Daily Marijuana Users

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					                                                                                                                      November 26, 2004



Daily Marijuana Users

M
              arijuana use impairs physical                                 result in overall reduced intellectual
              and mental health, cognitive                                  functioning.2 The National Survey on
              abilities, career status, and                                 Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) asks
            1
social life. Heavy marijuana use critically                                 persons aged 12 or older to report how
lowers learning skills, and daily use may                                   many days they used marijuana in the past
                                                                            year.3 NSDUH also includes a series of
                          In Brief                                          questions to assess dependence on or abuse
                                                                            of marijuana and other substances. These
    ● In 2003, 3.1 million persons                                          questions are designed to measure
        aged 12 or older used                                               substance dependence or abuse based on
                                                                            criteria specified in the Diagnostic and
        marijuana daily (i.e., on 300
                                                                            Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
        or more days) in the past                                           (DSM-IV).4 This report examines the
        year                                                                associations between daily marijuana use
                                                                            and other substance use, as well as
    ● Daily marijuana users were
                                                                            dependence on or abuse of marijuana.
        more likely to be
        unemployed compared with
                                                                            Past Year Daily Marijuana Use
        those who used it less than
                                                                            In 2003, more than 25 million persons
        daily and those who did not
                                                                            (10.6 percent) aged 12 or older reported
        use it in the past year                                             past year use of marijuana. An estimated
    ● Nearly two thirds of daily                                            3.1 million persons (1.3 percent of the
                                                                            population and 12.2 percent of past year
        marijuana users used at
                                                                            marijuana users) were daily marijuana
        least one other illicit drug in                                     users (i.e., they used marijuana on 300 or
        the past 12 months                                                  more days in the past 12 months).

The NSDUH Report (formerly The NHSDA Report) is published periodically by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA). All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission
from SAMHSA. Additional copies of this report or other reports from the Office of Applied Studies are available on-line: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov.
Citation of the source is appreciated. For questions about this report, please e-mail: shortreports@samhsa.hhs.gov.
NSDUH REPORT: DAILY MARIJUANA USERS                                                                             November 26, 2004




  Table 1. Estimated Numbers (in Thousands) and
                                                         Figure 1. Employment among Adults Aged 18 to 64,
  Percentages of Daily Marijuana Users, by Age and
                                                         by Frequency of Marijuana Use
  Gender: 2003

                                                                                        Daily Marijuana Users
                                                        70%
                                                                       64.8             Less Than Daily Marijuana Users
                            Daily Marijuana Users               58.5                    Nonusers
                                                        60% 56.3
Characteristic            Percent          Number
                                                        50%
Age (years)
  12 to 17                   1.1             282        40%
  18 to 25                   4.3           1,375
  26 or Older                0.8           1,433        30%
Gender                                                                               19.9                                18.1
  Male                       2.0           2,253        20%                                                      16.1
                                                                              14.7      13.2 12.9                    13.7
   Female                    0.7             837
                                                        10%                                         7.9
                                                                                                          3.9
Total                        1.3           3,090
                                                         0%
                                                              Working Full Working Part Unemployed                  Other*
                                                                Time          Time




Demographic Differences in Daily                       Other Substance Use among Daily
Marijuana Use                                          Marijuana Users
Among young adults aged 18 to 25, approximately        Nearly two thirds (63.3 percent) of daily marijuana
4.3 percent reported daily marijuana use compared      users had used another illicit drug6 in the past 12
with about 1.1 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 and     months compared with less than daily marijuana
0.8 percent of adults aged 26 or older (Table 1).      users and nonusers (38.8 and 4.6 percent,
Between 2002 and 2003, the number of 12 to 17          respectively) (Figure 2). Daily marijuana users also
year olds reporting daily use of marijuana decreased   were more likely to smoke cigarettes in the past 30
from 358,000 to 282,000, while there were no           days and to report heavy alcohol use in the past 30
changes in the number of daily marijuana users         days7 compared with less than daily marijuana users
among 18 to 25 year olds or adults aged 26 or older.   or nonusers.
    Males were almost 3 times more likely to report
daily marijuana use compared with females
(2.0 vs. 0.7 percent).                                 Substance Dependence or Abuse
                                                       among Daily Marijuana Users
Daily Marijuana Use and                                More than half of daily marijuana users (53.3 per-
Employment                                             cent) reported dependence on or abuse of alcohol or
                                                       an illicit drug compared with those who were less
A larger percentage of daily marijuana users (12.9     than daily marijuana users (36.5 percent) and those
percent) aged 18 to 64 reported being unemployed5      who were nonusers (5.6 percent) (Figure 3). An
compared with less than daily marijuana users          estimated 39.2 percent of daily marijuana users
(7.9 percent) and nonusers (3.9 percent) (Figure 1).   were dependent on or abused marijuana
Persons who were less than daily marijuana users       compared with 13.5 percent of less than daily
were more likely to be employed part time than daily   marijuana users (Figure 3).
marijuana users and nonusers.
November 26, 2004                                                                                                     NSDUH REPORT: DAILY MARIJUANA USERS




