Clinical Studies and Case Reports

On this site you will find clinical studies with cannabis or single cannabinoids in different diseases and case reports on the use of cannabis by patients.
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TitleThe relationship between substance use and posttraumatic stress disorder in a methadone maintenance treatment program.
Author(s)Villagonzalo KA, Dodd S, Ng F, Mihaly S, Langbein A, Berk M.
Journal, Volume, IssueCompr Psychiatry. 2011 Sep-Oct;52(5):562-6.
Major outcome(s)Cannabis may be used to self-treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is frequently linked with substance abuse. The self-medication hypothesis suggests that some people may use illicit substances in an attempt to self-treat psychiatric symptoms. This study explores the relationship between substance abuse and PTSD symptom clusters in a methadone maintenance population. DESIGN AND METHODS: Clients of a methadone maintenance program at a public Drug and Alcohol Service were invited to complete the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version, a screening tool for PTSD. Information about their history of substance use was also collected. RESULTS: Eighty clients (43 female, 37 male), aged 35 ± 8.0 years (mean ± SD), participated in the study, of which 52.7% screened positive for PTSD. Severity of marijuana use was significantly associated with a number of reexperiencing and hyperarousal symptoms and with overall severity of PTSD symptoms. Opiate, amphetamine, and benzodiazepine use did not appear to be related to PTSD symptoms. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: In this sample, marijuana may be used to self-treat certain PTSD symptoms, supporting the self-medication hypothesis. Further research is required to confirm the association between a diagnosis of PTSD and substance use. Given the high prevalence of PTSD in the substance-using population, routine PTSD screening in the substance abuse treatment setting may be justified.

Duration (days)
Participants80 clients of a methadone maintenance program
Type of publicationMedical journal
Address of author(s)Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Melbourne, PO Box 281, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia; Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Services, Barwon Health, PO Box 281, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia.
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