Cannabis Interventions for Young People

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Transcript Cannabis Interventions for Young People

Cannabis: Reducing Harm
Paul Jacob, substance misuse worker, Brighton and Hove Youth Offending Team
Smoking amongst young
people
 Smoking tobacco is declining amongst young people
 6% 11-15 smoke at least once a week
 22% 16-19 years olds smoke at least once a week
 30% 20-24 year olds smoke at least once a week
 Girls are more likely to smoke tobacco than boys
Cannabis use amongst
young people
 Cannabis is by far the most commonly used illegal drug
amongst young people
 Use peaks between ages 16-24
 10% boys and 9% girls aged 11 – 15 used it in the last year
 25% young men and 15% young women aged 16 - 24 used it
in the last year
 Boys are more likely to smoke cannabis than girls
(Dept of Health 2009 Focal Point: UK Drug Situation)
Substance use amongst
young people who offend

Cannabis use (86%) exceeds tobacco use (85%)

64% say cannabis is their ‘favourite’ drug

Substance use more likely to occur at an earlier age

Cannabis use more frequently precedes or occurs alongside initial tobacco
use

Use is more likely to be more frequent and intense

Almost all always smoke skunk, some occasionally smoke resin

Almost all smoke in joints with tobacco, some also smoke a cannabis and
tobacco mix in a bong
(Hammersley, R. et al (2003) Substance Use by Young Offenders: The Impact of The Normalisation of Drug Use in the 21st Century, London: Home Office)
Cannabis and Nicotine –
Hypotheses and Observations
 Nicotine addiction may exacerbate cannabis dependency
 Tobacco use may increase the frequency and intensity of
cannabis use
 Early tobacco use seems to increase likelihood of later
substance misuse
 Cannabis may relieve nicotine withdrawal symptoms and vice
versa
 Nicotine replacement therapy and stopping smoking appear
to support cannabis reduction or cessation
Harm Reduction
Interventions
 Separate tobacco and cannabis use
 Switch from joint to blunt, bong, pipe, vaporiser or oral
 Alternate ingestion method
 Reduce impact on sleep
 Tracing Triggers
 Switching from skunk to standard weed or cannabis resin
Harm Reduction
Interventions
 Identify and work towards ‘optimum minimum dose’
 NRT reduces cravings for cannabis and frequency of use
 Scaling each smoke
 Increase gaps between smokes
 Use less cannabis in each smoke
 Take regular breaks – to avoid ‘tolerance’
ru-ok?
ru-ok?
Young Persons Substance Misuse Service
Ovest House
58 West Street
Brighton
BN1 2RA
01273 293966 [email protected]