Public Health and Safety

Suicide, Marijuana and Depression: Increased Risks

Just published in the JAMA Network (June 22, 2021) was a study examining marijuana use and its association with suicide risks in young adults using data from the 2008 – 2019 National Surveys of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The report, “Associations of Suicidality Trends With Cannabis Use as a Function of Sex and Depression Status” by authors (Han, Compton, Einstein & Volkow) examined survey responses from over 281,000 adults ages 18 – 34 years. The authors found an increased prevalence of suicidal thoughts, planning & attempts among people with a diagnosis of a Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) in the past year, as well as among daily and nondaily consumers of marijuana. Additionally, when it came to demographics by sex, women were found to have greater risk ratios than did men. 

When comparing data from 2008 – 2009 to 2018 – 2019 and after controlling for variables such CUDs, depressive episodes and other factors, overall suicidal ideation and attempts increased by 1.4 times. Suicidal planning by individuals also increased by 1.6 times for the same time period. 

Read Time: 15 – 20 minutes

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