Cannabis Abuse among Patients with Schizophrenia
Keywords:Cannabis abuse, schizophrenia, Drug Abuse Screening Test
AbstractBackground: Cannabis is the most frequently used substance among patients of schizophrenia. Past deliberate surveys have reported a strong association between cannabis abuse and schizophrenia. However; the whole frequency of cannabis abuse among schizophrenia patients remains ambiguous, as do the variables influencing this rate. Because cannabis abuse in schizophrenia is presently an active area of research, so there is a requirement for a fresh review particularly in our culture where studies are lacking on this topic. Objective: The current study explores the frequency of cannabis abuse among patients suffering from schizophrenia presenting in a tertiary care hospital of Lahore. Methods: Cross-sectional prospective research design was used. Sample of 381 diagnosed patients of schizophrenia using cannabis for at least one year was selected from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, by convenient sampling technique. Drug Abuse Screening Test was applied for the frequency of cannabis abuse. The data were stored and analysed in SPSS version 20. Results: The results revealed that cannabis abuse was present among 42.3% of the patients with schizophrenia. Chi-square analysis showed that there were significant differences among the frequencies of cannabis abuse regarding various age groups, where young age group had significantly higher ratio of cannabis abuse (p=.04). On using independent sample t-test for marital status and duration of the schizophrenia, it was found that cannabis abuse was significantly higher among unmarried patients (t=-4.24, p=.001), however, no significant differences were found for duration of schizophrenia (t=-1.50, p=0.43). Conclusion: The study highlights cannabis abuse is more prevalent in the males as compared to the females. Young age group of patients is more prone to cannabis. These findings can help to decrease the comorbidity of schizophrenia associated with cannabis abuse.
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