Exercise to Reduce Marijuana Use

CDC staffers making use of the treadmills, taking part in some aerobic exercise.

This study will develop and initially test an intervention designed to help young adults who regularly use marijuana to reduce their intake.

Principal Investigator: R. Lorraine Collins, PhD

Co-investigators: Leonard Epstein, PhD and John Leddy, MD, UB School of Medicine; Jihnhee Yu, PhD, UB School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Funding Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health

Period: 07/01/13-06/30/15

Abstract: Currently, marijuana (MJ) is the most popular illicit drug, with prevalence studies indicating increasing use among young adults. Even so, there are few effective interventions to help MJ users reduce their intake to avoid negative consequences, including MJ dependence. This project involves a Stage 1 efficacy study to develop and initially test an innovative intervention to reduce MJ use among young adults who regularly use MJ (> three episodes/week).

The aims of this project are: 

  • To develop an intervention that consists of four, 60-minute, in-person sessions composed of personalized feedback as well as a smartphone application (app) that promotes exercise/physical activity (EA) as an alternative to MJ use. The EA, which will be designed to specifically appeal to young adults, will provide a readily-accessible, flexible, and convenient platform for personalized information and reminders that promote exercise/PA as a positive alternative to MJ use in ongoing daily life. 
  • To conduct a pilot/efficacy study of the four-week MCU+EA intervention vs. a MCU-only control condition. During the one-week baseline, four-week intervention phase, and one-, three- and six-month follow-ups, all participants will use the smartphone app to provide real-time data on MJ-related variables and wear accelerometers to provide PA data. Multilevel modeling will be used to test our hypothesis that the MCU+EA intervention, compared to MCU-only control, will produce greater decreases in quantity and frequency of MJ use (and related MJ problems) at post-intervention and at each follow-up.