Characterising underage people admitted to treatment for cannabis in Catalonia and estimating mental disorders comorbidity


Underage people with problematic cannabis use might have more complex health and social needs. In order to describe this population we carried out a study with the following aims:

1) To analyse the basic sociodemographic characteristics and 2) To estimate the mental health comorbidity, of underage people (< 18 y-o) admitted to treatment for cannabis use in drug care centres in Catalonia between 2015 and 2017. We used data from the Treatment Demand Indicator and from the Catalan Public Healthcare System Database. From this latter, we look for any mental health diagnosis among these people. 851 minor children are described (23.5% women; mean age at admission: 16.5 [SD= 1.1] ). There were more women using other secondary drugs (63.0% women vs 55.6% men). 9.4% of these patients had lower socioeconomic level (6.1% in the Catalan general population). Mental health comorbidities were found in 67.8% (76.0% women and 65.3% men, p=.03). These disorders had been diagnosed in ambulatory mental healthcare centres (53.8%), in psychiatric hospitals (7.3%), in general hospitals (inpatients: 6.3%; outpatients: 8.7%), in primary healthcare (47.8%). 20.0% (35.0% woman vs 15.4% man, p<.001) had ever been in emergency rooms. If we include these emergency room to the rest of health facilities, an Overall of 69.2% (78.5% women and 66.4% men, p=.001) had been diagnosed for some mental disorders. 48.6% out of the total 851 patients had ever been treated with medication for their mental health disorder (56.0% of women vs 46.4% of men, p=.02).

There is a high prevalence of mental health comorbidity among underage people with problematic cannabis use, which suggests that, a broader approach in assessing and treating these people should be considered, including mental health assessment and treatment. Although there are not many sociodemographic differences between men and women, women had a significant higher mental disorders prevalence.


Presentation files

EP775_Xavier Majó.pdf9.72 MBDownload


Part of session