Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Comorbid Cannabis Use and Anxiety Disorders

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Cannabis use disorders (CUDs) co-occur with anxiety disorders at high rates, presumably because some individuals with anxiety disorders may rely on cannabis to manage anxiety. Motivation enhancement therapy (MET) combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an efficacious intervention for CUD, yet outcomes are worse for patients with elevated anxiety. The integration of MET-CBT with (FSET) may be useful with anxious CUD patients, as the use of cannabis to manage anxiety can be targeted as a false safety behavior. Here, we describe the integrated treatment and the successful use of it among two patients-one with CUD and comorbid social anxiety disorder (SAD) and one with CUD and comorbid SAD and generalized anxiety disorder. Data support the feasibility of this integrated treatment as a viable approach to the treatment of CUD and comorbid anxiety disorders. Future controlled trials are now warranted to further evaluate the intervention.

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Clinical case studies

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