Fourth year iRACER Zach Mannes recently presented a research study titled “The Association between Recreational versus Therapeutic Marijuana Use on Hazardous Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Associated Behavioral Consequences among Adults Living with HIV” at the 2018 College on Problems of Drug Dependence 80th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego. Though previous studies have shown that marijuana use is a risk factor for hazardous alcohol consumption among adults living with HIV, no study has examined whether risky alcohol use and associated behavioral consequences may differ based on motive for marijuana use. Thus, this study examined the association between recreational versus therapeutic marijuana use to manage HIV symptoms on hazardous alcohol consumption and alcohol associated behavioral consequences among people living with HIV (PLWH). Therapeutic marijuana users reported significantly fewer alcohol associated behavioral consequences compared to recreational marijuana users and non-users. Compared to non-users, therapeutic marijuana users demonstrated significantly lower odds of hazardous drinking, while recreational marijuana users were more likely to report hazardous drinking after controlling for homelessness, other drug use, depression, durable viral suppression, and sociodemographic factors. Given the significantly lower risk of hazardous drinking for therapeutic users, these results suggest that therapeutic marijuana use, rather than recreational marijuana use, may be most useful for minimizing the harmful effects of hazardous alcohol use and avoiding alcohol associated consequences
Dr. Ennis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Social Medicine in the College of Medicine at the Florida State University. Her mission is to build a learning and responsive healthcare system that improves care for underserved populations.
Dissemination and Implementation Science