Transition in the Weeds: Heading to College with a Cannabis Use Disorder
Cannabis is one of the most common drugs used by college students and carries multiple risks for those who are vulnerable to other psychiatric disorders. This chapter describes an 18-year-old college freshman who has been using marijuana throughout high school and has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and ADHD. He was hospitalized in the summer before college matriculation with psychosis, most likely precipitated by large amounts of high potency cannabis smoked in a 3-day binge. After a few weeks into the semester, he became anxious and depressed while denying cannabis use. He was able to complete the semester after withdrawing from two classes, but did not return to college. The case discussion highlights the need for transition planning involving the patient and parents, careful treatment planning between referring and accepting providers, and greater knowledge of campus mental health services. Many suggestions and resources are provided which can lead to a successful transition for patients suffering from cannabis use disorder and comorbid psychiatric disorders.
KeywordsCannabis use disorder in college Marijuana in college students Substance use disorders on campus Cannabis and comorbid psychiatric disorders Intensive Outpatient Program for substance use disorders 12-step programs for college students Campus accommodations and Transitional Age Youth (TAY)
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