Demographic and socioenvironmental predictors of premorbid marijuana use among patients with first-episode psychosis
© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Objective: We identified, in subjects with first-episode psychosis, demographic and socioenvironmental predictors of three variables pertaining to premorbid marijuana use: age at initiation of marijuana use, trajectories of marijuana use in the five years prior to onset of psychosis, and the cumulative “dose” of marijuana intake in that same premorbid period. Methods: We enrolled 247 first-episode psychosis patients and collected data on lifetime marijuana/alcohol/tobacco use, age at onset of psychosis, diverse socioenvironmental variables, premorbid adjustment, past traumatic experiences, perceived neighborhood-level social disorder, and cannabis use experiences. Bivariate tests were used to examine associations between the three premorbid marijuana use variables and hypothesized predictors. Regression models determined which variables remained independently significantly associated. Results: Age at initiation of cigarette smoking was linked to earlier initiation, faster escalation, and higher cumulative dose of premorbid marijuana use. During childhood, poorer academic performance was predictive of an earlier age at initiation of marijuana use, while poorer sociability was related to more rapid escalation to daily use and a higher cumulative dose. As expected, experiencing euphoric effects was positively correlated with trajectories and cumulative dose, but having negative experiences was unrelated. Traumatic childhood/adolescent experiences were correlated with rapid escalation and amount of marijuana used, but not with age at initiation of marijuana use. Conclusion: These data expand the very limited literature on predictors of premorbid marijuana use in first-episode psychosis. Given its association with earlier age at onset of psychosis, and poorer outcomes among first-episode patients, prevention and treatment efforts should be further developed.
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School of Medicine