Clinical profile of participants in a brief
intervention program for cannabis use disorder

Copeland J, Swift W, Rees V.
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre,
University of New South Wales, 2052,
Sydney, Australia
J Subst Abuse Treat 2001 Jan;20(1):45-52


The increasing demand for cannabis dependence treatment has led to the identification of significant gaps in the knowledge of effective interventions. A randomized controlled trial of brief cognitive-behavioral interventions (CBT) for cannabis dependence was undertaken to address this issue. A total of 229 participants were assessed and allocated to either a 6-session CBT program, a single-session brief intervention, or a delayed-treatment control group. This paper demonstrates that individuals with cannabis use disorder will present for a brief intervention program. While they report similar patterns of cannabis use to nontreatment samples, they report a range of serious health and psychosocial consequences. While they appear relatively socially stable, they typically demonstrated severe cannabis dependence and significantly elevated levels of psychological distress, with the most commonly cited reason for cannabis use being stress relief. There were clinically relevant gender differences among the sample. This study provides more evidence of the demand for, and nature of issues relevant to, interventions for cannabis use disorders, and supports the need for further research into how best to assist individuals with these disorders.

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