Natural recovery from cannabis use in people with psychosis: A qualitative study

Rebgetz, Shane, Hides, Leanne, Kavanagh, David J., & Choudhary, Anand (2015) Natural recovery from cannabis use in people with psychosis: A qualitative study. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 11(3-4), pp. 179-183.

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  • Objective

There is rapidly growing evidence of natural recovery from cannabis use in people with psychosis, but little is known about how it occurs. This qualitative study explores what factors influence the decision to cease cannabis use, maintain cessation, and prevent relapse.

  • Methods

Ten people with early psychosis and lifetime cannabis misuse, who had been abstinent for at least a month, were recruited from public adult mental health services. These six men and four women participated in a semi-structured qualitative interview assessing reasons for addressing cannabis use, effective change strategies, lapse contexts, and methods used to regain control. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to identify themes in their responses.

  • Results

Participants had a mean age of 23 years (SD = 3.7), started using cannabis at age 13.7 (SD = 1.6), began daily use at 17 (SD = 3.1), and had abstained from cannabis for 7.9 months (SD = 5.4). Awareness of the negative impact of substance use across multiple domains and the presence of social support for cannabis cessation were seen as vital to sustained success, as was utilization of a combination of coping strategies. The ability to address pressure from substance-using peers was commonly mentioned.

  • Conclusions

Maximally effective treatment may need to focus on eliciting a range of benefits of cessation and control strategies and on maximizing both support for change and resistance to peer pressure. Further research might focus on comparing perceived effective strategies between individuals who obtain sustained cessation versus those who relapse.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 94436
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: psychosis, substance use, cannabis, natural recovery
DOI: 10.1080/15504263.2015.1100472
ISSN: 1550-4263
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 07 Apr 2016 23:17
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2016 03:05

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