According to a group of national experts, cannabis enthusiasts may know more than people think we do. That’s right, we know exactly what we are doing. It turns out that cannabis users are more experienced and have more knowledge about the plant than healthcare providers. The amount of people seeking treatment is increasing and providers just aren’t as informed as they should be. It just goes to show, we really aren’t a bunch of ‘dumb pot-smokers‘ after all.
At a conference, it has been told that cannabis users seeking treatment are experts when it comes to the green stuff, forcing professionals to play catch up.
A group of national experts was recently informed about the “inverted expertise” noticed in cannabis consumers during a meeting at York University where ideas on effective treatment were exchanged. The conference was told that the number of people wanting treatment is increasing, with research revealing that there has been a 64% increase between 2005 and 2015.
Cannabis now has the deadly drug heroin beat and is recognized as the “drug” that’s most likely to produce a larger number of calls for help. According to delegates, the amount of people actually using cannabis is decreasing, despite the increase of people seeking treatment. Researchers at the University of York and the University of Leeds are investigating how providers are responding to the increase of cannabis users that are seeking treatment.
The conference was told that the discoveries detect that people seek treatment for things that aren’t normally associated with cannabis, such as impulse control and irritability. They were also made aware that treatment facilities aren’t prepared enough to offer effective interventions, being that cannabis is harmless.
According to Dr Mark Monaghan, a lecturer in criminology and social policy at Loughborough University, there is an “inverted expertise” when it comes to cannabis and users know all about the local markets, leaving providers lagging behind.
“This can have a significant knock-on effect for the kind of services they are providing. Cannabis users are quite knowledgeable in what is going on in terms of the market.”
“The providers are slightly lagging behind in terms of their knowledge base. Because they are lagging behind they don’t have intelligence on what the consumers are using; it creates this situation where they don’t really know what to do.”
“We need to know what people are using and we need to offer them evidence-based treatments.”
“Treatment across the sector is really variable. We do need more research on the changing nature of the cannabis market. We need to explore the reason why more people are presenting to treatment centers.”
Even organizer Ian Hamilton, lecturer in mental health in the Department of Health Sciences at York University, said that this is the first research that has looked at both the demand for cannabis treatment and the reasons why there’s been such an increase in it.
“The outcome of the conference today was agreement amongst commissioners, providers and researchers that there is a problem we need to explore around why people are presenting to treatment services, and how we can offer effective interventions once they are in treatment.”
Do you think providers will be able to catch up to the already informed cannabis users? Let us know on social media or in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.