Despite recent advances in the treatment of cannabis use disorder (CUD), less than 5% of individuals with CUD obtain treatment. To address this problem, Dr. Lara Coughlin and several other U-M Addiction Center colleagues conducted an open trial of a telehealth-delivered multicomponent behavioral economic intervention for adults with CUD who were not in treatment. Behavioral economics combines elements of psychology and economics to understand human behavior. The study, titled Pilot trial of a telehealth-delivered behavioral economic intervention promoting cannabis-free activities among adults with cannabis use disorder, was recently published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
In this study, participants completed a baseline assessment and interview as well as a behavioral economic intervention that included motivational interviewing, a behavioral economic introductory session, four coaching sessions, and small incentives for sampling substance-free activities of the participant’s choosing. Participants provided open-ended feedback on the intervention experience to help inform future work to provide engaging and appealing CUD models of care.
Preliminary findings suggest that this behavioral economic intervention was highly acceptable and feasible for adults with untreated CUD and included reduced frequency of cannabis use and improved mental health outcomes such as depression and anxiety symptom severity.
Citation: Coughlin, L. N., Bonar, E. E., Wieringa, J., Zhang, L., Rostker, M. J., Augustiniak, A. N., Goodman, G.J., & Lin, L. A. (2023). Pilot trial of a telehealth-delivered behavioral economic intervention promoting cannabis-free activities among adults with cannabis use disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 163, 202-210.