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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2003 Jun;24(4):369-76.

Treatment of marijuana dependence: a review of the literature.

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  • 1Ralph H. Johnson VAMC, 109 Bee Street, MUSC/CTN, 29401, Charleston, SC, USA.


Until recently, relatively little research has focused on the treatment of marijuana abuse or dependence; however, marijuana use disorders are now receiving increased attention. This paper reviews the initial clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of outpatient treatments for adult marijuana dependence. Findings from five controlled trials of psychotherapeutic interventions suggest that this disorder appears responsive to the same types of treatment as other substance dependencies. Moreover, these initial studies suggest that many patients do not show a positive treatment response, indicating that marijuana dependence is not easily treated. Strengths and weaknesses of the data are presented. Preliminary data from less controlled studies relevant to the treatment of marijuana dependence are discussed to suggest future research areas. Although very few studies on treatment for marijuana abuse and dependence have been completed, the initial reports identify promising treatment approaches and demonstrate a need for more research on the development of effective interventions.

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