Protocol for a feasibility study investigating the UCalgary's Cannabis Cafe: education and harm reduction initiative for postsecondary students.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:High rates of cannabis consumption among emerging adults in Canada represent an important public health issue. As part of the legalisation of cannabis, health objectives were established by the Government of Canada including reducing risky patterns of consumption and cannabis related harm among vulnerable populations. Despite these ambitions, few evidenced based education programmes have been evaluated in the literature. The aim of this study is to describe and evaluate the acceptability of a novel harm reduction and education initiative titled, UCalgary's Cannabis Café. The Cannabis Café incorporates components shown to be effective in reducing risky substance consumption on campuses and substance related stigma. An important objective of the Café is the dissemination of methods to reduce risk in the form of Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:The study will take the form of a non-experimental, observational cohort design, where participants will be asked to complete four surveys (baseline, immediate follow-up, 1?month and 3?months). The primary outcomes of the study will be the feasibility of the initiative including acceptability and implementation. Secondary outcomes include knowledge uptake of methods to reduce risk of cannabis related harm, descriptive cannabis norms and changes in cannabis consumption. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The study was approved by the University of Calgary Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (#REB18-1364). The investigators will develop a guideline outlining the Cannabis Café to assist in the replication of this initiative at other locations and publish the results from the study in a peer-reviewed manuscript.
Project description:Cannabis is now legal in Canada, yet important questions remain regarding how the provinces and territories are approaching cannabis education and messaging aimed at youth. Although widespread education and awareness campaigns are long considered cornerstones of substance use and related harm prevention, there is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of such campaigns. We continue to see examples of cannabis-related messaging that focus on risk and harm and often adopt a narrow view of the ways in which young people may use cannabis. This traditional risk-based messaging does not resonate with how many youth experience cannabis use. We have further observed that most provinces and territories have yet to fully reveal concrete details regarding what they are and have been planning in terms of youth engagement in the development and delivery of educational initiatives. As Canadian youth desire reliable, evidence-based educational material on cannabis, and can be credible key partners in the development of such materials, we hope that all levels of government will see the value of promoting balanced cannabis discussions and co-designing resources with youth.
Project description:Background: Over the past 15 years, comparative assessments of psychoactive substance harms to both users and others have been compiled by addiction experts. None of these rankings however have included synthetic cannabinoids or non-opioid prescription analgesics (NOAs, e.g., gabapentinoids) despite evidence of increasing recreational use. We present here an updated assessment by German addiction medicine experts, considering changing Western consumption trends-including those of NOAs. Methods: In an initial survey, 101 German addiction medicine physicians evaluated both physical and psychosocial harms (in 5 dimensions) of 33 psychoactive substances including opioids and NOAs, to both users and others. In a second survey, 36 addiction medicine physicians estimated the relative weight of each health and social harm dimension to determine the overall harm rank of an individual substance. We compared our ranking with the most recent European assessment from 2014. Results: Illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and also alcohol were judged particularly harmful, and new psychoactive drugs (cathinones, synthetic cannabinoids) were ranked among the most harmful substances. Cannabis was ranked in the midrange, on par with benzodiazepines and ketamine-somewhat more favorable compared to the last European survey. Prescribed drugs including opioids (in contrast to the USA, Canada, and Australia) were judged less harmful. NOAs were at the bottom end of the ranking. Conclusion: In Germany, alcohol and illicit drugs (including new psychoactive substances) continue to rank among the most harmful addictive substances in contrast to prescribed agents including opioid analgesics and NOAs. Current laws are incongruent with these harm rankings. This study is the first of its kind to include comparative harm rankings of several novel abused substances, both licit/prescribed and illicit.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cannabis use is common among marginalized people who use illicit drugs (PWUD) but reasons for use remain poorly investigated. We sought to explore how different intentions for cannabis use relate to social, structural, and behavioural factors among PWUD in Vancouver, Canada. METHODS:We used data from cannabis-using participants in two community-recruited prospective cohort studies of PWUD. Using latent class analysis, we identified discrete cannabis-using groups based on self-reported intentions for use. