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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2009 May;70(3):409-13.

The role of marijuana use in brief motivational intervention with young adult drinkers treated in an emergency department.

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Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.



The aim of this research was to study marijuana use, associated risks, and response to brief motivational intervention among young adult drinkers treated in an emergency department.


Study participants (N = 215; ages 18-24) were in a randomized controlled trial for alcohol use that compared motivational interviewing with personalized feedback (MI) with personalized feedback only. Past-month marijuana users were compared with nonusers on demographics, readiness, self-efficacy, and behavioral risk variables. Marijuana use was examined as a potential moderator of alcohol outcomes. Whether marijuana use alone or combined marijuana and alcohol use would be reduced as a result of brief intervention for alcohol was examined at 6 and 12 months.


Current marijuana users were younger, were more likely to be white, and reported more alcohol use, other illicit drug use, and more alcohol-related consequences than nonmarijuana users. Marijuana use at baseline did not moderate response to brief alcohol treatment. Marijuana use declined from baseline to 6 months for both treatment groups, but only MI participants continued to reduce their use of marijuana from 6- to 12-month follow-up. Reductions in number of days of use of marijuana with alcohol appeared to be primarily a function of decreased alcohol use.


Young adult drinkers reporting current marijuana use are at generally higher risk but responded to brief alcohol treatment by reducing alcohol and marijuana use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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