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Mental health problems and interest in marijuana treatment among marijuana-using college students,

Julia D. Buckner , Anthony H. Ecker, Alex S. Cohen,

Addictive Behaviors 35 (2010) 826–833


Louisiana State University, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, 236 Audubon Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA


Background: There is growing recognition that marijuana use among college students is associated with marijuana-related problems. Yet little work has examined whether use is associated with mental health problems and whether there is a dose effect such that individuals engaging in more frequent use evince relatively greater psychiatric impairments. Further, little is known about factors related to interest in marijuana treatment among students experiencing marijuana-related problems.


Method: The current study examined academic and psychiatric functioning as well as interest in marijuana treatment among undergraduates (N=1,689). Approximately 29% acknowledged marijuana use, with 9.8% using weekly or more.


Results: More frequent marijuana use was related to more academic difficulties. Marijuana use (among both weekly and less frequent users) was related to greater psychiatric impairment. Interest in marijuana treatment was examined among students with 2+ marijuana-related problems (n=251). Of those, 22.7% expressed interest in marijuana treatment. Factors positively related to treatment interest included: marijuana use frequency, use-related problems, friends' marijuana use, age, employment status, and some types of mental health problems.


Conclusions: Marijuana use among college students is associated with academic, psychiatric, and marijuanarelated impairments. However, there is some interest in treatment to manage marijuana use among undergraduates, particularly among those with more frequent and more problematic marijuana use.