Socio-demographic profile and clinical co-morbidities of cannabis users attending a tertiary care hospital in India: A retrospective case record studySoumya Jha, Rupa Jha, Wenona Fernandes, Ashish Srivastava
- Psychiatry and Mental health
Cannabis use has been the most commonly used illicit psychoactive substance in India. Increasing use of cannabis has been associated with an increased risk of co-morbid psychotic spectrum disorders with worse outcomes. This risk increases with increased use in a dose-dependent manner. A very complex association exists between cannabis use and mental illness hence it is essential to understand the relationship between the two to facilitate better care and management.
The present study was conducted to assess the socio-demographic profile and psychiatric co-morbidities of cannabis users attending a tertiary mental health establishment in Goa.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective case record study was carried out among self-reported cannabis users attending services at a tertiary mental health establishment from June 2021 to June 2022. Data regarding cannabis use, clinical profile, and socio-demographic profile of the individuals was obtained and analyzed using appropriate statistical tests.
One hundred and sixty-four cannabis users were evaluated which consisted of 140 males and 24 females, the mean age being 28 years with a standard deviation of 7.68. Ganja was the most commonly used form smoked as joints. The median age of initiation was 18 with females starting at a later age than males. Later initiation was associated with using lower quantities. Concurrent alcohol and nicotine use was present in 90% of the cases. The most commonly associated diagnosis was substance-induced psychosis.
Cannabis use in individuals with mental illness is more common in males and an early age of initiation was linked to earlier age of onset of psychiatric illness.