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"CAN Stop" - Implementation and evaluation of a secondary group prevention for adolescent and young adult cannabis users in various contexts - study protocol

Author(s): Baldus Christiane | Miranda Alejandra | Weymann Nina | Reis Olaf | Moré Kerstin | Thomasius Rainer

Journal: BMC Health Services Research
ISSN 1472-6963

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 80;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Current research shows that overall numbers for cannabis use among adolescents and young adults dropped in recent years. However, this trend is much less pronounced in continuous cannabis use. With regard to the heightened risk for detrimental health- and development-related outcomes, adolescents and young adults with continuous cannabis use need special attention. The health services structure for adolescents and young adults with substance related problems in Germany, is multifaceted, because different communal, medical and judicial agencies are involved. This results in a rather decentralized organizational structure of the help system. This and further system-inherent characteristics make the threshold for young cannabis users rather high. Because of this, there is a need to establish evidence-based low-threshold help options for young cannabis users, which can be easily disseminated. Therefore, a training programme for young cannabis users (age 14-21) was developed in the "CAN Stop" project. Within the project, we seek to implement and evaluate the training programme within different institutions of the help system. The evaluation is sensitive to the different help systems and their specific prerequisites. Moreover, within this study, we also test the practicability of a training provision through laypersons. Methods/Design The CAN Stop study is a four-armed randomized wait-list controlled trial. The four arms are needed for the different help system settings, in which the CAN Stop training programme is evaluated: (a) the drug addiction aid and youth welfare system, (b) the out-patient medical system, (c) the in-patient medical system and (d) prisons for juvenile offenders. Data are collected at three points, before and after the training or a treatment as usual, and six months after the end of either intervention. Discussion The CAN Stop study is expected to provide an evidence-based programme for young cannabis users seeking to reduce or quit their cannabis use. Moreover, we seek to gain knowledge about the programme's utility within different settings of the German help system for young cannabis users and information about the settings' specific clientele. The study protocol is discussed with regard to potential difficulties within the different settings. Trial registration ISRCTN: ISRCTN57036983

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