It is next to impossible to get teenagers to voluntarily submit to a marijuana drug test in school or to do it with at home marijuana test kits
without coercion from their parents. But there is one initiative that is proving effective in preventing marijuana addiction
among adolescents- the Teen Marijuana Check-Up (TMCU).
It is a Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) that encourages voluntary participation from teenage marijuana users.
Being confidential and non-judgmental, it allows users to assess their marijuana habit and consider all the options available to them. The original study was somewhat limited, particularly in its short follow-up period. For this reason, a modified study was conducted with 310 teenage volunteers who were regular marijuana smokers.
This time they were divided into 3 treatment groups:
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
- Educational Feedback Control (EFC)
- Delayed Feedback Control (DFC).
Groups 1&2 were given a computerized baseline assessment immediately after randomization and then again at the 3-month and 12-month follow-up periods. Group 3 was only assessed at the 3-month follow-up. They were all offered 4 treatment sessions (including periodic marijuana drug testing
) aimed at stopping their marijuana use. It is at the 12-month follow-up that significantly less usage and withdrawal problems were found. In all 3 groups, very few engaged in additional treatments outside of the study.
As a conclusion, the TMCU and other motivational intervention programs like it prove to be effective in getting teenagers to cooperate with their treatment
. It is hoped that improvement to these programs will have positive sustainable effects against the problem of marijuana addiction among the youth.