Publication date: Dec 01, 2023
Interventions addressing cannabis use among emerging adults (ages 18-25) are currently needed to prevent negative outcomes. Emergency Department (ED) visits provide an opportunity to initiate interventions. In this pilot study, we created a brief intervention (BI), extended with private social media messaging for emerging adult ED patients who use cannabis regularly. Study aims were to examine intervention feasibility, acceptability, and descriptive outcomes. We recruited and randomized N = 58 emerging adults (M age 21. 5 years, 65. 5% female) who used cannabis from an ED in-person and remotely after their ED visit (given COVID-19 restrictions). Participants randomized to the intervention (N = 30) received a Motivational Interviewing-based BI and 4 weeks of health coaching via private social media; control participants received a resource brochure and entertaining social media messaging. Follow-ups occurred at 1-month and 3-months. Most intervention participants liked the BI (95. 8%), found it helpful to discuss cannabis use in the BI (91. 7%), and liked interacting with coaches on social media (86. 3%). Social media content (e. g., video clips, images/still pictures/memes) were highly rated. Descriptively, the intervention group showed theory-consistent changes in importance of and intentions to change cannabis (increases vs. decrease/stability in control group), whereas findings for cannabis consumption/consequences were mixed. This BI paired with social media messaging was acceptable in a sample of emerging adults from an ED who used cannabis regularly. Despite feasibility challenges due to COVID-19, this intervention warrants future investigation with a larger sample and longer follow-up period, with attention to the changing cannabis landscape when measuring outcomes.