Date of Original Version
Rates of marijuana use among detained youths are exceptionally high. Research suggests a cannabis withdrawal syndrome is valid and clinically significant; however, these studies have mostly been conducted in highly controlled laboratory settings with treatment-seeking, White adults. The present study analyzed archival data to explore the magnitude of cannabis withdrawal symptoms within a diverse sample of detained adolescents while controlling for tobacco use and investigating the impact of race on symptom reports. Adolescents recruited from a juvenile correctional facility (N=93) completed a background questionnaire and the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist. Analyses revealed a significant main effect for level of tobacco use on severity of irritability, and for level of marijuana use on severity of craving to smoke marijuana and strange/wild dreams. Furthermore, a significant main effect for race was found with Black adolescents reporting lower withdrawal discomfort scores and experiencing less severe depressed mood, difficulty sleeping, nervousness/anxiety, and strange/wild dreams. Although exploratory, these findings may have significant clinical implications for providers in juvenile detention facilities, allowing the execution of proper medical and/or behavioral interventions to assist adolescents presenting with problematic cannabis and/or tobacco withdrawal.
Soenksen, S., Stein, L. A. R., Brown, J. D., Stengel, J. R., Rossi, J. S., & Lebeau, R. (2015). Cannabis Withdrawal Among Detained Adolescents: Exploring the Impact of Nicotine and Race. J. Child Adolesc. Subst. Abuse, 24(2), 119-124.