Changes in post-mortem marijuana-positive toxicologies among youth suicide decedents, 2005–2015

Namkee G. Choi, C. Nathan Marti, Diana M. DiNitto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Given increasing youth suicide rates and liberalization of marijuana-use laws, this study examined post-mortem marijuana toxicology test results among suicide decedents aged 15–19 (youth) compared to those aged 20–29 (young adults). Methods: Data were from the 2005–2015 National Violent Death Reporting System (N = 6002 decedents aged 15–19 and N = 20,925 decedents aged 20–29). Following descriptive analysis, logistic regression models were used to test associations of marijuana-positive toxicologies with incident year, state in which injury/death incurred, interactions between incident year and state, and suicide means. Results: Marijuana was the most commonly substantiated substance among youth and the second most commonly substantiated substance, after alcohol, among young adults. The odds of a marijuana-positive toxicology among youth were 2.21 (95% CI = 1.78–2.73) higher in 2012–2015 than in 2005–2011 and were 1.46 (95% CI = 1.18–1.79) higher in states with marijuana legalization or decriminalization laws; however, the incident year × state interaction term was not significant, and only the main effect of incident year remained significant (AOR = 1.86, 95% CI = 1.34–2.59) in the interaction model. Among young adults, the main effects of incident year, state, and interaction effects (AROR = 2.02, 95% CI = 1.61–2.53) were all significant. For both age groups, the odds of a marijuana-positive toxicology were lower among decedents who used poisoning than firearms. Conclusions: Liberalized marijuana policies do not appear to have influenced increases in marijuana-positive toxicologies among youth, but marijuana-positive rates were higher among those who died in recent years and by more violent/lethal means. Youth suicide prevention strategies should include monitoring marijuana use, education on marijuana's harms, and substance use treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-467
Number of pages7
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume100
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

Fingerprint

Cannabis
Toxicology
Suicide
suicide
incident
young adult
interaction
death
Young Adult
suicide rate
legalization
reporting system
Law
criminalization
liberalization
age group
Logistic Models
logistics
alcohol
monitoring

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Marijuana liberalization
  • Suicide means
  • Toxicology
  • Youth suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Changes in post-mortem marijuana-positive toxicologies among youth suicide decedents, 2005–2015. / Choi, Namkee G.; Marti, C. Nathan; DiNitto, Diana M.

In: Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 100, 05.2019, p. 461-467.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Purpose: Given increasing youth suicide rates and liberalization of marijuana-use laws, this study examined post-mortem marijuana toxicology test results among suicide decedents aged 15–19 (youth) compared to those aged 20–29 (young adults). Methods: Data were from the 2005–2015 National Violent Death Reporting System (N = 6002 decedents aged 15–19 and N = 20,925 decedents aged 20–29). Following descriptive analysis, logistic regression models were used to test associations of marijuana-positive toxicologies with incident year, state in which injury/death incurred, interactions between incident year and state, and suicide means. Results: Marijuana was the most commonly substantiated substance among youth and the second most commonly substantiated substance, after alcohol, among young adults. The odds of a marijuana-positive toxicology among youth were 2.21 (95{\%} CI = 1.78–2.73) higher in 2012–2015 than in 2005–2011 and were 1.46 (95{\%} CI = 1.18–1.79) higher in states with marijuana legalization or decriminalization laws; however, the incident year × state interaction term was not significant, and only the main effect of incident year remained significant (AOR = 1.86, 95{\%} CI = 1.34–2.59) in the interaction model. Among young adults, the main effects of incident year, state, and interaction effects (AROR = 2.02, 95{\%} CI = 1.61–2.53) were all significant. For both age groups, the odds of a marijuana-positive toxicology were lower among decedents who used poisoning than firearms. Conclusions: Liberalized marijuana policies do not appear to have influenced increases in marijuana-positive toxicologies among youth, but marijuana-positive rates were higher among those who died in recent years and by more violent/lethal means. Youth suicide prevention strategies should include monitoring marijuana use, education on marijuana's harms, and substance use treatment.",
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AB - Purpose: Given increasing youth suicide rates and liberalization of marijuana-use laws, this study examined post-mortem marijuana toxicology test results among suicide decedents aged 15–19 (youth) compared to those aged 20–29 (young adults). Methods: Data were from the 2005–2015 National Violent Death Reporting System (N = 6002 decedents aged 15–19 and N = 20,925 decedents aged 20–29). Following descriptive analysis, logistic regression models were used to test associations of marijuana-positive toxicologies with incident year, state in which injury/death incurred, interactions between incident year and state, and suicide means. Results: Marijuana was the most commonly substantiated substance among youth and the second most commonly substantiated substance, after alcohol, among young adults. The odds of a marijuana-positive toxicology among youth were 2.21 (95% CI = 1.78–2.73) higher in 2012–2015 than in 2005–2011 and were 1.46 (95% CI = 1.18–1.79) higher in states with marijuana legalization or decriminalization laws; however, the incident year × state interaction term was not significant, and only the main effect of incident year remained significant (AOR = 1.86, 95% CI = 1.34–2.59) in the interaction model. Among young adults, the main effects of incident year, state, and interaction effects (AROR = 2.02, 95% CI = 1.61–2.53) were all significant. For both age groups, the odds of a marijuana-positive toxicology were lower among decedents who used poisoning than firearms. Conclusions: Liberalized marijuana policies do not appear to have influenced increases in marijuana-positive toxicologies among youth, but marijuana-positive rates were higher among those who died in recent years and by more violent/lethal means. Youth suicide prevention strategies should include monitoring marijuana use, education on marijuana's harms, and substance use treatment.

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