Steering Clear of Cannabis: An Epidemiological Study of Traffic Violations among Emerging Adults who Engage in Regular or Occasional Use of Cannabis
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Background: A drug-impaired traffic violation is observed every three hours in Canada. Yet, there is conflicting evidence to suggest an increased risk of traffic violations in individuals who engage in cannabis use. Objectives: This thesis studied the association between past-year traffic violations and regular or occasional use of cannabis among emerging adults (EA). Specifically, the objectives are to: (1) estimate the overall, sex-specific, and age-specific prevalence of past-year traffic violations, (2) model the association between cannabis use frequency and traffic violations, adjusting for potential confounding factors; and, (3) test whether sex, age, regular use of alcohol or other drugs, and mood and anxiety disorders moderate the association. Methods: Data come from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey–Mental Health, a cross-sectional epidemiological survey. The analytical sample was comprised of 5,630 weighted participants categorized as: early EAs (15-19 y), middle EAs (20-24 y), and late EAs (25-29 y). Traffic violations were measured using self-report and regular and occasional use of cannabis were measured using the CCHS-MH/WHO-CIDI screening method. Weighted logistic regression was used to determine adjusted estimates and ensure representativeness. Results: The prevalence of traffic violations in the analytical sample was 14.7%, was higher for males (19.2%), and higher for middle (16.2%) and late (19.4%) EAs. The odds of reporting traffic violations were higher for EAs who engaged in regular [OR=1.93 (1.28-2.92)] or occasional [OR=1.93 (1.35-2.4)] use of cannabis when compared to EAs who were non-users of cannabis. Higher odds of traffic violations were reported in early EAs who engaged in occasional use [OR=3.65 (1.96-6.80)] of cannabis and middle EAs who engaged in regular [OR=2.42 (1.37-4.29)] and occasional [OR=1.70 1.28-3.04)] use of cannabis when compared to their counterparts. Moreover, higher odds of traffic violations were reported in EAs who did not engage in regular use of other drugs but, who engaged in both regular [OR=1.70 (1.08-2.67)] and occasional [OR=1.97 (1.38-2.82)] use of cannabis when compared to their counterparts. Conclusion: EAs who engage in regular or occasional use of cannabis were shown to have increased risk of traffic violations and this finding was augmented across age groups and use of other drugs. These findings call for population-based preventative interventions as recreational cannabis has been decriminalized in Canada.
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Tiana Marie Ciccarelli (2020). Steering Clear of Cannabis: An Epidemiological Study of Traffic Violations among Emerging Adults who Engage in Regular or Occasional Use of Cannabis. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15790