New perspectives on cannabis use disorders and their treatment
Data collected by the EMCDDA shows that the number of first-time entrants for cannabis treatment increased by 76% between 2006 and 2016. Cannabis is now the primary reason for first-time admissions to drug treatment in Europe, superseding opiates and cocaine. This unprecedented rise in admissions creates a significant problem for treatment providers. Clients with cannabis problems are typically younger, and have different needs. There are no approved pharmacotherapies for cannabis use disorders, and psychosocial interventions are modestly effective. The causes of cannabis use disorders are poorly understood at present, and new treatment options are required.
This structured session will provide the latest advances and new perspectives on cannabis use disorders and their treatment in Europe. First, it will introduce the problem in context, using the most up-to-date data on cannabis treatment indicators from the EMCDDA. Next, differences between adolescent and adult cannabis use disorders will be discussed, using recently collected data from a large and unprecedented cohort from the UK. This will be followed by novel findings from international neuroimaging multi-site studies and consortia of human cannabis users on the neurobiology of cannabis use disorders. Next, a novel treatment approach will be presented, of the first randomised clinical trial of cannabidiol (CBD) for cannabis use disorder, using an adaptive Bayesian design dose-finding design. The session will conclude with a thought-provoking cross-cultural perspective on cannabis use disorders from a multisite study conducted in the Netherlands and the USA.