Management of cannabis use disorder and related issues: a clinician’s guide
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Management of cannabis use disorder and related issues: a clinician’s guide.

Copeland J., Frewen A., Elkins K.
[Australian] National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, 2009.

Guidance funded by the Australian government and systematically based on the evidence. Covers the range of cannabis use interventions from brief advice for users identified by screening through to managing withdrawal and treating dependence.

Summary Funded by the Australian government, these guidelines are intended for health-care practitioners who work with a variety of cannabis-use patterns and problems ranging from occasional use through to dependence, sometimes featuring mental health symptoms and acute behavioural disturbances, such as psychosis and aggression. It provides a number of worksheets to use with cannabis clients.

The manual is divided into 12 sections:
• Background information
• Working with cannabis users: general principles and settings
• Screening for cannabis use: ways to identify use in people being seen in general medical care, emergency departments and other settings
• Assessment: to determine need for and to plan treatment
• Withdrawal management: helping people who are stopping or have recently stopped cannabis use and who experience withdrawal symptoms
• Brief interventions: outlines a brief two-session intervention and components which can be added depending on the client's needs
• Special considerations: includes working with young people, gender and culture, coerced treatment, working with non-treatment seekers, treatment settings, smoking cessation
• Family interventions
• Psycho-education and social support: informing and supporting cannabis users; says education should be consistent with motivational interviewing principles
• Treating mental health in cannabis users: includes guidance for mental health services
• Screening tools: questionnaires to help identify and assess severity of cannabis use and allied problems and issues such as motivation to change
• Worksheets: information, advice, checklists, and assessment questionnaires to copy for clients

The guidelines are based research evidence assessed for its volume, quality, consistency of study results, potential clinical effect of the proposed recommendation (including the balance of risks and benefits, the relevance of the evidence to the clinical question, the size of the patient population, and resource matters), generalisability to the target population, and applicability to the Australian health-care context.

Last revised 27 June 2013. First uploaded 27 June 2013

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