Trends in Cannabis Treatment Admissions in Adolescents/Young Adults: Analysis of TEDS-A 1992 to 2016

Lindsay R. Standeven, Anna Scialli, Margaret S. Chisolm, Mishka Terplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: This study aims to evaluate changes in cannabis use patterns, referral sources, and admissions in adolescents and young adults (YAs). As the United States increasingly moves toward liberalization of cannabis laws, it is critical to have baseline information of use patterns in this population. METHODS: Data were drawn from Treatment Episode Data Set-Admissions (TEDS-A) for adolescents (12-17 years) and young adults (18-24 years) entering treatment from 1992 to 2016 for primary cannabis use (N = 3,794,213). Rao-Scott chi-square tests were used to test for significant changes in proportions of individuals admitted to treatment for primary cannabis use and between 4-year increments from 1992 to 2016 (N = 1,052,724). Logistic regression assessed odds of admissions for primary cannabis use versus other substances. RESULTS: Treatment admissions for cannabis among adolescents/YAs rose 3-fold from 1992 (49,996) to 1996 (125,858). The majority of referrals came from the criminal justice system (56%). Cannabis is increasingly the sole substance of use, with polysubstance use decreasing from 89% in 1992 to 59% in 2016. While alcohol-related treatment admissions were most common in 1992, admissions for treatment of cannabis use (followed by heroin and alcohol) were highest (38%) by 2016. Being an adolescent (odds ratio [OR] 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.1-3.2), non-Hispanic black (OR 6.2, 95% CI 6.2-6.3), male (female OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.6-0.6) with co-occurring alcohol use (OR 25.9, 95% CI 25.7-26.1) was associated with admission for treatment of primary cannabis use as compared with other substances. CONCLUSIONS: Public health efforts will be needed to ensure ongoing access and referral to treatment as the legal status of cannabis continues to change. Prevention and treatment efforts should target co-occurring alcohol and cannabis use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e29-e36
JournalJournal of addiction medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Trends in Cannabis Treatment Admissions in Adolescents/Young Adults: Analysis of TEDS-A 1992 to 2016'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this