Does the proportion of Australians who meet the diagnostic criteria for a lifetime cannabis mental health disorder differ by gender?

Australian men are more likely than women to have met the diagnostic criteria for cannabis dependence and cannabis abuse at some time in their life.

73% of Australians who meet the diagnostic criteria for lifetime cannabis dependence are men and 27% are women. 70% of Australians who meet the diagnostic criteria for lifetime cannabis abuse are men and 30% are women.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (NCETA secondary analysis, 2014).

Abuse: A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.

Dependence: A maladaptive pattern of use in which the use of drugs or alcohol takes on a much higher priority for a person than other behaviours that once had greater value. The central characteristic is the strong, sometimes overpowering, desire to take the substance despite significant substance-related problems.