Last updated on December 2010

Quitting Marijuana Use: Self-Report Study of Quitting Strategies and Withdrawal Symptoms

Brief description of study

This study will employ two self-report questionnaires to collect information from non-treatment seeking adults with a marijuana use history who have made at least one attempt to quit marijuana. The questionnaires will collect information about the socio-demographic characteristics, history of marijuana use, most difficult marijuana quit experience, and marijuana craving from study participants. The questionnaire seeks to identify strategies used to help with marijuana quitting among non-treatment seeking adult marijuana users, and identify withdrawal symptoms experienced during marijuana quitting and their relationship to the quitting strategies used and the outcome of the quit attempt. Data will be analyzed for patterns and correlations among the characteristics of the quit attempt, including any withdrawal symptoms, quitting strategies used, and its success. The marijuana craving data will be analyzed to evaluate the validity of this measure of marijuana craving.

Detailed Study Description

After giving informed consent, subjects will complete three sets of questions: Marijuana Quit Questionnaire (Appendix A), Marijuana Craving Questionnaire-12-item version (Appendix B), and 8 additional questions about marijuana craving (Appendix C). These questionnaires should take about 1-2 hours to complete. A staff member will be available to assist the subject as needed, e.g. to answer any questions from the subject and to collect the completed questionnaires. Subjects will not take the questionnaires if they are unable to cooperate or give apparently valid answers because of agitation, acute psychosis, or other psychological states. The subject may request to take a break or stop the session at any time. If a subject is not will or able to complete the questionnaires in one session, the staff member will arrange additional sessions until all questionnaires have been completed. After completion of the questionnaires (or is becomes clear that the subject is unable or unwilling to complete all questionnaires), the subject will be discharged from the study. Data will also be collected from up to 200 additional adult subjects participating in two IRB-approved outpatient marijuana studies conducted by Dr. Aimee McRae at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. These data will be sent to NIDA identified only by a subject ID number. NIDA investigators have no contact with these subjects, do not know the code linking ID number with subjects identity, and do not receive any personally identifiable information. Data from paper questionnaires will be entered into electronic (computer) format for later analysis. If warranted, a computer-administered version of the questionnaire may be developed. The Marijuana Quit Questionnaire (Appendix A) collects information on 3 domains: sociodemographic characteristics, history of marijuana use (including any associated problems), and characteristics of subjects hardest (self-defined) quit attempt (including reasons for quitting, coping strategies to help quit, withdrawal symptoms, and substance use before and during the quit attempt). Questions related to marijuana-associated problems were adapted from the Cannabis Use Disorders Identification Test (CUDIT) (Adamson and Sellman 2003) and the diagnostic criteria for cannabis abuse and dependence in DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association 2000). Questions about reasons for quitting were drawn from published questionnaires used to study motivation for quitting among treatment-seeking marijuana users (Helmus, Downey, Wang, Rhodes, and Schuster 2001;McBride, Curry, Stephens, Wells, Roffman, and Hawkins 1994;Stephens, Wertz, and Roffman 1993), supplemented with questions from published questionnaires used to study motivation for tobacco smoking cessation (Selden, Clark, and Curry 1990). Questions related to coping strategies were adapted from studies of spontaneous quitters from alcohol and other drugs (Walters 2000;Sobell, Ellingstad, and Sobell 2000). Questions about marijuana withdrawal symptoms were drawn from published studies of marijuana withdrawal (Budney, Moore, Vandrey, and Hughes 2003;Smith 2002). Questions dealing with aggression during marijuana withdrawal were adapted from the Conflict Tactics Scale, a validated self-report measure of aggressive behavior (Straus et al., 1996). Questions about substance use before and during quit attempts were based on the Drug Use Frequency self-report measure (O'Farrell, Fals-Stewart, and Murphy 2003). The 12-item Marijuana Craving Questionnaire (MCQ-12; Appendix B) was derived from a larger 47-item Marijuana Craving Questionnaire (MCQ-47). Factor analysis of the MCQ-47 yielded four factors: compulsivity, emotionality, expectancy, and purposefulness (Heishman, Singleton, and Liguori 2001). The MCQ-12 was constructed by selecting the three items from each factor that exhibited optimal within-factor reliability (Cronbach¿s alpha coefficient) and inter-item correlation. All items are scored on a 1 to 7 scale (Strongly Disagree = 1 to Strongly Agree = 7). The scores of the three items in each factor are summed to generate a total factor score (range 3 to 21). Eight additional questions about marijuana craving (Appendix C) will be used to validate the MCQ-12.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00679016

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