Adolescent Alcohol Use Predicts Cannabis Use Over a Three Year Follow-Up Period

Although alcohol and cannabis are often concurrently used, the link between alcohol use disorder and future cannabis use disorder (CUD) has not yet been thoroughly investigated. A recent study, contributed to by PISC Senior Scholar Joel Fein, MD, MPH, aimed to remedy this by examining the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) two question screen's (2QS) ability to predict future CUD at one, two, and three years post-emergency department visits. It found that adolescents with low alcohol risk had significantly higher rates of CUD versus nondrinkers, although CUD rates were higher in adolescents with high alcohol risk versus moderate risk. These findings imply that even low levels of baseline alcohol use are associated with risk for a later CUD, and that the NIAAA 2QS has potential as a measure to gauge risk for future cannabis use.

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