On-line personalized feedback intervention for negative affect and cannabis: A pilot randomized controlled trial

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Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance and many users report difficulty quitting. Situations involving stress and negative affect are the most difficult in which to abstain during quit/reduction attempts. Further, cannabis users with elevated social anxiety experience greater cannabis-related impairment than individuals with more normative levels of social anxiety. Yet, although most persons with cannabis-related problems are interested in quitting and endorse negative emotional symptoms, the vast majority do not seek in-person treatment. Thus, the current study tested the utility of an online personalized feedback intervention (PFI) that integrates feedback regarding cannabis with strategies to manage negative affect (PFI-NAC). Current (past month) cannabis using undergraduates (who used cannabis weekly, on average) were randomly assigned to the 1-session PFI-NAC (n = 37) or an assessment-only control (n = 26) and completed a 2-week follow-up assessment. After controlling for baseline negative affect and cannabis use frequency, social anxiety interacted with condition to predict follow-up cannabis use frequency. Specifically, among those with moderate or high levels of social anxiety, those in PFI-NAC reported less use at follow up than controls; this was not the case among those with lower social anxiety. Results of this pilot study indicate a 1-session intervention that teaches simultaneously teaching skills to manage negative affect and cannabis may benefit some cannabis users with moderate to high social anxiety. Future work with larger samples and a wider range of cannabis users, with longer follow-up assessments, are important next steps. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

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Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology

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