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Emerging patterns of cannabis and other substance use in Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory: a study of two communities

Clough, Alan R., d'Abbs, Peter H. N., Cairney, Sheree J., Gray, Dennis, Maruff, Paul, Parker, Robert and O'Reilly, Bridie M. (2004). Emerging patterns of cannabis and other substance use in Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory: a study of two communities. Drug and Alcohol Review,23(4):381-390.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 30 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Title Emerging patterns of cannabis and other substance use in Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory: a study of two communities
Author Clough, Alan R.
d'Abbs, Peter H. N.
Cairney, Sheree J.
Gray, Dennis
Maruff, Paul
Parker, Robert
O'Reilly, Bridie M.
Journal Name Drug and Alcohol Review
Publication Date 2004
Volume Number 23
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0959-5236   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-10944232711
Start Page 381
End Page 390
Total Pages 10
Place of Publication UK
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Field of Research 1117 - Public Health and Health Services
1701 - Psychology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract A recent rise in cannabis use in Indigenous communities in northern Australia may have compounded existing patterns of other substance use. This paper describes these patterns in Arnhem Land in the 'Top End' of the Northern Territory (NT). Economic impacts of the cannabis trade are also described. In a descriptive cross-sectional study, random samples included 336 people (169 males, 167 females) aged 13 - 36 years. Consensus classification of lifetime and current use of cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, kava, inhalants (petrol) and other drugs was derived based on health workers' proxy assessments. A sample (n = 180, aged 13 - 36) was recruited opportunistically for interview. Lifetime cannabis users among those interviewed (n = 131, 81 males, 50 females) described their current cannabis use, usual quantities purchased and consumed, frequency and duration of cannabis use and other substance use. In the random samples, 69% (63 - 75%) of males and 26% (20 - 31%) of females were lifetime cannabis users (OR = 7.4, 4.5 - 12.1, p < 0.001). The proportion of males currently using cannabis was 67% (60 - 73%) while the proportion of females currently using cannabis was 22% (16 - 27%) (OR = 7.9, 4.8 - 13.1, p < 0.001). Current cannabis users were more likely than non-users to be also using alcohol (OR = 10.4, 4.7 - 23.3, p < 0.001), tobacco (OR = 19.0, 7.9 - 45.8, p < 0.001) and to have sniffed petrol (OR = 9.1, 4.6 - 18.0, p < 0.001) but were less likely to be using kava (OR = 0.4, 0.2 - 0.9, p < 0.001). Among those interviewed, higher tobacco consumption in current users and greater alcohol use in lifetime users was associated with increased cannabis use. Action is required to reduce cannabis use, especially in combination with other substances.
Keywords Arnhem Land
Australia
cannabis
Indigenous
substance abuse
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09595230412331324509   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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