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Is there evidence for symptoms of cannabis withdrawal in the national epidemiologic survey of alcohol and related conditions?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Arpana Agrawal, Michele L Pergadia, Michael T Lynskey

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalThe American journal on addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

King's Authors


We examined the prevalence of 20 individual symptoms of cannabis withdrawal in the U.S. general population. More than 29% of past 12-month cannabis users reported experiencing at least two cannabis withdrawal symptoms, with 8% reporting impairment from at least two symptoms or withdrawal relief. The most common withdrawal symptom was eating more than usual/gaining weight. Co-occurring tobacco use modestly increased the likelihood of reporting certain symptoms, as did other illicit drug use, though to a lesser degree. Even after controlling for intensity of cannabis use, a history of parental alcohol/drug problems was associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing cannabis withdrawal. Evidence from this and prior studies demonstrating withdrawal strongly suggest that future editions of DSM need to reconsider the exclusion of withdrawal from criteria for cannabis dependence.

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