Cannabis use history and characteristics of quit attempts: a comparison study of treatment-seeking and non-treatment-seeking cannabis users.
Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance worldwide, and cannabis use disorders (CUDs) are correspondingly high. Increased demand for treatment and relatively low rates of positive clinical outcomes has led to a large scientific investment in the development of interventions for the treatment of CUD. Much of this research is conducted with cannabis users who are not seeking treatment at the time of study participation, and it is unknown whether these individuals are representative of those who seek treatment. This study contrasted samples of cannabis users participating in screening interviews for treatment and nontreatment research studies. Several differences between groups emerged: Treatment-seekers were more likely to be female (43% vs. 29%), older (33.4 vs. 29.7 years), and have longer cannabis use histories compared with non-treatment-seekers (p = .007). Treatment-seekers were more likely to report experiencing guilt after using cannabis and to feel that cannabis use has been a problem for them. Additionally, treatment-seekers reported a greater mean number of reasons for making a quit attempt, experiencing a greater number of withdrawal symptoms, and employing more coping strategies during prior quit attempts. Despite the aforementioned differences, the 2 groups were similar on several key characteristics, particularly with regards to current levels of cannabis use and related problems.
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