Get off pot online

People who want to quit using cannabis can for the first time take part in a new online treatment designed by and for Australians.

Cannabis inside

Thousands of people who made a New Year's resolution to stop, or at least reduce, their cannabis use can now take part in a trial of a new online treatment developed by and for Australians.

Around one in three Australians has tried cannabis and almost one in ten will develop a problem with their use. Many people find it extremely difficult to quit, with over two thirds of unassisted attempts to quit or cut down unsuccessful.

The National Cannabis Prevention and Intervention Centre (NCPIC), based at UNSW, has launched an Australian-first online cannabis treatment for those wanting to reduce or quit the drug.

NCPIC researcher Dr Sally Rooke said that while many people can stop using with few problems, there are people who have tried multiple times with little success.

"Without doubt, this group of cannabis users needs professional help and many are not willing to talk to their GP or other health professional, no matter how many problems their drug use is causing," she said.

"New Year is a time when people make all sorts of promises to themselves and the first couple of months of every year sees a significant increase in the number of people seeking treatment, but many people need help to actually follow through.

"Face-to-face interaction with a health professional during office hours can also raise barriers to treatment and providing an online service at this time of year will hopefully help some people achieve their goal."

Reduce Your Use is part of a study comparing the effectiveness of web-based therapy alongside web-based education about cannabis.

People are eligible to participate in the study if they are over 18, have regular access to the internet, and want to quit or reduce their cannabis use.

Participants should contact Dr Rooke at reduceyouruse@med.unsw.edu.au

If an online treatment is not suitable, a range of other treatment options (phone, mail or conventional services) are also available by contacting the Cannabis Information and Helpline - 1800 30 40 50.

Media Contact: Clare Chenoweth | 9385 0218 or 0401 718 548 | c.chenoweth@unsw.edu.au