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Parental Marijuana Use Ups Risk for Substance Use in Offspring

Offspring's use of marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco affected


FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Parental marijuana use is associated with an increased risk for substance use among adolescent and young adult offspring living in the same household, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in JAMA Network Open.

Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D., from McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and colleagues examined associations of parental marijuana use with offspring marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use and opioid misuse using data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (2015 through 2018; 24,900 father-offspring or mother-offspring dyads).

The researchers found that compared with adolescents whose mothers never used marijuana, past-year marijuana use was higher among teens whose mothers had lifetime (without past-year) marijuana use (adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 1.3), <52 days of past-year marijuana use (aRR, 1.7) or ≥52 days past-year marijuana use (aRR, 1.5), with similar results also seen for young adults. Compared with adolescents whose fathers never used marijuana, adolescents whose fathers had <52 days of past-year marijuana use were more likely to use marijuana (aRR, 1.8), as were young adults whose fathers had ≥52 days of past-year marijuana use (aRR, 2.1). The adjusted risk of past-year tobacco use was higher among adolescents whose mothers or fathers had marijuana use. Similarly, past-year alcohol use was higher among adolescents whose mothers had marijuana use. Parental marijuana use was not associated with opioid misuse by offspring.

"Screening household members for substance use and counseling parents on risks posed by current and past marijuana use are warranted," the authors write.

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