Globally, cannabis is the most widely used and variably regulated illicit drug. The rates of use appeared to be stable in Australia at the time of the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, but levels of cannabis use disorder are rising and treatment seeking is increasing internationally.
This article describes the prevalence of cannabis use, associated disorders (eg harms with early and frequent use), and information on assessment and management. Links to a range of free online and telephone resources are provided.
Cannabis use is common and around one in 10 people who ever used cannabis will go on to develop a cannabis use disorder diagnosable according to the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition criteria. Substance use disorders comorbid with mental health conditions are common, and the two should be assessed and treated concurrently. A screening algorithm and review of the evidence for psychosocial interventions, including technological platforms such as web-based and telephone, is provided.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2016