Successful and unsuccessful cannabis quitters: comparing group characteristics and quitting strategies

Sally E. Rooke*, Melissa M. Norberg, Jan Copeland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Background: In order to improve treatments for cannabis use disorder, a better understanding of factors associated with successful quitting is required.Method: This study examined differences between successful (n = 87) and unsuccessful (n = 78) cannabis quitters. Participants completed a questionnaire addressing demographic, mental health, and cannabis-related variables, as well as quitting strategies during their most recent quit attempt.Results: Eighteen strategies derived from cognitive behavioral therapy were entered into a principal components analysis. The analysis yielded four components, representing (1) Stimulus Removal, (2) Motivation Enhancement, (3) (lack of) Distraction, and (4) (lack of) Coping. Between groups comparisons showed that unsuccessful quitters scored significantly higher on Motivation Enhancement and (lack of) Coping. This may indicate that unsuccessful quitters focus on the desire to quit, but do not sufficiently plan strategies for coping. Unsuccessful quitters also had significantly more symptoms of depression and stress; less education; lower exposure to formal treatment; higher day-to-day exposure to other cannabis users; and higher cannabis dependence scores.Conclusions: The findings suggest that coping, environmental modification, and co-morbid mental health problems may be important factors to emphasize in treatments for cannabis use disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

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