Cannabis Use in Adolescents: Efficacy of a Prevention-Focused Brief Intervention in Primary Care
In the U.S., rates of illicit cannabis use typically increase during adolescence. Primary care visits may be a good opportunity to provide prevention-focused brief interventions (BI) for cannabis use in this population. In this trial, adolescents aged 12–18 (n=714) who reported no lifetime use of cannabis were randomized to a motivational interview-based prevention BI with a therapist, an animated interactive computer-based prevention BI, or to a control group (brochure). Both interventions provided cannabis and alcohol norms for age and gender and explored goals and values, reasons for avoiding use, and risky scenarios (with a focus on refusal skills).
- Compared with controls, participants who received the computer BI reported lower rates of any cannabis use over 12 months (17% versus 24%) and lower frequency of use at 3 and 6 months.
- There were no significant differences between controls and participants who received the therapist BI in rate or frequency of cannabis use.
- With respect to the use of other drugs at 3 months, differences in favor of the interventions were observed between controls and those who received the computer BI or the therapist BI. For alcohol use at 6 months and delinquency at 3 months, differences were observed between controls and those who received the therapist BI.