                                                                                       Figure 3. Past Year Substance Dependence or
   Figure 2. Use of Substances Other Than Marijuana,
                                                                                       Abuse, by Frequency of Marijuana Use in Past
   by Frequency of Marijuana Use: 2003
                                                                                       Year: 2003


 80% 74.1                                                    Daily Marijuana         60%           Daily Marijuana Users
                                                             Users                                 Less Than Daily Marijuana Users                 53.3
 70%                                                         Less Than Daily                       Nonusers**
                                             63.3            Marijuana Users
               59.3                                                                  50%
 60%                                                         Nonusers                                                  43.7
 50%                                                                                           39.2
                                                               40.6                  40%                                                                   36.5
                                                    38.8
 40%
                           30.3
 30%                              24.9                                               30%
                   21.2                                               20.3
 20%
                                                                                     20%                                       18.1
 10%                                 4.6               3.9                                            13.5
                                                                         2.8
  0%                                                                                 10%
         Past Month Past Month               Past Year           Past Year                                                                                         5.6
        Cigarette Use    Heavy               Use of Any         Nonmedical                                                             0.7
                      Alcohol Use             Illicit Drug      Use of Pain            0%
                                             Other Than          Relievers                        Marijuana                Any Illicit              Any Illicit Drug
                                              Marijuana                                                                     Drug                      or Alcohol



                                                                                      reference period. Persons who were waiting to be recalled to a job from
End Notes                                                                             which they had been laid off need not have been looking for work to be
                                                                                      classified as unemployed.
1. Polen, M. R., Sidney, S., Tekawa, I. S., Sadler, M., & Friedman, G. D. (1993).
   Health care use by frequent marijuana smokers who do not smoke tobacco.          6. Any illicit drug other than marijuana includes cocaine (including crack),
   Western Journal of Medicine, 158, 596-601.                                          heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or any prescription-type drug used
                                                                                       nonmedically.
2. Pope, H. G., Jr., & Yurgelun-Todd, D. (1996). The residual cognitive effects
   of heavy marijuana use in college students. Journal of the American Medical      7. Heavy alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same
   Association, 275, 521-527.                                                          occasion on 5 or more days in the past 30 days.
3. For this report, past year marijuana users by frequency of use are defined
   as follows: (1) "daily marijuana users" used marijuana on 300 or more days       Figure and Table Notes
   in the past 12 months; (2) "less than daily marijuana users" are all past year
                                                                                    * "Other" refers to retired persons, disabled persons, homemakers, students,
   marijuana users who used marijuana on fewer than 300 days in the past 12
                                                                                      or other persons not in the labor force.
   months; and (3) "nonusers" are those who have used marijuana sometimes
   in their lifetime, but not in the past year OR persons who have never used       ** Past year marijuana dependence or abuse is not applicable among
   marijuana.                                                                          nonusers.

4. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual      Source (all figures and table): SAMHSA, 2003 NSDUH.
   of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
5. "Unemployed" refers to respondents who reported no employment during the
    reference period, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and
    had made specific efforts to find employment some time during the




 The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is an annual survey             Office of Applied Studies. (2004). Results from the 2003 National Survey on
 sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services                        Drug Use and Health: National findings (DHHS Publication No. SMA 04-3964,
 Administration (SAMHSA). Prior to 2002, this survey was called the National        NSDUH Series H-25). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health
 Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). The 2003 data are based on                 Services Administration.
 information obtained from 67,784 persons aged 12 or older. The survey
                                                                                    Also available online: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov
 collects data by administering questionnaires to a representative sample of
 the population through face-to-face interviews at their place of residence.        Because of improvements and modifications to the 2002 NSDUH, estimates
                                                                                    from the 2002 and 2003 surveys should not be compared with estimates
 The NSDUH Report is prepared by the Office of Applied Studies (OAS),
                                                                                    from the 2001 or earlier versions of the survey to examine changes over
 SAMHSA, and by RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
                                                                                    time.
 (RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute.)
 Information and data for this issue are based on the following publication and                                    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
 statistics:                                                                                                         Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
                                                                                                                                                    Office of Applied Studies
                                                                                                                                                            www.samhsa.gov