Article

12-month follow-up of an exploratory 'brief intervention' for high-frequency cannabis users among Canadian university students.

Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy (Impact Factor: 1.16). 04/2012; 7(1):15. DOI: 10.1186/1747-597X-7-15
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: One in three young people use cannabis in Canada. Cannabis use can be associated with a variety of health problems which occur primarily among intensive/frequent users. Availability and effectiveness of conventional treatment for cannabis use is limited. While Brief Interventions (BIs) have been shown to result in short-term reductions of cannabis use risks or problems, few studies have assessed their longer-term effects. The present study examined 12-month follow-up outcomes for BIs in a cohort of young Canadian highfrequency cannabis users where select short-term effects (3 months) had previously been assessed and demonstrated. FINDINGS: N = 134 frequent cannabis users were recruited from among university students in Toronto, randomized to either an oral or a written cannabis BI, or corresponding health controls, and assessed in-person at baseline, 3-months, and 12-months. N = 72 (54 %) of the original sample were retained for follow-up analyses at 12-months where reductions in 'deep inhalation/breathholding' (Q = 13.1; p < .05) and 'driving after cannabis use' (Q = 9.3; p <.05) were observed in the experimental groups. Reductions for these indicators had been shown at 3-months in the experimental groups; these reductions were maintained over the year. Other indicators assessed remained overall stable in both experimental and control groups. CONCLUSIONS: The results confirm findings from select other studies indicating the potential for longer-term and sustained risk reduction effects of BIs for cannabis use. While further research is needed on the long-term effects of BIs, these may be a valuable - and efficient - intervention tool in a public health approach to high-risk cannabis use.

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