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine correlates of class membership. RESULTS:Between June 2016 and December 2018, 2,686 observations from 897 participants cannabis-using PWUD were analyzed. Four latent classes of cannabis use emerged: Class 1 (31.6%), characterized by non-medical purposes; Class 2 (37.5%), characterized by non-pain therapeutic use (e.g., stress, nausea/loss of appetite, and insomnia); characterized by Class 3 (21.9%) predominantly pain relief; and Class 4 (9.0%), characterized by a wide range of therapeutic uses in addition to pain management, including insomnia, stress, nausea/loss of appetite, and harm reduction. Class-specific structural, substance-, and health-related differences were observed, including indicators of better physical and mental health among the "recreational" class, despite evidence of more structural vulnerabilities (e.g., homelessness, incarceration). CONCLUSIONS:Our findings demonstrate a wide spectrum of motivations for cannabis use among PWUD. We observed important health-related differences between latent classes, demonstrating possible unmet healthcare needs among PWUD reporting therapeutic cannabis use. These findings inform ongoing policy surrounding access to cannabis for harm reduction purposes and applications of medical cannabis for PWUD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although recreational cannabis is now legal in Canada, little empirical evidence exists regarding young Canadians' cannabis literacy, cannabis-related risk perceptions, and risk of different forms of cannabis or the effect that public health education may have on these perceptions. The present study sought to address these knowledge gaps to examine health knowledge and risk perceptions associated with cannabis use. METHODS:An online survey was conducted with a national sample (N = 870) of Canadians aged 16 to 30?years in October 2017 using a commercial panel. The study examined young Canadians' awareness of negative health effects related to cannabis, evaluation of known risks, and risk perceptions of different forms of administration. RESULTS:Most respondents were aware of a cannabis-related physical health effect (78.0%). Approximately one-third reported having been exposed to public health messaging about cannabis; digital media was reported most frequently. Compared to never users, ever users were less likely to report general likelihood of addiction (p < 0.001) and harm to mental health (p < 0.001). Approximately one-quarter of past 3-month cannabis users reported they were at least "a little" addicted. Respondents who reported using a particular form of cannabis self-administration (e.g., edibles, smokables) were less likely to perceive harm than those who did not use each form (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS:The current study is among the first to measure the knowledge and perceptions of risks of Canadian youth about cannabis. The study, conducted in the time immediately preceding legalization, may serve as a reference point for future studies examining changes in cannabis knowledge and risk perceptions. This will be important in addressing the need for monitoring and enhancing public awareness of the impact and potential harms of this newly legalized substance.
Project description:Cannabis is the most consumed illegal substance in France. General practitioners (GPs) are the health professionals who are most consulted by adolescents. Brief intervention (BI) is a promising care initiative for the consumption of cannabis, and could be a tool for GPs in caring for adolescents who consume cannabis. The aim of the CANABIC study is to measure the impact of a BI carried out by a GP on the consumption of cannabis by adolescents of 15 to 25 years of age.A randomized clustered controlled trial, stratified over three areas (Auvergne, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Rhône - Alpes), comparing an intervention group, which carries out the BI in consultation, and a control group, which ensures routine medical care. The main assessment criterion is the consumption of cannabis by amount of joints per month, at 12 months. The amount necessary to highlight a significant difference between the two groups of 30% of consumption at 12 months is 250 patients (50 GPs, 5 patients per GP; risk ??=?5%; power?=?90%; intra-cluster correlation coefficient ??=?0.2; Hawthorne effect?=?15%; lost to follow-up rates for GPs?=?10% and for patients?=?20%). This plan is replicated for the three areas, and therefore a total of 750 patients are expected.The secondary criteria for judgment are the associated consumption of tobacco and alcohol, the perception of the consequences of consumption, and the driving of a vehicle following consumption.Research about BI for young cannabis users is underway. The aim of the CANABIC study is to validate a BI suited to adolescents who consume cannabis, which may be performed in the general practice. This would provide a tool for their treatment by a GP, which could be widely distributed during initial or further medical training.CANABIC is a randomized clustered trial (NCT01433692, registered 2011 Sept 12), PHRC funded: Clinical Research Hospital Program (Governmental Fund, Health Ministry). Date first patient randomized: March 2012.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use in adolescence is associated with adverse outcomes. Characterizing adolescent substance misusers, however, is difficult due to the wide range of risk and protective factors linked to substance use. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of the Individual, Family, School, Peer, and Social Environment on alcohol (lifetime and risky), tobacco (risky only), and cannabis use (lifetime and riskiness). METHOD:Data were analyzed from a national sample of 5,680 adolescents, capturing substance use behavior alongside risk and protective factors across Individual, Family, School, Peer and Social domains. We applied a sophisticated machine learning classifier to develop models of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis initiation and misuse. RESULTS:We found highly accurate (area under curve of receiver-operator-characteristic for out-of-sample performance was > .88) and replicable (over multiple iterations and in comparison with permuted outcomes) dissociable psychosocial profiles of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use. Alongside common predictors (peer relations and externalizing behavior), dissociable risk and resilience factors were observed. Adolescent profiles of alcohol use were distinguished by the contribution of multiple domains. In contrast, tobacco use was characterized by a small number of individual variables, including female gender and poor perceived academic position. Cannabis use was differentiated by the distinct contribution of Individual risk factors, in particular male gender and feelings of anger. Differential associations were also evident, with the strength and direction of association differing substantially across substances. CONCLUSION:This study indicates that the relationship between the environment and substance use is more complex than previously thought.
