Marijuana use is a significant risk to health and well-being for university students. Students who use marijuana have an increased likelihood of experiencing a variety of consequences that impact their academic performance, physical health, and relationships. Despite the availability of efficacious interventions, few students identify their marijuana use as problematic let alone seek treatment to reduce their use. Developments in health technology have greatly expanded the potential range of methods to engage students in screening and deliver interventions. In particular, web-based approaches have now been developed which provide an opportunity to screen and deliver personalized feedback to students about their marijuana use in an easily utilized and confidential manner. These approaches are theoretically well grounded and are now available at many universities. However, there has been little empirical research on their efficacy or on optimal strategies for dissemination. The proposed R34 feasibility/pilot project seeks to provide preliminary data on the efficacy of a highly utilized, web-based screening and brief intervention approach for reducing marijuana use and consequences among students presenting to a university health center. Student health services represent an opportunistic context to screen and deliver brief intervention for marijuana use to large segments of the population. The primary goals of this project are to: 1) determine the feasibility of implementing a computerized screening and web-based intervention approach to address marijuana use among students in this setting, and 2) conduct a pilot trial to estimate the effect size of this approach for reducing marijuana use and consequences. Undergraduate students who present to a university health care clinic will be invited to participate in a study of health behaviors. Those identified as current marijuana users through screening will be randomly assigned to receive a widely used web-based intervention program [e-Toke] or a control condition. The effect of this intervention on days of marijuana use and marijuana-related consequences will be examined at three and six months. Results of this work will provide the basis for a large scale randomized controlled trial to examine the efficacy of this approach for reducing marijuana use and related consequences among students attending university health care services.
This research seeks to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of screening and brief intervention approaches designed to reduce marijuana use and minimize marijuana-related harm among university students.
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