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Dr Lindsey Hines

Dr Lindsey Hines

Dr Lindsey Hines

Senior Research Associate

Area of research

Frequent Adolescent Cannabis use Epidemiology (FACE): Antecedents and Outcomes

Office BF4
Oakfield House,
Oakfield Grove, Clifton BS8 2BN
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Summary

I use longitudinal data to research the causes of adolescent drug use, and how that links to mental health.

Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship - Frequent Adolescent Cannabis Use (FACE): Antecedents and Outcomes

Across the world, cannabis is increasingly available as a legal drug, and we can expect use amongst adolescents to increase. Frequent cannabis use at this age increases the likelihood of health harms, including depression and anxiety in adulthood. This project uses interview data collected at multiple times in participants’ lives, from childhood onwards, in order to understand what causes frequent use of cannabis in adolescence, and what the relationship is between adolescent cannabis use and adult mental health.


This project explores the extent to which early life stress can be said to cause frequent adolescent cannabis use, and how much this relationship is due to the early-adolescent behaviour and mental health of frequent users. It then considers the relationship between frequent adolescent cannabis use and depression/anxiety, exploring the extent to which an association between these is due to low employment, drug use and heavy alcohol use in the years following early adolescence.

Biography

Lindsey is a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow whose work explores the pathways between early life experiences, frequent drug use in adolescence, and mental health problems in later life. Her research expertise is in the epidemiology of drug use, with a focus on the causes and consequences of use during adolescence. Lindsey completed her PhD at the National Addiction Centre, King's College London, examining transitions in drug use to identify the extent to which genetic and environmental influences underlie progression from first drug use opportunity through to development of dependence.

Activities / Findings

Cannabis policy decisions are hampered by lack of evidence on consequences of use, and although frequent cannabis use is an increasingly important intervention target we know little about what factors determine frequency of use (and thus likelihood of related harm) in adolescence: a key period of focus for life-course health. This presents an urgent need to understand risk factors for frequent adolescent cannabis use, and to understand the role cannabis plays in mental health disorder development.
Adverse childhood experiences are a consistent correlate of adolescent cannabis use and dependence, but the mechanisms underlying the association are under-explored. Risks for adult anxiety and depression, the largest contributors to the mental health global burden of disease, increase with frequent adolescent cannabis use. However, these associations are not consistent. Consideration of factors on the causal pathway is necessary to gain a complete understanding of this relationship.
Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and the Victoria Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS), this project aims to
1. Explore how adverse childhood experiences are associated with frequent adolescent cannabis use
2. Identify pathways between frequent adolescent cannabis use and adult CMD

Keywords

  • cannabis
  • Injecting drug use
  • adverse childhood experiences
  • depression and anxiety (mental health)

Skills

  • addiction
  • depression
  • anxiety

Methodologies

  • Epidemiology and statistics
  • Mendelian Randomization

Memberships

Organisations

Bristol Medical School (PHS)

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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