Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur Addict Res. 2013;19(1):29-41. doi: 10.1159/000339582. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

Motivation for change and barriers to treatment among young cannabis users.

Author information

  • 1Addictive Behaviors Research Group, Department of Psychology, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.



Despite cannabis use among adolescents has shown to be related to psychosocial and mental health problems, the demand from adolescents for professional help is very low, and determinants of motivation for change among nonclinical populations remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess motivation for change among young cannabis users and to identify determinants of intention to change and self-change, as well as perceived barriers to seeking professional help.


261 cannabis users aged 16-21 participated in a computerized survey in Spain.


Data from this cross-sectional study indicated that few users intend to stop taking the drug. Determining factors of intention to change were the following: having more drug-related problems, paranoid symptomatology and greater concern about the consequences of use. Self-change was facilitated by lower use of cannabis, and could be hindered by tobacco smoking and cannabis dependence. Lack of awareness of the problems and the desire to solve one's problems alone constitute the main barriers to seeking professional help.


Adolescent cannabis users show low motivation for change though experiencing more problems associated with its use emerges as a determinant of increased motivation. Several barriers impede this motivation from turning into treatment demand.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk