Cannabis use, dependence and withdrawal in indigenous male inmates

Rogerson, Bernadette, Jacups, Susan P., and Caltabiano, Nerina (2016) Cannabis use, dependence and withdrawal in indigenous male inmates. Journal of Substance Use, 21 (1). pp. 65-71.

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Background: No studies have investigated cannabis withdrawal in indigenous or incarcerated populations, and there is currently no standard treatment for cannabis withdrawal in Australian prisons.

Aims: This cross sectional survey examines cannabis use, dependence and involuntary (abrupt cessation) withdrawal in incarcerated indigenous males for the purpose of improving clinical management.

Methods: 101 consenting inmates (18–40 years) from an Australian correction centre were interviewed. Demographic characteristics, lifetime cannabis use (LCU), severity of dependence, cannabis withdrawal symptoms, psychological well-being and alcohol use were measured and compared using univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: Cannabis withdrawal symptoms were reported in 57% of current cannabis users compared with 16% of non-users (p < 0.01), indicating detectable cannabis dependence and withdrawal in a unique indigenous inmate population. Multivariate analysis revealed statistically significant associations between LCU and cannabis dependence (OR = 8.1; 95% CI: 2.2–29.1) when controlling for psychological well-being and alcohol consumption.

Conclusions: Upon admission to a correction centre, cannabis users should be assessed and monitored for physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal.

Implications: Routine cannabis withdrawal monitoring will maximise staff and inmate safety. This improvement to policy will ensure appropriate risk management of staff and inmates.

Item ID: 35507
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1475-9942
Keywords: cannabis, incarceration, indigenous
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2014 04:26
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520103 Forensic psychology @ 70%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450412 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s health and wellbeing @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 70%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 30%
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