Research & Resources

Associations Between Alcohol and Cannabis Use Order, Frequency, Quantity, and Consequences in a College Sample of Individuals Who Co-Use Alcohol and Cannabis

To gain a better understanding of alcohol and cannabis co-use patterns and consequences among college students, researchers examined 401 students who reported using both alcohol and cannabis (either simultaneously or at different times on the same day) at least once in the past 30 days. Researchers used path analysis to explore relations among co-use patterns (i.e., number of days in a typical week in which participants used both alcohol and cannabis; number of days using alcohol first, cannabis first, alcohol last, and cannabis last; and number of days of simultaneous use), past 30-day alcohol and cannabis consequences, alcohol and cannabis use frequency, and typical alcohol and cannabis quantities used. The findings showed that each additional day of using alcohol first was associated with fewer past 30-day cannabis-related consequences; likewise, each additional day of using cannabis first was associated with fewer past 30-day alcohol-related consequences. Each additional day of using alcohol and cannabis on the same day and each additional day of simultaneous use were both associated with lesser quantities of alcohol and cannabis used in a typical week. Based on these results, the researchers suggest that modifying which substance is used first on a given day could be a practical intervention strategy for individuals who co-use alcohol and cannabis.

This paper, “Associations between alcohol and cannabis use order, frequency, quantity, and consequences in a college sample of individuals who co-use alcohol and cannabis,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in The American journal on addictions.

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