Millions use cannabis, but figures for how many become dependent aren’t reliable

Most people who use cannabis won’t become dependent, but there needs to be raised awareness of the risk
The Conversation (US)
Monday, June 3, 2019

dsmIV dependenceCannabis has an image of being a relatively harmless drug. But all drugs carry a degree of risk, and cannabis is no exception. One of those risks is dependence, which many people assume is only something that happens to those who use “hard drugs”, such as crack or heroin. In fact, the estimated risk of dependence on cannabis is about one in ten. It’s worth exploring how this figure of one in ten is constructed. Several studies of cannabis dependence used the criteria laid out in the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to determine cannabis dependence. Examining these criteria highlights just how challenging making this diagnosis is.