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
 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 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
 Nicotine replacement therapy and stopping smoking appear
to support cannabis reduction or cessation
Harm Reduction
 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
 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’
Young Persons Substance Misuse Service
Ovest House
58 West Street
01273 293966 [email protected]