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Behav Pharmacol. 2005 Sep;16(5-6):473-6.

Cannabis 'dependence' and attentional bias for cannabis-related words.

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  • 1School of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.


Drug users have attentional biases for drug-related stimuli, and the frequency of drug use and craving are associated with attentional bias. However, research to date has not investigated the relationship between the severity of cannabis dependence, and attentional bias for cannabis-related stimuli. In the present study, 28 recreational cannabis users completed a modified Stroop task with cannabis-related and control words, plus questionnaire measures of cannabis dependence and craving. Participants were split into those who met diagnostic criteria for cannabis dependence based on scores on the Cannabis Severity of Dependence Scale (C-SDS), and those who did not. The cannabis-dependent group had a significant attentional bias for the cannabis-related words, but the non-dependent group did not. Correlations indicated that attentional bias was also associated with the frequency of cannabis use, and with subjective craving.

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