Barriers to treatment seeking for cannabis dependence

P. Gates*, J. Copeland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Despite its continued widespread use, relatively few individuals with cannabis use disorders present to treatment services. Compared to other substance use and dependence, there is a dearth of research examining explanations for this observed underutilization of cannabis treatment. The aim of this chapter is to examine these barriers and discuss how they may be addressed to improve rates of treatment utilization. The most prominent access issues identified in the literature were a lack of a perceived need for treatment to stop successfully using and a desire to stop using on one's own. Less prominent barriers were the concern that entering treatment would invoke negative attitudes from the community or employers, and the belief that treatment was ineffective. As such, it may be important for treatments to minimize the amount of professional contact involved and maximize awareness regarding effective treatment and improve treatment accessibility. Further work is required to identify how to address these issues; however, computer-based interventions appear promising.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of cannabis and related pathologies
Subtitle of host publicationbiology, pharmacology, diagnosis, and treatment
EditorsV. R. Preedy
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128008270
ISBN (Print)9780128007563
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Barrier
  • Cannabis use disorder
  • Facilitator
  • Intervention
  • Marijuana
  • Treatment


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