Brief Counseling for Marijuana Dependence: A Manual for Treating Adults

About the Course:

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States (Clark et al. 2002; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2003). According to the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.6 million people ages 12 and older had smoked marijuana in the preceding month. It is estimated that approximately 4.3 million people used marijuana at levels consistent with abuse or dependence in the past year. Given that it is an illicit substance, any use of marijuana carries with it some significant risks. This course focuses on people who use marijuana heavily or are dependent on it. The treatment manual used as the basis of this course is directed primarily at these persons but may be useful for other persons with substance abuse or substance use disorders.

The manual used as the material for this course is designed for use by experienced clinicians. Counselors should follow the outlined procedures and should have the opportunity for regular consultation with clinical supervisors familiar with the Brief Marijuana Dependence Counseling (BMDC) approach. Detailed treatment protocols define goals for each session and standardize counseling techniques, but also permit flexibility.

The manual presented is a blueprint for treatment and is not a substitute for training and supervision. The material may not be appropriate for all clients or clinical programs. This manual should be viewed as a supplement to careful assessment of each client, appropriate case formulation, monitoring of clinical status, and clinical judgment.

Supplemental reading C in section VII provides detailed information on effectively implementing and managing BMDC; appendix A provides a session rating form to guide supervisors.

Publication Date:



Karen L. Steinberg, Ph.D.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

See pages 185-186 for additional authors and credentials

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about scientifically based brief counseling approaches for people dealing with marijuana dependence. It is appropriate for intermediate to advanced levels levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe the scientific, research-oriented basis upon which the BMDC is founded.

  2. Identify theoretical assumptions and target populations relating to the BMDC approach.

  3. Cite examples of common treatment issues and strategies for addressing them.

  4. Become familiar with methods and tools used in a BMDC assessment session.

  5. Define key concepts and be able to apply protocols presented regarding motivation enhancement.

  6. Summarize the BMDC protocols, concepts, and elective skill topics pertaining to sessions 3 through 9.

  7. Use material presented in the supplemental readings to enhance knowledge gained on treating marijuana-dependent individuals.

Course Article

Exam Questions

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Course Number: 101001
Total Credit Hours: 14cr
Exam Fee: $97.58
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Format: Online Article
4.5 out of 5
Popularity: 1200 members have taken this course