Walton MA, Bohnert K, Resko S, Barry KL, Chermack ST, Zucker RA, Zimmerman MA, Booth BM, Blow FC. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2013. 132(3): 646-643. PMCID: PMC3770780.
Summary: In this randomized controlled trial examining the impact of a computerized brief intervention (CBI) for cannabis use, adolescents receiving care at seven federally qualifying health clinics were screened. Adolescents currently using cannabis were eligible for randomization. A total of 328 participants were randomly assigned to either a computerized brief intervention (CBI), a therapist-delivered brief intervention (TBI), or to a control condition. While participants assigned to CBI completed one computerized, brief, individual session, participants assigned to TBI met with a trained therapist for one brief, individual session. Participants assigned to the control group received an educational brochure on cannabis and cannabis-related problems. Cannabis use, cannabis-related consequences, and other substance use were measured at 3, 6, and 12 month follow-up assessments. Overall, cannabis use decreased among all participants over time. Significant decreases in cannabis use were found in the CBI and TBI groups, while participants in the control group had no significant changes in cannabis use. Comparisons of the CBI and control groups revealed that drug use and cannabis-related consequences decreased more in the CBI group than the control group at the 3 month follow-up. Compared to the control group, the TBI group had no significant decreases in cannabis use during the follow-up period. By 12 months, no significant differences were detected between the three groups.
Take Away: CBI contributes to short-term decreases in cannabis use among adolescents already using cannabis. There was no difference in effects between the CBI and TBI approaches.