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Cannabis withdrawal symptoms common among adolescents treated for substance use disorder
Date:9/1/2014

pattern that was also seen in participants not experiencing withdrawal.

"We hypothesize that participants who experience withdrawal symptoms but do not recognize having a substance use problem may not attribute those symptoms to cannabis withdrawal," says Claire Greene, MPH, corresponding author of the report. "Those who do acknowledge a substance-use problem may correctly attribute those symptoms to cannabis withdrawal, giving them even more motivation to change their substance use behavior." Formerly with the MGH Center for Addiction Medicine, Greene is now a doctoral candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Kelly, the Spallin Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School, adds, "The importance of understanding the addictiveness, risks and harms associated with cannabis use is a major theme of this study's findings. Recognizing those risks is known to reduce the likelihood that someone will start to use drugs, and better understanding of the role of substances in the problems experienced by patients may help them cut down on future use.

"Unfortunately, the general trend in attitudes in the U.S. is to minimize the risks and not recognize the addictiveness of cannabis," he continues. "Further research is needed determine the impact of these changing public attitudes and investigate the benefits of programs that reduce these misconceptions, which could allow us to predict whether increased education and awareness could help reduce the onset of, and harm caused by, cannabis use disorders." The study was supported by National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism grant R01AA015526.


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Contact: Noah Brown
nbrown9@partners.org
617-643-3907
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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