|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 145-151
An exploratory study of cannabis use pattern and treatment seeking in patients attending an addiction treatment facility
Siddharth Sarkar, Arpit Parmar, Amit Singh
Department of Psychiatry and NDDTC, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
Background and Aims: Although cannabis is the most common illicit substance of use in India, it is often not the presenting complaint of patients with substance use disorders. The present study aimed to understand the profile of cannabis use disorders among patients at a substance abuse treatment facility in an Indian tertiary care center.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional interview-based study which assessed adult patients with substance use disorders who had a history of cannabis use in the recent past. Participants were evaluated for cannabis use disorder as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5) and cannabis dependence as per the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10). They were assessed for cannabis withdrawal, and treatment-seeking behavior about cannabis use was explored.
Results: Among the 100 male participants in the study, the use of smoked form (charas, ganja, sulfa) was more common than oral form (bhang). Fifty-eight patients fulfilled the ICD-10 criteria of dependence, whereas 74 patients fulfilled the DSM-5 criteria of cannabis use disorder. Tolerance, craving, and withdrawal were the most common clinical features. Only 7 patients ever sought help for quitting cannabis, whereas 28 patients thought that generally treatment is required for quitting cannabis.
Conclusion: More cannabis users seem to fulfill a diagnosis of cannabis use disorder as per DSM5 than cannabis dependence as per ICD-10. Treatment seeking for cannabis use disorders seems to be low among the substance using patients. Clinicians need to focus on cannabis use as well when they treat patients with substance use disorders.
Dr. Siddharth Sarkar
Department of Psychiatry and NDDTC, AIIMS, New Delhi - 110 029
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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