Online Interventions May Cease Illicit Cannabis Use

On-Line personalized feedback intervention for negative effect and cannabis- A pilot randomized controlled trial

In Summary

Researchers have determined that brief, online interventions help undergraduates cease abusing cannabis to treat negative affect and social anxiety. It was found that cannabis users who experience more severe symptoms of social anxiety experience greater cannabis-related problems than their cohorts who did not experience symptoms of social anxiety yet felt unable to cease using cannabis on their own. When interviewed, participants revealed that they felt uncomfortable, and were therefore unlikely, to seek out in-person treatment. The novel online intervention that educates about cannabis abuse and managing negative effect was effective for most participants in the experimental group at the two-week follow-up. Future research should include on a longer timeline and focus on teaching safe cannabis, as cannabis is a broad term, use rather than complete abstinence. 

The authors highlight the importance of meeting patients and that are in need of medical interventions at home. We currently live in the digital age and essentially everything can be done online; buying groceries, clothing, finding home improvement workers, etc. Considering the lingering stigma surrounding mental health issues and addiction and the number of undergraduate students who report feelings of depression and anxiety, it seems shocking that personalized online interventions are so rare. Further research should aim to continue developing personalized methods of at-home treatment so that those in need can feel comfortable addressing their needs. 

The study is available for review or download here

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Benjamin Caplan, MDOnline Interventions May Cease Illicit Cannabis Use

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