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Risk of cannabis addiction higher for young men, people with anxiety: StatCan survey

June 21, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Statistics Canada says nearly five per cent of cannabis users are at risk of developing an addiction to the drug, according to a survey of households.

Data for the annual Canadian Community Health Survey was collected from more than 101,000 respondents aged 15 and older and showed 4.7 per cent of people were at risk of cannabis addiction.

The finding is based on phone and in-person surveys done in 2019 and 2020, but StatCan says the pandemic lowered the response rate by nearly half in 2020, from 54 per cent a year earlier.

StatCan found several factors contributed to a cannabis user’s increased risk of dependence, including being male, between the ages of 18 and 24, single or never married, having an anxiety or mood disorder, and being from lower-income households.


Respondents at risk of addiction were also likely to have started using cannabis by age 15 and consumed it at least monthly, though it can’t be legally bought or used by anyone under age 18.

StatCan says a better understanding of people who become addicted to cannabis could help with the development of more effective education, prevention and treatment strategies.

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