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Adolescent Predictors of Marijuana Cessation and Motivations for Quitting Marijuana in a Racially Balanced Adult Non-Treatment Sample

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Marijuana is currently the mostly widely used illicit drug in the U.S., and has been for multiple decades (Johnston et. al., 2016). Despite a growing belief that marijuana use is

Marijuana is currently the mostly widely used illicit drug in the U.S., and has been for multiple decades (Johnston et. al., 2016). Despite a growing belief that marijuana use is not harmful, over 4 million Americans have met criteria for marijuana use disorders in the past year alone (CBHSQ, 2015). According to marijuana trajectory studies, about a third of marijuana users will end up quitting later in life, but some \u2014 such as those who meet criteria for dependence \u2014 have a much greater difficultly quitting. Therefore, by looking at marijuana users who were successful in quitting, and comparing them to ongoing adult marijuana users, factors that may assist in helping an individual quit \u2014 such as certain motivations for quitting \u2014 may be identified. To study these issues, data was collected from 507 participants from the Pittsburgh Youth Study. It was found that adolescents who used marijuana weekly for at least one year were likely to be ongoing marijuana users in adulthood and that adolescents who had a warm relationship with their primary caretaker were likely to have quit marijuana by adulthood. It was also found that Black participants were more likely to have legal, monetary, and religious reasons for quitting than were White participants. Furthermore, participants who used regularly in adolescence were likely to list legal reasons, as well as a concern that marijuana use was needed to feel normal. Finally, it was found that not a single motivation for quitting marijuana was associated with a shorter period of abstinence. The implications of these findings for motivations to quit marijuana are the focus of the discussion.

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  • 2016-12