Calgary University Seeks Participants for Marijuana Dependency Study

A University of Calgary study hopes to fix the chronic lack of research surrounding marijuana abuse.

Considered the most widely used illicit drug on the planet, about one in 10 people who use cannabis develop a dependency, according to PhD candidate Jonathan N. Stea.

Most users who become hooked likely will recover without professional help, he says. But the research surrounding how pot-users air out is as ephemeral as smoke.

“There is this big misperception that, not only among media, but also among people in general, that cannabis is not at all harmful,” Stea said.

While it’s true that most people who smoke pot will never go on to develop a dependency, some do. And as the drug is so widely used, that means a significant number of people are either not receiving help, or curing themselves of the habit.

Yet, Stea said, “we don’t know a lot about it.”

As part of his dissertation, the student in the school’s clinical psychology program hopes to recruit 120 volunteers who believe they have overcome a marijuana dependency.

The users do not have to have obtained professional help, but they do need to have experienced an addiction deep enough to affect their work, school and relationships.

In addition, Stea said, the users don’t necessarily have to abstain from marijuana — they just need to have gained control over their pot-smoking enough to function normally.

The participants will talk about their marijuana experience in an interview that likely will last about two hours. They will then be asked to give researchers the contact information of someone who can corroborate their drug usage.

The names of participants will not be published and the interviews will be confidential. Volunteers will receive a $20 honorarium for their time.

Although Stea hopes to publish an exploratory study, eventually, the information might help doctors and psychologists create treatments for marijuana-dependent patients.

– Article originally from The Calgary Herald.