Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Motivational Enhancement, CBT for Cannabis Users. (600 Adolescents Evaluated)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Motivational Enhancement, CBT for Cannabis Users. (600 Adolescents Evaluated)

Article excerpt

AMELIA ISLAND, FLA. -- Initial findings from a study of cannabis use in adolescents suggest that motivational enhancement and cognitive-behavioral therapy work regardless of treatment duration, Dr. Marc Fishman reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

In the first arm of the multisite, randomized, "all comers" study known as the Cannabis Youth Treatment Experiment, 600 adolescents were evaluated using three different levels of therapy that included both motivational enhancement and cognitive-behavioral therapy. The first group participated in five sessions over 6 weeks. The second group received a total of 12 sessions over 12-14 weeks. The third group, which received a total of 20 sessions over 12 weeks, also experienced family therapy and adolescent community involvement.

Participants, aged 12-18 years, reported marijuana use in the past 90 days, problems related to marijuana abuse, or dependence.

The adolescent community reinforcement and multidimensional family therapy approach used with the third group featured "lots of intensive family work on labeling and interactions," noted Dr. Fishman of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

All therapy was done on an outpatient basis, which made follow-up with participants at the Baltimore site and 10 other community-based sites nationwide challenging. "We saw them in [fast-food restaurants] and under bridges. The folks in Tucson [Ariz.] have stories about going into Mexico at night to find these kids," said Dr. Fishman, who also works at Mountain Manor Treatment Center in Baltimore, a community-based treatment program for adolescents.

Although researchers were expecting to see a more robust response with longer treatment, "the results were about the same whether they received 5, 12, or 20 sessions," Dr. …

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