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Trends and projection in the proportion of (heavy) cannabis use in Germany from 1995 to 2021
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Number of Authors: 72024 (English)In: Addiction, ISSN 0965-2140, E-ISSN 1360-0443, Vol. 119, no 2, p. 311-321Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: To measure the current trends of cannabis use in Germany, measure trends in the proportion of heavy cannabis users and estimate future cannabis use rates.

Design: Repeated waves of the Epidemiological Survey on Substance Abuse, a cross-sectional survey conducted between 1995 and 2021 with a two-stage participant selection strategy where respondents completed a survey on substance use delivered through the post, over the telephone or on-line.

Setting: Germany.

Participants/cases: German-speaking participants aged between 18 and 59 years living in Germany who self-reported on their cannabis use in the past 12 months (n = 78 678). With the application of a weighting scheme, the data are nationally representative.

Measurements: Questions on the frequency of cannabis use in the past 12 months and self-reported changes in frequency of use due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings: The prevalence of past 12-month cannabis users increased from 4.4% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.7, 5.1] in 1995 to 10.0% (95% CI = 8.9, 11.3) in 2021. Modeling these trends revealed a significant increase that accelerated over the past decade. The proportion of heavy cannabis users [cannabis use (almost) daily or at least 200 times per year] among past-year users has remained steady from 1995 (11.4%, 95% CI = 7.7, 16.5) to 2018 (9.5%, 95% CI = 7.6, 11.9), but significantly increased to 15.7% (95% CI = 13.1, 18.8) in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Extrapolating from these models, the prevalence of 12-month cannabis users in 2024 is expected to range between 10.4 and 15.0%, while the proportion of heavy cannabis users is unclear.

Conclusions: Trends from 1995 to 2021 suggest that the prevalence of past 12-month cannabis users in Germany will continue to increase, with expected rates between 10.4 and 15.0% for the German-speaking adult population, and that at least one in 10 cannabis users will continue to use cannabis heavily (almost daily or 200 + times in the past year).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. Vol. 119, no 2, p. 311-321
Keywords [en]
Binomial logistic regression, cannabis, COVID-19, Epidemiological Survey on Substance Abuse, heavy cannabis use, past 12-month, predicted margins, prediction model, splines, trends
National Category
Substance Abuse
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-223457DOI: 10.1111/add.16356ISI: 001083436900001PubMedID: 37816631Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85173789027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-223457DiVA, id: diva2:1808191
Available from: 2023-10-30 Created: 2023-10-30 Last updated: 2024-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Kraus, Ludwig

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