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September 10, 2013

HealthForumOnline Adds New Online Continuing Education Course on Treating Marijuana Dependence

HealthForumOnline (HFO) adds a new continuing education (CE) course to the substance abuse/chemical dependency category of their online CE library for mental health professionals, Marijuana Dependence Treatment: Existing Efficacious Approaches. HFO offers over 85 online nationally-approved CE courses for psychologists, social workers, counselors, and allied healthcare professionals that are fast, convenient and especially cost-effective - with free ongoing access to course updates beyond completion of the CE activity.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) September 10, 2013 HealthForumOnline (HFO), a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, CA-BBS) provider of online continuing education (CE) is pleased to announce a new course entitled, Marijuana Dependence Treatment: Existing Efficacious Approaches, to the chemical dependency and substance abuse category of our extensive online CE resource library for psychologists, social workers, counselors, and other allied healthcare professionals.

There are over 200 street names for marijuana, but by any name, marijuana is the most available and widely used illicit psychoactive substance in the United States and worldwide (1). A 2010 report by the United Nations estimated its use as more than twice that of all other drugs combined, including alcohol (2).

The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates over 17.4 million marijuana users in the U.S. alone. One study found 46% of seniors reported having used cannabis (3). Another survey indicated 13.7% of 8th-graders, 27.5% of 10th-graders and 34.8% of 12th-graders reported past-year cannabis use (4), with daily use increasing significantly across grades. An estimated 15.7% of past-year marijuana users aged 12 or older used cannabis on 300 or more days, indicating 4.6 million persons using marijuana on a near or daily basis over a 12-month period (1).

We have seen an increase in marijuana use disorders (5), with cannabis dependence twice as prevalent as any other illicit psychoactive substance (e.g., 6). Of the over 17 million marijuana users in the U.S., 4 million experience a cannabis use disorder. Some 4.3% of Americans report dependence on marijuana at some time in their lives (7).

Treatment admissions for marijuana abuse/dependence have more than doubled in a decade and reflect an average of more than 10 years of daily use. These patterns confirm that marijuana abuse is a relevant public health issue not only among young people, but among adults seeking treatment for long-term use as well.

These statistics are alarming because marijuana is frequently a steppingstone to cigarettes, alcohol and/or other more potent and dangerous drugs (8). From a societal perspective, the unemployment rate among users is three times the norm and abusers are disproportionately represented in lower income and minority communities (9). Thus marijuana dependence can cause sufficient harm directly to the user and indirectly to family and society (e.g., 10).

This online CE course will define the role of mental health professionals in treating marijuana dependence. Associated problems/symptom constellations, epidemiology, assessment, diagnosis and evidence-based treatments for marijuana dependency/abuse are discussed. Integrating diverse psychosocial treatments into care and recognizing complementary therapeutic resources will enable clinicians to help their patients achieve a better quality of life, cognitively, socially, and professionally.

  1. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) (2011). Results from the 2010 national survey on drug use and health: Volume I. Summary of national findings, Office of Applied Studies, NSDUH Series H-38A, HHS Publication No. SMA 10-4586 Findings. Rockville (MD), p. 24; Series H-41, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 11-4658, p. 11.
  2. Drugs.com (2012). http://www.drugs.com/
  3. Johnston, L.D., et al. (2012). Monitoring the Future, National survey results on drug use, 1975–2011: Volume I, secondary school students, pp 377. Ann Arbor (MI): Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.
  4. Monitoring the Future (2010). National results on adolescent drug use. Overview of key findings.
  5. Compton, W., et al. (2004). Prevalence of marijuana use disorders in the United States: 1991-1992 and 2001-2002. Journal of the American Medical Association, 291, 2114-2121.
  6. Anthony, J., et al. (1994). Comparative epidemiology of dependence on tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances and inhalants: Basic findings from the National Comorbidity Survey. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2, 244–268.
  7. American Psychiatric Association (APA) (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
  8. Kandel, D.B., Yamaguchi, K., & Chen, K. (1992). Stages of progression in drug involvement from adolescence to adulthood: Further evidence for the gateway theory. Journal of Studies of Alcohol, 53, 447–457.
  9. Humphreys, K. (2010). Do people really get addicted to marijuana? Scope, Oct. 15, 2010. Palo Alto (CA): School of Medicine, Stanford University.
  10. Roffman, R., et al. (2006). Cannabis Dependence: Its Nature, Consequences and Treatment. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press.