Which Behavioral Strategies Help Marijuana Users Stop?

Many marijuana users can easily stop but others cannot do so, despite many attempts.  Past studies found that events such as marriage, a new job, or completing schooling can motivate and help users quit.  Although many clinics, brochures and websites have tips about how to quit, whether these tips really work has rarely been tested.  A recent study (Rooke, Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy 6:30, 2011) asked successful and unsuccessful marijuana quitters about 15 different strategies to use when trying to quit.  Successful quitters were those that used coping strategies such as avoiding other marijuana users, finding other ways to relax and anticipating hard times.  Also successful quitters were more likely to have sought out treatment.  Motivational strategies such as thinking about benefits of cessation, removing temptations such as throwing away marijuana in the house and distraction via doing activities instead of using were not effective.

Read the complete study here.

–Dr. John R. Hughes

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