Project description:Understanding the interrelationships between risky health behaviors is critical for health promotion efforts. Conceptual frameworks for understanding substance misuse (e.g. stepping-stone models) have not yet widely incorporated other risky behaviors, including those related to sexual health.The goals of this study were to assess the relationship between early sexual debut and cannabis use, examine the role of licit substance use in this association, and evaluate differences by gender and race/ethnicity.Data came from the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication (NCS-R). Primary analysis was restricted to respondents who reported sexual debut at ?12 years (n = 5,036). Age at sexual debut was categorized as early (<18 years), average (18 years) and late (>18 years). Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between age at sexual debut and cannabis use. Interaction terms were used to evaluate effect modification by gender and race/ethnicity.Later age of sexual debut was associated with lower odds of cannabis use relative to the average age of debut (AOR = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.37-0.66). For every year that respondents delayed their sexual debut, the relative odds of lifetime cannabis use declined by 17%. After accounting for alcohol and tobacco use the association between early sexual debut and cannabis was attenuated (AOR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.68-1.20), while later age of debut remained protective (AOR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.42-0.78). Results were generally consistent across race/ethnicity and gender.Multifactorial intervention strategies targeting both sexual health and substance use may be warranted.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) for risky substance use is infrequently included in routine healthcare in low-resourced settings. A SBIRT programme, adopted by the Western Cape provincial government within an alcohol harm reduction strategy, employed various implementation strategies executed by a diverse team to translate an evidence-based intervention into services at three demonstration sites before broader programme scale-up. This paper evaluates the implementation of this programme delivered by facility-based counsellors in South African emergency centres. METHOD:Guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, this mixed methods study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, appropriateness and adoption of this task-shared SBIRT programme. Quantitative data were extracted from routinely collected health information. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 40 stakeholders in the programme's second year. RESULTS:In the first year, 13 136 patients were screened and 4 847 (37%) patients met criteria for risky substance use. Of these patients, 83% received the intervention, indicating programme feasibility. The programme was adopted into routine services and found to be acceptable and appropriate, particularly by stakeholders familiar with the emergency environment. These stakeholders highlighted the burden of substance-related harm in emergency centres and favourable patient responses to SBIRT. However, some stakeholders expressed scepticism of the behaviour change approach and programme compatibility with emergency centre operations. Furthermore, adoption was both facilitated and hampered by a top-down directive from provincial leadership to implement SBIRT, while rapid implementation limited effective engagement with a diverse stakeholder group. CONCLUSION:This is one of the first studies to address SBIRT implementation in low-resourced settings. The results show that SBIRT implementation and adoption was largely successful, and provide valuable insights that should be considered prior to implementation scale-up. Recommendations include ensuring ongoing monitoring and evaluation, and early stakeholder engagement to improve implementation readiness and programme compatibility in the emergency setting.
Project description:CONTEXT:Substance use disorders (SUDs) are highly prevalent among inpatient adolescents with psychiatric disorders. In this population, substance use and other psychiatric outcomes can reinforce one another. Despite the need for integrated interventions in youths with dual diagnoses, few specific instruments are available. App-based technologies have shown promising results to help reduce substance use in adolescents, but their applicability in youths with associated severe psychiatric disorders is poorly documented. We aim to evaluate the feasibility of an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) intervention for all substance users, and of a smartphone application for cannabis users (Stop-Cannabis), for outpatient treatment after hospital discharge. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:All inpatient adolescents with psychiatric disorders hospitalized between 2016 and 2018 in a university hospital will be systematically screened for SUD and, if positive, will be assessed by an independent specialist addiction team. Participants with confirmed SUDs will be invited and helped to download an EMA app and, if required, the Stop-Cannabis app, the week preceding hospital discharge. Information about the acceptability and use of both apps and the validity of EMA data in comparison to clinical assessments will be assessed after 6?months and 1?year. DISCUSSION:This research has been designed to raise specific issues for consideration regarding the sequence between substance use, contextual factors, and other psychiatric symptoms among adolescents with comorbid severe psychiatric disorders. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved will inform the development of integrated treatment for dual disorders at that age. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The study has already been approved and granted. Dissemination will include presentations at international congresses as well as publications in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION:European Clinical Trials Database: Number 2016-001999-30.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study is to estimate risky-drug use patterns of consumption of primary care patients. DESIGN:Multicentric descriptive cross-sectional study. SETTING:five primary health care centers of the South of Madrid. PARTICIPANTS:all patients between 16-100 year-old consulting with their family physician. MEASUREMENTS:Spanish-validated World Health Organization ASSIST test was use to screen risky drug use in primary care. Total points scored at the test were obtained. RESULTS:A sum of 441 screening test were collected. Mean age was 51,3 years and 51.6% of patients presented a moderate-severe risky drug use out of the nine drugs tested. The more frequent drug use screened were tobacco (41.7%) followed by alcohol (15.4%), hypnotics (13.7%) and cannabis (5.7%). Differences were found between genders in the patterns: men had higher risky drug uses compared to women regarding alcohol and cannabis. Women had higher sedatives/hypnotics consumption prevalence. A 16% of patients presented with polyconsumption drug use patterns. CONCLUSIONS:There is risk derived from drug misuse in primary care for tobacco, alcohol, hypnotics and cannabis as detected by the ASSIST test. There is a higher rate of hypnotics than expected.