Marijuana addiction has risen among Veterans Affairs patients since 2005, with veterans who have psychiatric disorders most at risk, new research has found.
A study published last Wednesday in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that the addiction — a diagnosis called cannabis use disorder — more than doubled among veterans in the VA health system between 2005 and 2019, with veterans diagnosed with at least one psychiatric disorder seeing greater incidence and increases.
Cannabis use disorder is a condition where users struggle to stop consuming marijuana despite it causing health or social problems in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among those with mental health conditions, veterans with more severe mental conditions like bipolar disorder or illnesses along the psychotic spectrum saw the sharpest increases.
Marijuana has become legal for medicinal use in 38 states and for recreational use in 24 states, the District of Columbia and two territories. Nearly half of Americans believe it is beneficial for treating stress and anxiety.
But according to some studies, between 20% and 30% of people who use marijuana will develop cannabis use disorder. The reliance can negatively affect a patient's life, either by developing tolerance, spending a significant amount of time…