Marijuana Use Is Associated With Worse Outcomes in Symptom Severity and Violent Behavior in Patients With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A new observational study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, conducted by Wilkinson, Stefanovics, and Rosenheck offers important new findings:
Initiating marijuana use after treatment was associated with worse PTSD symptoms, more violent behavior, and alcohol use.
Marijuana may actually worsen PTSD symptoms or nullify the benefits of specialized, intensive treatment. Cessation or prevention of use may be an important goal of treatment.”
The objective of the study was: An increasing number of states have approved posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, although little evidence exists evaluating the effect of marijuana use in PTSD. We examined the association between marijuana use and PTSD symptom severity in a longitudinal, observational study.
The results showed that after adjusting for relevant baseline covariates, marijuana use was significantly associated with worse outcomes in
- PTSD symptom severity,
- violent behavior, and
- measures of alcohol and other drug use
when compared with stoppers and never-users. At follow-up, stoppers and never-users had the lowest levels of PTSD symptoms, and starters had the highest levels of violent behaviour.
J Clin Psychiatry 2015;76(9):1174–1180