International Aspects of CUD

  • Steven W. GustEmail author
  • Graciela Ahumada
  • Jan Copeland
  • Paul Griffiths
  • John Howard
  • Marya Hynes


Cannabis is the most prevalent illicit drug used around the world even while several countries have legalized recreational and medical use. This has led to increases in use, particularly among populations where prevalence has been generally low, for example, the elderly, and people with medical problems. With growing global use comes concern regarding problematic use and ways to prevent and treat it. This chapter attempts to summarize the epidemiology of cannabis use in most large areas of the world where data exist and what is known and not known regarding the incidence and prevalence of problematic cannabis use. Importantly, the chapter recognizes the need for continuous, systematic collection of standardized data that will improve knowledge about attitudes and risk perceptions, the nature and extent of cannabis use, and cannabis-related health, social, and economic consequences. Information about cannabis use in Africa; Asia, the Near East, and the Middle East; Europe; Oceania; and the Western Hemisphere provides regional perspectives and highlights geographical areas where data are scarce. The different approaches of the two primary international diagnostic guidelines for substance use disorders—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) from the American Psychiatric Association and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) currently under development by the World Health Organization (WHO)—may contribute to international variations in defining cannabis use disorders and setting treatment priorities. Additionally, evidence-based prevention and treatment options, the global burden of disease attributed to cannabis use, and the impact of decreased perception of risk associated with cannabis use are summarized.


Cannabis International Prevalence Treatment Research 



Australian Institute of Health and Welfare


American Psychiatric Association


Asia and Pacific Amphetamine-Type Stimulants Information Centre


Cannabis Abuse Screening Test


Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission


Cannabis use disorder


Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test—Revised


Drug Abuse Information Network for Asia and the Pacific


Disability-adjusted life years


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition


Economic Community of West African States


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction


European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs


European Union


Global Burden of Disease


Global Student Health Survey


International Classification of Diseases, 11th Edition


Low- and middle-income countries


Middle East and North Africa


Ministry of Health


National Drug Strategy Household Survey (Australia)


National Institute on Drug Abuse


New psychoactive substances


New Zealand Health Survey


Pacific Island countries and territories


South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use


Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment


Standard Joint Unit


Global Synthetics Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends




United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


West African Epidemiology Network on Drug Use


World Health Organization


Youth Risk Behavior Study


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven W. Gust
    • 1
    Email author
  • Graciela Ahumada
    • 2
  • Jan Copeland
    • 3
  • Paul Griffiths
    • 4
  • John Howard
    • 5
  • Marya Hynes
    • 6
  1. 1.International ProgramNational Institute on Drug AbuseBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Ciudad AutónomaBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Cannabis Information and SupportSt. IvesAustralia
  4. 4.European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)LisbonPortugal
  5. 5.National Drug and Alcohol Research CentreUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  6. 6.The Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID), Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Organization of American StatesWashington, DCUSA

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