number of purchases per day of use were the same across all groups, this would be a distinction without a difference. However, as Figure 1 shows, young people collectively report making more purchases per day of reported use than do older users. For example, 12–17-year-olds report fewer past-month days of use than do 50–64-year-olds (21 vs. 33 million), but many more past-month purchases (7.6 vs. 3.2 million).

Bottom Line: Collecting information about the prevalence of cannabis use is necessary but not sufficient for understanding the size, dynamics, and outcomes associated with cannabis markets.Relatively more rapid growth in use days also occurred among the college-educated and Hispanics.Further, data from a survey conducted in seven European countries show a strong positive correlation between frequency of use and quantity consumed per day of use, suggesting consumption is even more skewed toward the minority of heavy users than is suggested by days-of-use calculations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: RAND Corporation, Drug Policy Research Center , Pittsburgh, PA , USA.

ABSTRACT

Unlabelled: Collecting information about the prevalence of cannabis use is necessary but not sufficient for understanding the size, dynamics, and outcomes associated with cannabis markets. This paper uses two data sets describing cannabis consumption in the United States and Europe to highlight (1) differences in inferences about sub-populations based on the measure used to quantify cannabis-related activity; (2) how different measures of cannabis-related activity can be used to more accurately describe trends in cannabis usage over time; and (3) the correlation between frequency of use in the past-month and average grams consumed per use-day.

Key findings: focusing on days of use instead of prevalence shows substantially greater increases in U.S. cannabis use in recent years; however, the recent increase is mostly among adults, not youth. Relatively more rapid growth in use days also occurred among the college-educated and Hispanics. Further, data from a survey conducted in seven European countries show a strong positive correlation between frequency of use and quantity consumed per day of use, suggesting consumption is even more skewed toward the minority of heavy users than is suggested by days-of-use calculations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus