BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic, and stringent lockdown measures implemented to curb transmission, might be related to increased cannabis use risk behaviors. This rapid response short-term longitudinal study investigated predictors of increased cannabis use risk behaviors and their association with severity of cannabis dependence during 2 separate COVID-19 lockdown periods. METHODS: Analyses were based on data from 116 monthly cannabis users who responded to 2 survey waves, corresponding to the first and the second lockdown periods in Israel. Multinomial regressions predicted risk of increased cannabis use, solitary use, and morning use during 1 or both of the lockdown periods as a function of sociodemographic factors and coping motives. Robust regression analyses assessed whether changes in cannabis use risk behaviors predicted severity of cannabis dependence at wave 2. RESULTS: A substantial proportion reported increased cannabis use, solitary use, and use before noon during both lockdown periods. Coping motives were related to reported increases in cannabis use and more frequent use before noon at 1 and both lockdown periods. Respondents who reported increases in cannabis use and use before noon at both lockdown periods, but not those who reported increases at only 1 lockdown period, had more severity of cannabis dependence at wave 2. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have ongoing and long-term effects on the health of the population, including those related to increased cannabis use risk behaviors. Continued monitoring of individual differences and long-term changes in cannabis use is needed to assess consequences of lockdown restrictions.
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Copyright © 2022 American Society of Addiction Medicine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)