Intention to reduce cannabis use and help-seeking attitudes in Dutch frequent cannabis users.
It is estimated that almost 1% of European adults uses cannabis daily or nearly daily. Frequent cannabis users are at risk to develop cannabis use disorder. There are effective interventions available for frequent users to reduce their use. However, the majority of frequent users does not seek help. In this study we aim to explore (correlates of) intentions to quit and help-seeking attitudes among Dutch frequent cannabis users.
An online survey was developed for this study and conducted to assess cannabis use, previous quit attempts, intention to quit (or reduce) cannabis use and help-seeking attitudes among Dutch frequent cannabis users. Participants were recruited through social media. Descriptive statistics and regression analyses were conducted using SPSS v.25.
A sample of 1041 frequent cannabis users (67.1% male, 32.9% female; mean age = 24.7, SD = 7.5) completed the survey. Almost two-thirds of the respondents (N = 667) indicated that they have the intention to stop or reduce their use in the future; 372 respondents intend to quit or reduce within a year. The majority of the respondents (70%) has made at least one previous attempt to reduce or quit cannabis use. Among those who have tried to quit (N = 382) the average number of previous quit attempts was 5.7 (SD=22.49; median: 2.0). Respondents indicated that from the different types of help available they are most likely to seek help from friends and family (M = 3.13, SD = 1.52; range 1-5). Inpatient treatment seems the least desirable treatment option (M = 1.63, SD = 1.15; range 1-5). Of all different treatment options, inpatient treatment is best-known, only 4% of the respondents is unfamiliar with this type of treatment. Online self-help is the least known among the respondents, 39% of the respondents is unfamiliar with unguided online self-help, 37% is unfamiliar with guided online self-help.
The majority of our sample of frequent cannabis users seems willing to stop or reduce their cannabis use, but prefers to seek help from friends and family rather than to seek professional help. It may be valuable to provide more information to cannabis users about the different types of professional (online) help available. Given the targeted sampling strategy used, result are not necessarily representative of the general population of frequent cannabis users.