Is psychotic disorder associated with increased levels of craving for cannabis? An Experience Sampling study

Authors

  • R. Kuepper,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands
    • Rebecca Kuepper, Maastricht University, Dept. Psychiatry & Psychology, PO Box 616 (Vijverdal), 6200 MD Maastricht, the Netherlands.

      E-mail: r.kuepper@maastrichtuniversity.nl

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    • Contributed equally.
  • M. Oorschot,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands
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    • Contributed equally.
  • I. Myin-Germeys,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands
    2. School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
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  • M. Smits,

    1. Mondriaan Zorggroep, South Limburg, the Netherlands
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  • J. van Os,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands
    2. King's College London, King's Health Partners, Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
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  • C. Henquet

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands
    2. PsyQ Heerlen, Mondriaan, South Limburg, the Netherlands
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Abstract

Objective

Although cannabis use among individuals with psychotic disorder is considerable, little is known about patterns of use and factors contributing to continuation of use. Therefore, we investigated craving in relation to cannabis use in patients with psychotic disorder and healthy controls.

Method

The study included 58 patients with non-affective psychotic disorder and 63 healthy controls; all were frequent cannabis users. Craving was assessed with the Obsessive Compulsive Drug Use Scale (OCDUS) for cannabis, as well as in daily life using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM).

Results

Patients scored higher on the OCDUS (B = 1.18, = 0.022), but did not differ from controls in ESM indices of craving (all > 0.05). In daily life, ESM craving predicted cannabis use and this was stronger in controls (χ2 = 4.5, = 0.033; Bcontrols = 0.08, < 0.001; Bpatients = 0.06, < 0.001). In both groups ESM craving was predicted by negative affect, paranoia, and hallucinations (Bnegativeaffect = 0.12, = 0.009; Bparanoia = 0.13, = 0.013; Bhallucinations = 0.13, = 0.028), and followed by an increase in negative affect at non-cannabis-using moments (B = 0.03, = 0.002).

Conclusion

The temporal dynamics of craving as well as craving intensity in daily life appear to be similar in patients and controls. Further research is needed to elucidate the inconsistencies between cross-sectional and daily-life measures of craving in psychosis.

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