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Modelling the public health consequences of cannabis use in Australia

conference contribution
posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by K Tay-Teo, Liliana Bulfone, Rob CarterRob Carter, C Doran, W Hall
Aims: To detail and validate a simulation model that describes the dynamics of cannabis use, including its probable causal relationships with schizophrenia, road traffic accidents (RTA) and heroin/poly-drug use (HPU).

Methods: A Markov model with 17 health-states was constructed. Annual cycles were used to simulate the initiation of cannabis use, progression in use, reduction and complete remission. The probabilities of transition between health-states were derived from observational data. Following 10-year-old Australian children for 90 years, the model estimated age-specific prevalence for cannabis use. By applying the relative risks according to the extent of cannabis use, the age-specific prevalence of schizophrenia and HPU, and the annual RTA incidence and fatality rate were also estimated. Predictive validity of the model was tested by comparing modelled outputs with data from other credible sources. Sensitivity and scenario analyses were conducted to evaluate technical validity and face validity.

Results: The estimated cannabis use prevalence in individuals aged 10-65 years was 12.2% which comprised 27.4% weekly and 18.0% daily users. The modelled prevalence and age profile were comparable to the reported cross-sectional data. The model also provided good approximations to the prevalence of schizophrenia (Modelled: 4.75/1,000 persons vs Observed: 4.6/1,000 persons), HPU (3.2/1,000 vs 3.1/1,000) and the RTA fatality rate (8.1 per 100,000 vs 8.2 per 100,000). Sensitivity analyses and scenario analysis provided expected and explainable trends.

Conclusions: The validated model provides a valuable tool to assess the likely effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions designed to affect patterns of cannabis use. It can be updated as new data becomes available and/or applied to other countries.



Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference (2008 : Sydney. N.S.W)


Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD)


Sydney, N.S.W.

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[Sydney, N.S.W.]

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Conference website : Presentation

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E2.1 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed

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2008, APSAD

Title of proceedings

APSAD 2008 : Abstracts of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference

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