- Facilitators and barriers in treatment seeking for cannabis dependence
- Drug and Alcohol Dependence
- Volume | Issue number
- 133 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
- Bonger Institute of Criminology (ARILS)
Relatively few cannabis dependent people seek treatment and little is known about determinants of treatment seeking.
Treatment determinants were compared among 70 DSM-IV cannabis dependent patients and 241 non-treatment seeking DSM-IV cannabis dependent community subjects. In addition, perceived facilitators for treatment seeking were assessed in patients, whereas perceived barriers were assessed in 160/241 cannabis dependent community subjects not prepared to seek treatment (precluders), of whom 63/160 showed an objective treatment need, and 30/241 showed a subjective treatment need.
Compared to non-treatment seekers, patients reported more cannabis use (176.9 versus 82.8 joints monthly), more symptoms of dependence (5.6 versus 4.5), higher perceived lack of social support (70.0% versus 41.1%), more pressure to seek treatment (58.6% versus 21.6%), a more positive attitude to treatment, and more previous treatments. In addition, patients reported more mental health problems (internalising disorders 57.1% versus 24.5%; externalising disorders 52.9% versus 35.3%) and more functional impairments (8.4 versus 4.8 monthly days out of role). Cannabis dependent ‘precluders’ reported desire for self-reliance (50.0%), preference for informal help (22.5%), and absent treatment need (16.9%) as their main reasons not to seek treatment, whereas cannabis dependent community subjects with a subjective treatment need mainly expressed desire for self-reliance (36.7%), treatment ineffectiveness (16.7%), and avoiding stigma (13.3%).
Functional impairment, mental health problems and social pressure are important reasons to seek treatment in people with cannabis dependence. Treatment participation might improve if desire for self-reliance and the preference for informal help are considered, and perceived ineffectiveness of treatment and stigmatisation are publicly addressed.
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