Heavy cannabis use and depressive symptoms in three Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

Lee, K.S. Kylie, Clough, Alan R., Jaragba, Muriel, Conigrave, Katherine, and Patton, George C. (2008) Heavy cannabis use and depressive symptoms in three Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Medical Journal of Australia, 188 (10). pp. 605-608.

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Abstract

Objective: To determine the extent to which depressive symptoms are associated with heavy cannabis use in an Aboriginal population in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.

Design, participants and setting: Cross-sectional study involving interviews with 106 Indigenous participants (57 males, 49 females) aged 13–42 years in three remote Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, NT, Australia.

Main outcome measures: Measures of depressive symptoms (a raw score of ≥ 6 out of a possible 18 on a modified version of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9) and self-reported heavy cannabis use (six or more cones daily).

Results: After adjusting for other substance use (tobacco, alcohol and lifetime petrol sniffing), age and sex, heavy cannabis users were four times more likely than the remainder of the sample to report moderate to severe depressive symptoms (odds ratio, 4.1; 95% CI, 1.3–13.4).

Conclusions: Given its high prevalence in Indigenous populations, the development of clinical and prevention strategies for cannabis misuse are warranted.

Item ID: 6879
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1326-5377
Keywords: cannabis; indigenous communities; depression
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Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2010 23:06
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 70%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 25%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 25%
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