Attachment and Cannabis Use Prevention in Youth

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Franchi, Alain
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British Columbia laws allow people as young as 19 years old to grow, buy, and use non-medicinal cannabis products, despite researchers warning of the significant risks to health and mental health for youth under 25 years old. The rising prevalence of cannabis use and harmful consequences for youth calls for more effective prevention methods. Some researchers link substance misuse to an unmet need for people to connect and bond. This capstone reviews the research relating substance and cannabis use in youth to attachment theory to inform prevention approaches to substance use for youth. The findings suggest that attachment-based prevention strategies can be effective, but research and interventions remain sparse. Furthermore, there is concern that recommendations such as preventing youth from associating with peers who use drugs could contribute to the stigmatization and discrimination against youth who may already be suffering from disconnection. There is a need for more research on the effectiveness of attachment-based prevention to reduce substance use and stigma and to foster connection. This capstone summarizes attachment-based prevention approaches for counsellors and educators to support youth and caregivers facing risks associated with cannabis use.
attachment theory , substance use , prevention , cannabis , adolescents
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess